Press Releases

Multijurisdictional DUI checkpoint

Release Date/Time: 5/27/2016 12:46 PM

Incident: Multijurisdictional DUI checkpoint

Report #: Several

Date: Friday, 5/27/2016

Time: 10:25 AM

Location: 260 East Laurel Drive, DMV

On May 26th, starting at about 6 pm, the AVOID the 20 coalition conducted a multijurisdictional DUI/Driver's License checkpoint at the DMV at 260 East Laurel Drive in Salinas. The checkpoint was led by Salinas PD along with officers from Marina PD and King City PD.

1,482 vehicles passed through the checkpoint and 915 drivers were contacted. No drivers were arrested for DUI. One driver was investigated for being under the influence but he passed field sobriety tests and was released. Eight drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license and 18 were cited for driving unlicensed. Motorcycle officers working the area of the checkpoint stopped 52 drivers and issued citations to 27. One driver was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

"Being that this is graduation night in Salinas along with Memorial Day Weekend, I fully expected to arrest multiple drivers for being under the influence," said Salinas PD Sergeant Gerry Ross. "I'm hopeful this is a sign that the message is getting out there and that people are taking it to heart."

The AVOID the 20 coalition is made up of the 20 law enforcement agencies in Monterey and San Benito Counties. Both counties will continue to have extra DUI patrols out for the remainder of the Memorial Day Weekend. The next checkpoint is expected to come during the Independence Day holiday.

The Avoid DUI Task Force holiday enforcement campaigns are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Assault w/ a Deadly Weapon

Release Date/Time: 5/24/2016 9:19 PM

Incident: Assault w/ a Deadly Weapon

Report #: 16-051266

Date: Tuesday, 5/24/2016

Time: 1:13 PM

Location: 2300 blk. N. Main

An SPD community service's officer working parking control responded to a citizen's complaint of cars parked in a red zone. She cited a Chrysler 300 and began to drive away. The CSO saw a male walk to the car, remove the ticket and then run into the street toward her, obviously irate. She continued driving her scooter southbound so the male, Marco Suarez (22) got into his car and began to chase the officer at a high rate of speed. Suarez drove alongside the parking control scooter and started swerving into her lane as if he was trying to hit her. The officer had to take evasive action to avoid being struck. Suarez kept driving erratically but eventually turned off as they reached traffic at N. Main and Boronda Rd. A Salinas Police officer contacted Suarez and arrested him. Suarez was booked into the Monterey County Jail for felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Release Authorized by: Commander S. Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Memorial Day Weekend DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 5/24/2016 4:25 AM

Incident: Memorial Day Weekend DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 5/24/2016

Time: 4:23 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend DUI Enforcement Blitz

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force is sending DUI officers out this holiday weekend for a DUI/driver's license checkpoint and DUI saturation patrols throughout both Monterey and San Benito Counties. Officers are targeting drunk or drugged drivers on this first holiday weekend of the summer driving season. This weekend traditionally finds travelers heading to local parks or waterways for outdoor activities, along with family and friends gathering for backyard barbeques. It's also the time for college and high school graduation celebrations.

The County's DUI Task Force kicks off Thursday night by deploying a DUI/Driver's License checkpoint in Salinas with special DUI Saturation Patrols deploying throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties starting Friday. More local DUI saturation patrols will be out throughout the weekend in both counties. The California Highway Patrol is deploying all available officers Memorial Day weekend onto freeways and county roads as part of their Maximum Enforcement Period.

Law enforcement is asking for everyone's support this holiday weekend and all summer long:

• Plan ahead. Arrange rides home for your friends, family, co-workers and yourself before the drinking begins. Call a taxi or get a ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb.

• Those hosting activities should limit drinks to your guests or patrons. Don't serve more than one or two over several hours.

• Cut back on the amount of drinks you plan to bring to the gathering – and provide plenty of food. • If you see dangerous driving, Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1!

