Press Releases

Distracted Driving Month

Release Date/Time: 3/30/2015 1:13 PM

Incident: Distracted Driving Month

Report #: N/A

Date: Monday, 3/30/2015

Time: 12:13 AM

Location: City of Salinas

Silence the Distractions. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – 'It's Not Worth It!” 

To save lives and educate all Californians, especially young drivers, about the dangers of distracted driving, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), California Highway Patrol (CHP), Impact Teen Drivers, and more than 200 law enforcement agencies statewide are working together on increased education and enforcement efforts for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April and California Teen Safe Driving Week, the first week of April.

'Any distraction can cause a driver to lose control of the two ton machine they are driving. Driving takes your full attention. It only takes an instant to lose control and send your car careening toward deadly, dangerous consequences,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'The average time it takes to check a text message is about 5 seconds. At 60 mph your car will travel more than the length of a football field. This is like driving blindfolded for 5 seconds. The results can be devastating to those involved in the collision as well as their families.”

Throughout the month of April, Police, Sheriff and the CHP will focus on educating the public about the dangers of driving distracted through local media interviews, visits to schools, and traffic safety presentations. In addition, two dates, April 1 and April 15, have been earmarked for special statewide high visibility enforcement days for all law enforcement agencies that are participating in the national traffic safety campaign. The urge to read and answer an incoming message when we hear the text sound can be almost overwhelming. The Office of Traffic Safety is using a message of 'Silence the Distraction” in new public service announcements aimed at getting drivers to turn off their phones while driving so they won't be tempted.

'No text, call, or social media update is worth a crash,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'With an average of less than a second to react to an urgent situation, drivers need to have all their attention on the roadway.” While distracted driving can take on many forms and affects all road users, young drivers are at a greater risk.

During 'California Teen Safe Driving Week,” April1-7, Impact Teen Drivers will focus on educating teens that their number one killer – reckless and distracted driving – is 100% preventable. 'People are realizing that everyday behaviors, such as texting or reaching for a dropped item, can be lethal when done behind the wheel,” Kelly Browning, Ph.D., Executive Director of Impact Teen Drivers, said. 'Each of us must drive responsibly, keeping full attention to the task at hand - DRIVING. If you have teenagers in your family who are driving, make sure they understand the laws and what their responsibilities are as well,” Sergeant Ross added. 'The collective goal with this month-long campaign is to change the behavior of all drivers. That change begins with education.”

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Fatal Traffic Collision

Release Date/Time: 3/26/2015 4:44 PM

Incident: Fatal Traffic Collision

Report #: 15-031369

Date: Thursday, 3/26/2015

Time: 2:08 PM

Location: Shell Station, Kern St and E. Market Street.

Anthony Martinez was driving a service truck for Lamar Brothers eastbount in the #2 lane of E. Market Street. The 32-year-old male victim was riding his bicycle eastbound on the south sidewalk of East Market. They were side by side when they first started to cross Kern Street but Martinez began to pull slightly ahead of the bicyclist. Martinez then turned into the Shell gas station directly in front of victim. The bicycle struck the side of the truck and the victim fell to the pavement where he apparently was run over by the rear tires of the truck. This caused severe internal injuries to his torso. Fire paramedics began doing CPR on scene. The victim was transported to Natividad Medical Center where he died of his injuries. The victim's name is being kept confidential pending notification of the family. This was the first fatal traffic collision of the year.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Stolen Vehicle & Possession of Drugs Arrest

Release Date/Time: 3/21/2015 11:05 PM

Incident: Stolen Vehicle & Possession of Drugs Arrest

Report #: 15-031337

Date: Saturday, 3/21/2015

Time: 4:08 PM

Location: Del Monte Ave. & Williams Rd.

An officer stopped a 2015 Nissan Versa at Del Monte Ave. & Williams Rd. for a registration check since it did not have plates or a temporary registration on the windshield. He ran the Vehicle Identification Number and discovered it had been reported stolen. Juan Cordova, 28, was taken into custody. He was in possession of a small quantity of meth, meth pipes, and had a shaved key in the ignition. Cordova was also on probation for a vehicle theft he was convicted of two months ago.  He was booked into the Monterey County Jail on several charges.  


Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder - Shooting

Release Date/Time: 3/21/2015 1:00 AM

Incident: Attempted Murder - Shooting

Report #: 15-031069

Date: Friday, 3/20/2015

Time: 10:16 PM

Location: Del Monte Ave. & Elkington Ave.

An eighteen year old male was walking to a friend's house when he noticed an occupied vehicle parked on Elkington Ave. near Del Monte Ave. The occupants approached him and asked if he was involved in gangs.  The victim denied gang membership, however, was not successful in convincing the two individuals.  One of them pulled out a handgun and fired at him from a few short feet away.  The round struck the victim in the chin, and he managed to flee while avoiding being struck by the additional rounds fired in his direction.  He arrived at the hospital by private vehicle for treatment for his non-life threatening injuries.  The suspects were described as two thin Hispanic males in black hoodies.  They were approximately 5'8" to 5'9" tall and their vehicle was only described as dark in appearance.  Considering the close proximity between the parties when the shooting occurred, the victim is extremely fortunate to only have sustained the injury he did.  There is nothing further at this time.

