Press Releases

Court Sting Operation

Release Date/Time: 3/16/2016 12:50 PM

Incident: Court Sting Operation

Report #: Several

Date: Wednesday, 3/16/2016

Time: 11:22 AM

Location: 240 Church Street

Today the Salinas Police Department conducted a court sting operation at the Monterey County Courthouse at 240 Church Street between the hours of 8 am through 12 pm. Undercover officers stationed themselves inside the courtroom as the court conducted arraignments. Several of the defendants were told by the judge that they could not drive until licensed and insured.

Officers would follow the defendants outside the courtroom. Most of the defendants made the right decision and either had someone else drive them home or walked from the courthouse. However, eight of the defendants, got into a car and drove away.

The undercover officers then gave a description and location to marked patrol units who would conduct traffic stops on the cars as the defendants drove from the courthouse. All eight of these drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license (a misdemeanor) and their cars were towed and impounded for 30 days. "A person's driving privilege can be suspended for many reasons," said Sergeant Gerry Ross. "It could be for a DUI arrest, driving recklessly, or for getting too many tickets, among other things. But we do know that suspended and unlicensed drivers cause a much higher percentage of injury traffic collisions than do licensed drivers."

Funding for this operation was provided 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

Lewd Act Upon a Child

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, at approximately 6:30 pm, officers responded to the area of Woodside Drive and Greenwood Place on the report of a suspicious vehicle. When officers arrived they contacted a man and young girl inside the vehicle. The male, identified as Adolfo Castillo, age 23, was engaged in inappropriate conduct with a female minor. Castillo was arrested and taken to the Salinas Police Department. The investigation revealed Castillo is an assistant Junior Varsity wrestling coach at Salinas High School and a volunteer wrestling coach at Washington Middle School.

The Salinas Union High School District and both schools have been notified and are assisting with the investigation.  The Salinas Police Department Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information regarding past or present suspicious conduct by Castillo to contact Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or email him at [email protected]. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME, or text information to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411".

St. Patrick's Day DUI patrols

Release Date/Time: 3/14/2016 10:02 AM

Incident: St. Patrick's Day DUI patrols

Report #: N/A

Date: Monday, 3/14/2016

Time: 9:09 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Keep the streets safe this St. Patrick's Day! Don't drink and drive.

As one of the country's most popular holidays, St. Patrick's Day has long celebrated the roots of 34.2 million Americans with Irish ancestry, and many more who just want to partake in the festivities. This year, if you'll be drinking alcohol, remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. Tragically, March 17 has become one of the nation's deadliest holidays. In fact, from 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 limit, with 266 drunk-driving fatalities total nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To help lower deaths and injuries, The Avoid the 20 of Monterey and San Benito Counties DUI Task Force will be deploying extra officers on overtime targeting problem areas with high numbers of DUI collisions and DUI arrests. These DUI patrols along with routine nightly patrols will be looking for the tell-tale signs of impaired driving to include weaving, crossing the center line, etc. And keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink: Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. So whether you've indulged a little or a lot, law enforcements wants to remind everyone to drink and drive is a crime —you put yourself at risk, as well as others. The consequences are often fatal.

Let's make 2016 safer. Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick's Day.

• PARTY PREPARATION: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. Find the name of a taxi company (or two), and keep their numbers in your phone, or download the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched in 20014, the DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to 'Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a 'List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.

• ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you're the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and tweet your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver.

• EVERY DAY: First, commit to driving sober today, St. Patrick's Day, and every day. Second, always keep the number of a taxi company in your phone or in your wallet so you have a backup plan if you find yourself in need of a sober driver. Last, if you're impaired, don't let pride get in the way of calling a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Help spread the word about the dangers of drunk or buzzed driving, and the resources available to keep the streets safe.

• 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 the impairment affects. Remember, driving after drinking or impaired by drugs should never be an option. The Avoid DUI Task Force holiday enforcement campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Next DUI campaign is set for Cinco de Mayo.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Homicide

On March 13, 2016, at approximately 11:14 pm, officers responded to the 1000 block of Ramona Ave. for victims of shooting. Upon arrival they found two victims suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. One 21-year-old victim, seated in a vehicle, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Another 18-year-old victim was located in the area and he was transported to Natividad Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.

A witness described a dark SUV had pulled up next to the victim vehicle before the suspect began shooting.  The vehicle continued south on Ramona Ave and turned East on Pacheco St. 

One of the victims has had gang contacts with the Salinas Police Department and this is being investigated as gang related.   This is the 6th and 7th Homicide of the year. We are withholding the name of the victim until the family has been notified. If anyone has information regarding this homicide, they are asked to contact Detective McKinley at (831) 758-7145 or Detective Sivertson at (831) 758-7124. 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".

Vehicle Pursuit - Felony DUI - Gang Case

Release Date/Time: 3/12/2016 12:48 AM

Incident: Vehicle Pursuit - Felony DUI - Gang Case

Report #: 16-03-0540

Date: Friday, 3/11/2016

Time: 9:21 PM

Location: Kern St / E. Market St.