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you're taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify impairment effects.

In addition to the Memorial Day DUI crackdown, law enforcement nationwide is looking to stop and ticket those who have failed to buckle up or secure young passengers. Remember Click It or Ticket!

Funding for the Avoid DUI Task Force is a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Avoid Task Force will deploy checkpoints and DUI patrols next during the Independence Day Holiday and for the summer August/Labor Day DUI Mobilization.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Warrants & Firearm

Release Date/Time: 5/21/2016 7:06 PM

Incident: Warrants & Firearm

Report #: 16-051104

Date: Saturday, 5/21/2016

Time: 10:26 AM

Location: 3 Bridge St.

Officers working gang enforcement rolled up on eight men next to a Mercedes in Chinatown. One of them tossed a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Two of them were arrested for warrants; Mariano Steeples (26), for parole violation, and Terrel Hill (31), for traffic violations. Fingerprints and DNA testing pending on the handgun.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7321. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78 CRIME, or text information to the Text to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411".

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Click It or Ticket Campaign

Release Date/Time: 5/19/2016 9:57 AM

Incident: Click It or Ticket Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Thursday, 5/19/2016

Time: 9:53 AM

Location: City of Salinas

New 'Coast to Coast” Seat Belt Enforcement Effort Aims to Increase Click It or Ticket Participation, Save Lives

Salinas CA – From May 23 to June 5, 2016, local law enforcement personnel will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This education enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. In California, more than a half million people travel our roadways at grave risk without proper restraints. These facts gravely highlight the need for increased education, awareness and enforcement of seat belt use.

This year, NHTSA is aiming to increase campaign participation even more by coordinating a 'Coast to Coast” seat belt education and enforcement effort with the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement around the I-10, I-40, I-70 and I-80 corridors. Additionally, law enforcement agencies statewide are joining the Click It or Ticket effort to emphasize the 'Coast to Coast” seat belt safety awareness campaign in all 50 states.

'Throughout the nation the principal job of law enforcement is to protect its citizens,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'One of the best ways we can protect people is to make sure they are buckling up. We see the deadly and often gruesome results that come from those who fail to wear their seat belt. I've seen people walk away uninjured from some pretty gnarly crashes because they were buckled up. If you want to survive a crash and minimize any injuries, take a second to buckle up before driving away.”

In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes nationally were unrestrained, according to NHTSA. During the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 57 percent of those killed. Law enforcement agencies will write citations day and night, with a zero-tolerance approach. 'Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, as well as throughout the summer vacation season. We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Gang Memebers in Possession of Firearm in Vehicle

Release Date/Time: 5/13/2016 9:47 PM

Incident: Gang Memebers in Possession of Firearm in Vehicle

Report #: 16 05 0707

Date: Friday, 5/13/2016

Time: 5:27 PM

Location: Euclalyptus/ Circle

An officer made an enforcement stop on a vehicle occupied by two adult men and a teenager. The officer conducted a search of the vehicle and the occupants. The search revealed a loaded semi-automatic pistol under the driver seat, a loaded revolver under the passenger seat, an additional loaded magazine, ski mask, and drug paraphernalia. The two adults, 20-year-old Miguel Fletes, and 21-year-old Felix Regalado, were booked into Monterey County Jail on multiple charges including: Gang Member in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Concealed Firearm in a Vehicle, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The 16-year-old teenager was released to a parent.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Update to Double Homicide

On May 11, 2016, at approximately 11:30 pm, Salinas Police officers were dispatched to the 800 block of La Cuesta Ct. on the report of a shooting. While officers were enroute to the shooting, the call was upgraded to a shooting with two victims injured. When officers arrived they found two males suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Medical personnel pronounced the two men deceased at the scene.

Victim one was 41-year-old Brian Yoder and victim two was 32-year-old Daniel Ramirez Jr.