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Armed Robbery Business - Update to previous press release - photographs

In a previous press release dated 3-13-15 Commander Gomez reported:  A male suspect entered the Factory 2U at 1506 N. Main St. He brought some items to the cashier and put them on the counter, leading the cashier to believe he was going to purchase them.  As the items were being prepared for sale, the suspect lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun. He forced the cashier to hand over an undisclosed amount of money and fled out the front door.  The suspect was described as a white male, 30 years old, wearing a black hoodie and black Dickies shorts. He was about 5'11" tall and weighed 220 lbs. He was last seen fleeing the area in a white Toyota Camry.  ***Photographs of the suspect have been added to this press release***  If you recognized the suspect you are asked to call the following numbers:   831-758-7321 (non-emergency) or 831-758-7250.  If you would like to remain anonymous, you can also call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222 or the We-TipLine at 1-800-78-CRIME.



Credit Card Fraud and Burglary

Release Date/Time: 3/17/2015 2:40 PM

Incident:  Credit card fraud and Burglary

Date: Tuesday, 3/17/2015

Time: 2:40 PM

Location:  Shel Station/ N. Main St. and San Juan Grade Rd.

The pictured supect entered the Shell Station and used a stolen credit card to make a purchase. The Salinas Police Department is asking for assistance from the community in identifying the suspect.  He is a light complected, clean shaven male wearing a black ballcap and black jacket.  Anyone with information about the identity of the susepct is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected]

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Homicide/Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 3/14/2015 3:03 AM

Incident: Homicide/Attempted Homicide

Report #: 15-030692

Date: Saturday, 3/14/2015

Time: 12:17 AM

Location: F/O 1140 Pacific Ave.

Officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired and man down. When they arrived, they found the twenty four year old male victim with multiple gunshot wounds. He was deceased.  A second victim was found hiding about thirty minutes later as officers were canvassing the area.  They found the twenty one year old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the head,  He was taken to Natividad Medical Center where he was treated and released.  Both victims are known sureno gang members and it is believed the motivation for the shooting is gang related.  The victim's names are not being released at this time.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Gansen at 758-7137 or Detective Zuniga at 758-7929. 

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7i28

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 3/13/2015 7:20 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 15-030635

Date: Thursday, 3/12/2015

Time: 7:27 pm

Location: 1506 N. Main St. - Factory 2U

A male suspect entered the Factory 2U at 1506 N. Main St. He brought some items to the cashier and put them on the counter, leading the cashier to believe he was going to purchase them.  As the items were being prepared for sale, the suspect lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun. He forced the cashier to hand over an undisclosed amount of money and fled out the front door.  The suspect was described as a white male, 30 years old, wearing a black hoodie and black Dickies shorts. He was about 5'11" tall and weighed 220 lbs. He was last seen fleeing the area in a white Toyota Camry.

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Bail Bond Scam

The Salinas Police Department received information from a concerned citizen regarding an attempt to scam them out of $3,000.00.  The citizen received a telephone call from an individual claiming to be a representative from a bail bond company.  The purported bail bondsman told the citizen their grandson had been arrested and that the citizen needed to obtain 6 separate "Re-load It" cards for $500.00 each to guarantee his release from jail.  Re-load It cards are loaded with cash that can be easily transferred if the access PIN numbers are provided.  They were told to keep the information secret because of the embarrassment related to the arrest.  The citizen who called actually obtained the cards but before they revealed the PIN numbers they called family to determine if the individual had actually been arrested.  Of course he had not.  The Salinas Police Department recommends that you DO NOT ever use pre-paid cash cards or similar to pay a debt or to bail anyone out of jail.  These scams are successful because people continue to provide them with cash cards that cannot be traced.  If you have any questions before you decide to send someone that you do not know a cash card please call your local police department.

Department of Justice's COPS Office Begins Collaborative Reform Process in Salinas

Release Date/Time: 3/12/2015 4:38 PM

Incident: Department of Justice's COPS Office Begins Collaborative Reform Process in Salinas

Date: Thursday, 3/12/2015

Time: 4:38 PM

Location: Sherwood Hall, Salinas

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley

Telephone: (831) 998-3000

The US Department of Justice today announced details of support it will provide for strengthening community policing in Salinas, in response to a request from Chief Kelly McMillin. The support will come through the Collaborative Reform Initiative-Technical Assistance program of the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS Office).

According to a COPS Office press release:

"The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced today the start of the Collaborative Reform Initiative process with the Salinas Police Department. The chief goal of the review with the police department will be to improve and sustain the responsiveness and accountability to the community taking into account national standards, best practices, existing research and community expectations.

"'The collaborative reform initiative work we begin today is just that – a collaboration,' said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. 'It is important to note this is a voluntary assessment that the police department has entered into willingly and the department's cooperation is critical to its success. I am confident Chief McMillin, the entire police department, and the community will be full partners in this collaborative work.'"

More details are in a press release from the COPS Office at



Question of the Day

What can I do if there is a loud party in my neighborhood?

If someone is having a loud party in your neighborhood you may call the Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop or be turned down to a tolerable level.

Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed. If you...

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