A 26-year-old man, was driving on Kern St. when he was cut off by a Black Camaro and blew his horn. The Camaro began tailgating him as he drove to the dead end of Kern Street. The man pulled into the reception area of the Holiday Inn hoping the occupants of the Camaro would move on, but they remained in the dead end and began "spinning donuts" in an attempt to intimidate him. The Camaro eventually moved on and the man drove southbound on Kern. As he reached the McDonald the Camaro pulled out in front of him and blocked his path. The occupant exited the vehicle and approached his vehicle yelling and throwing gang signs. The man backed up and drove around them, called 911, and pulled into the Arco gas station. A nearby officer arrived on scene and attempted an enforcement stop on the suspect vehicle. The Camaro took off at a high rate of speed spinning its tires and drove southbound on Kern. The Camaro passed two cars on Kern and tried to make the left turn on to Market and lost control careening into the Shell gas station striking the concrete center pillar resulting is severe damage to the vehicle and airbag deployment. Three of the occupants fled on foot, the driver, Ramon Nunez (25), was taken into custody after having to be tased. The front passenger, a 17-year-old male, and rear passenger Jesus Lopez (18), also fled on foot but were captured shortly thereafter. The fourth occupant, Ivan Alcala (19), remained in the vehicle.

The driver, Nunez, was cited for felony DUI as a result of injuries sustained by one of his passengers, and was booked in County Jail with additional charges including evading arrest, challenging to fight, and gang enhancements. The remaining three were issued citations pending court appearance for charges including resisting arrest, challenging to fight, and gang enhancements.

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

Hit and Run/ Power Outage

Release Date/Time: 3/11/2016 12:08 AM

Incident: Hit and Run/ Power Outage

Report #: 16 03 0497

Date: Thursday, 3/10/2016

Time: 8:59 PM

Location: N. Sanborn Rd/ Circle Dr.

A solo vehicle collision resulted in the loss of power to approximately 1,200 customers in East Salinas. A 29-year-old male lost control of his vehicle and collided with a power pole near N. Sanborn Road and Circle Drive. The driver fled on foot from the scene of the collision but was located by officers a few hours later and admitted he was the driver. The case was submitted to the DA's Office for review for prosecution of hit and run.

 

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Possession of Assault Weapon by Felon

Release Date/Time: 3/9/2016 1:41 PM

Incident: Possession of Assault Weapon by Felon

Report #: 16-030379

Date: Tuesday, 3/8/2016

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: 1700 block of 1st Ave

A Salinas Police Department patrol officer received information that Ramon Berlanga (40) was building AR-15 rifles and altering them into full-auto capability. The officer authored a search warrant and a team of SPD officers served the warrant. Berlanga was detained along with his parents.  One AR-15 was located along with over 600 rounds of .223 caliber rifle ammo and different types of gun power. Berlanga was lodged at Monterery County Jail for a variety of felony charges including felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The firearm is being inspected to determine if it is fully automatic and additional charges could be filed if found to be true.

Release Authorized by: Commander S. Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Stolen Vehicle Pursuit/ Resisting Arrest

Release Date/Time: 3/9/2016 12:44 AM

Incident: Stolen Vehicle Pursuit/ Resisting Arrest

Report #: 16-03 0380

Date: Wednesday, 3/9/2016

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: Murphy Street/ Romie Lane/ Los Palos Drive

Officers located an occupied stolen vehicle in the area of Murphy Street and when they attempted to stop the vehicle a short vehicle pursuit ensued. The suspect, 48-year-old Luis Perez, lost control of the vehicle in the area of E. Romie Lane and Los Palos Drive. Perez deliberately rammed one of the officers' police vehicles and when he realized his vehicle would no longer function he fled on foot. The officers chased Perez on foot and he was arrested after a struggle. One officer was injured as a result of the struggle; he was treated at a local hospital and was released.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Stabbing/ Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 3/8/2016 11:59 PM

Incident: Stabbing/ Attempted Murder

Report #: 16 03 0385

Date: Tuesday, 3/8/2016

Time: 8:47 PM

Location: Chinatown - Bridge St. / Market Way

A 31-year-old male was stabbed during a fight near the area of Bridge Street and E. Market way. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male adult, approximately 6 feet, thin build, wearing dark clothing. The suspect fled in an unknown direction. The victim was transported to an area hospital and is being treated for potentially life threating injuries.

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

Robbery

Release Date/Time: 3/8/2016 12:59 AM

Incident: Robbery

Report #: 16 03 0331

Date: Tuesday, 3/8/2016

Time: 09:01 PM

Location: 1100 Block of N. Main St

A business on the 1100 block of N. Main Street was robbed at gun point last night. Two store clerks were present, one of which hid in the bathroom during the robbery. The lone suspect was armed with a handgun and stole an undisclosed amount of money, and ran out of the business in an unknown direction.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male adult in in his mid 20's, thin build, wearing dark clothing, a ski type mask, and armed with a 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

Pages

Question of the Day

What should I do if I see a strange person or car loitering in my neighborhood?
 
Having residents report strange, suspicious or out of place activity their neighborhoods is essential to locating identifying and stopping criminal activity. There may be a reasonable and legal explanation for the person's presence and actions. However, if the person's actions are enough to raise your suspicion there is probably a good reason to take further action.

There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by...

Our Latest News via Twitter