These two victims are the 14th and 15th homicides in the City of Salinas this year. If you have any information regarding this shooting, please contact Detective Cameron Murphy at (831) 758-7322 or the Investigations Bureau at (831) 758-7226.

Theft by False Pretense-Scam Warning

Release Date/Time: 5/13/2016 1:18 PM

Incident: Theft by False Pretense-Scam Warning

Report #: 16-050598

Date: Wednesday, 5/11/2016

Time: 3:35 PM

Location: Kilbreth St / Del Monte Ave

Salinas Police are warning of a scam and asking the public's help in identifying this suspect. On 5/11/16, a 21-year old Salinas man saw a sign at the corner of Kilbreth St and Del Monte Ave advertising a house for rent. There was no address on the sign, just a phone number. The victim called the number from the sign and was given an address of a home in the 800 block of  Kilbreth St. He was told the home was available to rent and invited to inspect the home. Garcia drove past and saw that the house was being renovated and looked very nice. He called the suspect back and they met at a restaurant in North Salinas. The victim signed a rental agreement and gave the suspect a large cash deposit. The victim was given house keys and a garage door opener. The victim went to the house and discovered the keys and garage door opener did not work. While there, the true owner arrived and said the house was not for rent. The phone number from the sign has been disconnected and the victim did not have identifying info on the suspect. Officers are following up on leads and believe this case can be solved with the help of the public. The suspect vehicle is a white, newer model Ford Expedition. The suspect is a Hispanic male in his 30's, 5'-10", thin with green eyes and clean shaven.

Release Authorized by: Sheldon Bryan, Commander

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Update - Arrest - Armed Robbery with Firearm

Release Date/Time: 5/13/2016 1:13 PM

Incident: Arrest - Armed Robbery with Firearm

Report #: 16-050616

Date: Friday, 5/13/2016

Time: 3:30 AM

Location: Monterey County Jail

On 5/12/16, officers investigated an armed robbery of the 7-11 store at 619 S. Main St. At the time there was no lead on the suspect. Later that day CHP arrested Mario Valencia, 23, for two DUI collisions on River Rd. The arrest made the news media and the clerk from the 7-11 saw & recognized Valencia as the robber from the night before. Salinas police followed up on the case and showed a photo lineup to the clerk. Valencia was positively ID'ed. Valencia was still in custody at the Monterey County Jail. Officers went to the jail and booked Valencia on the new robbery charges.

Release Authorized by: Sheldon Bryan, Commander

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Armed Robbery - Business

Release Date/Time: 5/12/2016 10:14 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery - Business

Report #: 16-050660

Date: Thursday, 5/12/2016

Time: 6:15 PM

Location: Factory 2 U - 1022 East Alisal Street

An unidentified Hispanic Male Adult suspect, 30's, 5-8/185, dark blue t-shirt, black jeans and white tennis shoes entered the store wearing gray colored latex gloves holding a sickle knife. He immediately walked up behind the female clerk, threatened her and demanded all of the money from the register. The suspect obtained an unknown amount of money from the register and fled the store on foot. He dropped some of the money as he ran out. A customer from inside of the store chased after the suspect. The suspect threatened the customer.  The suspect ran toward a cab but the driver refused to let him in because he was holding a knife. The suspect ran across to the Mi Pueblo parking lot where he tried to get into a couple of occupied vehicles. The suspect was last seen on foot towards East Alisal Street and Felice Street.  If you know the suspect and are able to identify him contact Officer Gerry Magana at 831-775-4201 ext. 6225 or email him:  [email protected] or the non-emergency number 831-758-7321.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

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Question of the Day

Can I drink alcohol while walking down a City street in Salinas?

No, it is illegal to drink any beverage that contains alcohol while on public property. The Salinas Municipal Code Section (21-2)  states that, "No person shall drink any beer, wine or other intoxicating beverage on any public street, sidewalk, alley, highway, plaza parkway, parking lot, airport terminal, or bus or train depot in the City...

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