Press Releases

Injury Traffic Collision

Release Date/Time: 5/7/2015 12:22 PM

Incident: Injury Traffic Collision

Report #: 15050315

Date: Wednesday, 5/6/2015

Time: 4:13 PM

Location: Boronda/ N Main

Yolanda Villicana (49) was driving her Range Rover northbound on North Main Street approaching Boronda Road. Due to road construction, the left turn lanes were blocked off and a sign was posted prohibiting a left turn. A 66-year-old motorcyclist was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on N. Main Street.  He had a green light and rode into the intersection just as Villicana made the prohibited left turn in front of him causing him to impact the front, right side of her car. The motorcyclist was transported to the Natividad Medical Center Trauma Unit with life threatening injuries. Among other injuries he had a broken femur that damaged an artery, a ruptured spleen, a broken arm, and a possible concussion. At last update he is currently in the hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive.

The collision is still under investigation by the Salinas PD Traffic Unit.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7975

Burglary and Check Fraud

Release Date/Time: 5/6/2015 3:24 PM

Incident:  Burglary and Check Fraud

Date: Wednesday, 5/6/2015

Time: 3:24 PM

Location:  JC Penny (Northridge Mall)

The pictured couple have entered JC Penny at Northridge Mall several times over the last few months and attempted to pass fraudulent checks.  The Salinas Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying the couple.  The female suspect appears to be a light complected Hispanicfemale, possibly in her thirties, medium build with long black hair.  The male suspect appears to be Hispanic, possibly in his thirties or forties, with a large build, a mustache and close cropped black hair.  He also wears black framed prescription glasses.  Anyone recognizing the couple is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected] or the tip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Burglary, Theft, Possession of Counterfeit Bills Suspect

Release Date/Time: 5/5/2015 4:21 PM

Incident:  Burglary, Theft, Possession of Counterfeit Bills

Date: Tuesday, 5/5/2015

Time: 4:21 PM

Location:  7-11 (619 S. Main Street)

The Salinas Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying the pictured suspect who entered the 7-11 on S. Main and passed several counterfeit $20 and $10 bills.  He is described as a wite or Hispanic male adult in his late twenties or thirties.  He has a goatee and several tattoos on his left forearm.  He was wearing a black ballcap with a red brim and multi-colored patch on the front, a black shirt and silver chain with a large cross.  Anyone recognizing the suspect is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected] or the tip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Violation of Parole, Vehicle Pursuit, & Possession of Burglary Tools

Patrol officers responded to a disturbance with Ruben Pimental (22) in North Salinas. Pimental, who was a wanted parolee, fled in a van prior to officers arriving on scene. Because of the long standing partnership with Parole and the Violence Suppression Unit, Parole Officer Vigil and VSU Officer Juan Cruz Gonzalez were searching for Pimental. Officers observed Pimentel run from the apartment and get into the van. Pimental left the area and a traffic stop was conducted. Pimentel accelerated and a short pursuit began however Officer Cruz-Gonzalez was able stop the van using the pursuit intervention technique (PIT). Pimentel was taken into custody without further incident.

Burglary, ID Theft Suspect

Release Date/Time: 5/5/2015 4:05 PM

Incident:  Burglary, ID Theft

Date: Tuesday, 5/5/2015

Time: 4:05 PM

Location:  Sears (Northridge Center)

The Salinas Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying the pictured suspect who atempted to purchase items at Sears using another person's credit account and identification.  The clerk did not accept the purchase because the suspect could not provide matching personal information related to the charge account.  Even after being denied, the suspect attempted to leave the store with the merchandise but put the items down when he saw store employees waiting for him at the door.  The suspect appears to be a white male adult, possibly in his thirties.  He is unshaven with dark close cropped hair wearing a white t-shirt and black jacket.  Anyone recognizing the suspect is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected] or the tip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Motorcycle Safety Month

Release Date/Time: 5/5/2015 11:50 AM

Incident: Motorcycle Safety Month

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 5/5/2015

Time: 11:49 AM

Location: Salinas


'Share the Road' Campaign Aims to Increase Motorcycle Safety Awareness for All Road Users

As motorcycle fatalities and injuries have increased in California, the law enforcement and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) have stepped up their efforts to promote safety and education, highlighted by Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May. Nationwide, motorcyclists made up 14 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, up from about 9 percent in 2004. This was despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. The fatality rate per miles traveled for motorcyclists is 16 times that of vehicle occupants. In 2013, California's motorcycle collisions resulted in 475 fatalities and 13,143 injured victims. In 2012, 467 people were killed and 12,617 were injured.

'We have the best weather in the nation in California this time of year. The weather conditions are perfect to enjoy a motorcycle ride and we see more and more motorcycles on the road, which is why May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'But there has been an increase in motorcycle crashes and with that, more injuries and deaths. We all have a responsibility to see that motorcycle riders survive the ride.”

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – and throughout the year – all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. That message is most important in California, which is home to more than 830,000 registered motorcycles – the most of any state – and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders.

The Salinas Police Department Traffic Unit and Patrol Officers will be spending more time patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.

'Californians increasingly get around by means other than cars and trucks. More are bicycling, walking, taking mass transit and motorcycling,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'That also means that everyone needs to be extra cautious and looking out for everyone else, no matter what their means of transportation.”

The California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) trains approximately 65,000 motorcyclists every year. As of July 2014, nearly 945,000 motorcycle riders have received training at one of the authorized CMSP training sites since the program began in 1987. For more information or to find a training site near you, go to

Salinas PD offers tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

Driver's safety reminders:

-Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist

-Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic

-If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten

-Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding

-Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections -Lane Sharing is not illegal in California

-Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

-Never drive distracted or impaired

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:

-Wear the proper safety gear at all times, including a DOT-compliant helmet

-Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed

-Slow down. Excessive speed is the most common rider-related factor in motorcycle related crashes

-Follow at a safe distance – three to four seconds -Ride within your own limits – don't be a victim of peer pressure

-Use turn signals at every lane change or turn and don't forget to turn them off.

-Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.

-Never ride distracted or impaired

-Ride defensively - assume other drivers don't see you

'By following these basic safety rules, we can all prevent crashes,” concluded Sergeant Ross. 'Everyone needs to share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.”

For more information on motorcycle safety,

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Cinco de Mayo Avoid DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 5/4/2015 9:31 AM

Incident: Cinco de Mayo Avoid DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Monday, 5/4/2015

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Cinco de Mayo: Fiesta Time or Jail Time? Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo – like St. Patrick's Day – is for many people an occasion for having a good time with alcohol. Do you plan to join the fiesta on May 5th? The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force has planned special DUI Saturations Patrols to deploy in several cities within Monterey and San Benito counties looking to identify and stop suspected drunk drivers. Additionally, every traffic and patrol officer assigned to duty will be on heightened alert to prevent a senseless tragedy due to alcohol or drugs.

The unfortunate truth is this: many people might be making party plans for Cinco de Mayo, but they aren't planning ahead for getting home. Only 64 percent of the drivers in fatal crashes on Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2013 had no alcohol in their systems. What about the other 36 percent? They were driving after drinking. Too many people are lying to themselves about the dangers of drinking and driving. Some fiesta-goers think that they can play it by ear, and wait until after they drink to decide whether they're 'okay to drive.” By then, it's too late. 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. Mixing medication or drugs - legal or illegal - is a dangerous cocktail. Specially trained drug recognition experts will be checking for drug impairment whenever suspected.

If you don't designate a sober driver ahead of time or have a solid plan for how you'll get home safely, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive drunk, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. Even if you don't harm anyone, the average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn't you rather pay for a taxi?

'Our main goal is to save lives,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'Many people think it's OK to drink until they start to feel the effects and then get behind the wheel. This is not OK. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.” Cinco de Mayo can be a fun and festive time for those who choose to celebrate the right way: with a plan for a sober ride. If you make your plans when you're sober, you won't make a bad decision when you're drunk.

As you make your Cinco de Mayo plans, the California Office of Traffic Safety is offering a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants. And for those without a DD - make a sober ride home your priority; the new SaferRide app from NHTSA makes it easier than ever. A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100 percent preventable.

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The next county wide DUI task force deployment will be for the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, May 23rd - 26th. Remember, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Don't do it.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Salinas Police to observe Denim Day April 29 in support of the Rape Crisis Center

Release Date/Time: 4/27/2015 5:30 PM

Incident: Salinas Police to observe Denim Day April 29 in support of the Rape Crisis Center

Date: Monday, 4/27/2015

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Salinas, CA

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO

Telephone: (831) 998-3000

Salinas Police officers and staff are being invited to wear denim jeans on Wednesday, April 29, in support of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center and its observance of Denim Day.

Denim Day was established as a global response to the blaming of rape victims for their assaults, following a 1999 Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a 1992 rape conviction because the victim had been wearing tight jeans. The day after that decision, female members of the Italian Parliament wore jeans in protest. Members of the California Senate and Assembly showed their support, and the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (Now Peace Over Violence) established Denim Day as a widely observed annual event.

Salinas Police Department employees who plan to wear jeans on Wednesday have been asked to explain the significance of the choice to anyone who asks about it.

At the Denim Day website, organizers provide resources and information, including corrections to common misconceptions about rape, such as "Women ask to be raped because of the way they dress or act:"

This attitude holds survivors of sexual assault accountable for the violence perpetrated against them. No one asks or deserves to be raped. Rape does not happen in response to provocative clothing or behavior, rape happens because the perpetrator decides that his desires are more important than the victim's right to self determination. A life free from sexual violence is a basic human right that should be accorded to all members of our society.

More information about Denim Day is available at

More information about the Monterey County rape Crisis Center is at

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 4/26/2015 9:29 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Date: Sunday, 4/26/2015

Time: 4:25 PM

Location: 1425 N Davis Rd (Jo-Ann's Fabrics)

A white male adult 35-45 years old wearing a green University of Hawaii sweatshirt (green with a  large "H" on the front) entered Jo-Ann's Fabrics on Davis Rd.  After grabbing a few small items he went to the clerk and brandished a semi auto handgun, demanding money.  After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, he fled the business in an unknown direction.  Anyone having information about the suspect is urged to call the Salinas Police Department at 758-7250 or the anonymous crime tip line at 775-4222. 


Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Commander

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Super Bowl DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 1/27/2015 2:57 PM

Incident: Super Bowl DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 1/27/2015

Time: 2:54 PM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

The Super Bowl is America's most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That's why the California Office of Traffic Safety and police, Sheriffs, the CHP are urging football fans to choose sides now: drinking OR driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

The Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. The ‘Avoid the 20 – Monterey and San Benito Counties DUI Task Force' will be deploying Roving DUI Saturation Patrols during and following Sunday's Super Bowl matchup. Officers will deploy into communities where collision data reveals high incidents of DUI crashes and arrests.

According to data from NHTSA, in 2013 there were 867 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in California –29 percent of all crash fatalities in the state. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, the legal limit. This February 1, don't become another tragic Super Bowl stat. 'Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross with the Salinas Police Department. 'All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it's a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both. This might be the most important choice you ever make.”

For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it's a friend, relative, taxi, or public transportation. For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.

Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reminds everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers! Call 9-1-1.' OTS is offering a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants. Available for iPhone and Android. Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink. Stay connected with OTS via:,!/OTS_CA,

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


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