Press Releases

Homicide

On April 4, 2016, at approximately 9:40 pm, several people called 911 reporting a shooting, with a victim down, in the 800 blk of Garner Ave. When officers arrived they found 16-year-old Jose Luis Valdez, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Medical attention was provided by bystanders and officers until medical personnel arrived. Valdez was taken by ambulance to Natividad Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.

The apartment complex located at 850 Garner Ave. was struck several times by gunfire. One of the rounds went through an exterior wall into an occupied apartment. One of the bullets traveled into the apartment, through a couch, a pillow and struck a 12-year-old boy in the hand. The bullet caused a minor wound that was treated by medical personnel at the scene. His wound did not necessitate any further medical attention.

Another bullet struck a water main for the apartment complex causing one apartment to flood, resulting in minor damage. At least one other apartment was struck with the bullets traveling into the interior causing minor damage.

The initial investigation found that Valdez had recently left a residence nearby and was walking to meet a friend or two. For unknown reasons, Valdez was confronted by at least two persons with handguns. They fired several rounds, striking the apartments and killing Valdez as he tried to run to safety from the suspects. It is not known if the suspects fled on foot or in a vehicle.

This homicide is the 9th homicide this year and is being investigated as gang related. If anyone has information regarding this homicide, they are asked to contact Detective Sivertson at (831) 758-7132 or Detective Gibson at (831) 758-7442. 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".

Doorstep Package Delivery Theft.

Release Date/Time: 4/2/2016 10:42 PM

Incident: Doorstep Package Delivery Theft.

Report #: 16 04 0094/ 16 04 0057

Date: Saturday, 4/2/2016

Time: 4:13 PM

Location: 600 Block of W. Acacia / Cedros Street/ John St.

Social media and community involvement help in the capture of two suspected thieves.

On 04/01/16, a package was stolen from the front doorstep of a residence located on the 600 block of W. Acacia Street. The homeowner provided officers with some good photographs from surveillance video of the suspect female and her vehicle. The images were placed on the SPD social media with a request for help in identifying the suspect. Within an hour Jennifer Padgett (38), was identified by an AKA by at least two people as the suspect in the photo. While this was going on, an officer observed a truck matching the suspect vehicle description at a gas station on John Street. Padgett was contacted in the vehicle along with parolee Billy Davis (27). A search of the vehicle revealed a small amount of methamphetamine, heroin, drug paraphernalia, and property from the Acacia Street theft. Padgett was wearing the same clothes as seen on the surveillance photos, and was clearly the person pictured. While the stop was in progress, a victim and witness from another theft that occurred on Cedros Avenue on Easter, stopped and identified Padgett as the suspect in their case. Another victim from the Cedros Avenue case, who was traveling out of the area, saw the post on social media and also called to identify Padgett as the suspect. Officer Richardson investigated the case and said, 'I was amazed at how fast people responded. Their willingness to be involved was a great help.”

Padgett and Davis were booked in County Jail for theft, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, and drug charges.

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

Shooting/ Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 4/2/2016 12:28 AM

Incident: Shooting/ Attempted Murder

Report #: 16 04 0059

Date: Friday, 4/1/2016

Time: 9:29 PM

Location: Partridge Way / Partridge Cir.

A shooting occurred in the area of Partridge Way and Partridge Circle. Four men were shot at while driving in a vehicle by two men on foot. The vehicle the victims were riding in was struck along with a parked vehicle and a nearby home – no one was injured. The suspects were described as Hispanic male adults, approximately 18 years old, one was wearing a gray hoodie, and shorts. The second suspect was described as approximately 18 years old, with a shaved head, wearing a dark shirt, and black shorts.

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

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 4/1/2016 11:44 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 16 03 0060

Date: Friday, 4/1/2016

Time: 10:00 PM

Location: 600 Block of E. Laurel Dr.

Two men robbed a liquor store at gunpoint on the 600 block of E. Laurel Drive. Both suspects were wearing dark clothing and masks, and were armed with handguns. There were customers in the store at the time of the robbery. The store clerk was forced to empty the registers and at one point the suspect struck the clerk.

The suspects fled the business with an undisclosed amount of cash. They were last seen headed toward Natividad Road in an SUV.

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

National Distracted Driving Month

Release Date/Time: 3/30/2016 1:44 PM

Incident: National Distracted Driving Month

Report #: N/A

Date: Wednesday, 3/30/2016

Time: 12:43 AM

Location: Salinas

Distracted driving is such an important safety issue that April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In California, Police, Sheriff and CHP officials are joining the Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as law enforcement throughout the country, working together to focus on education as well as enforcement. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in an attempt to change behavior and save lives, not just in April but also year-round.

The Salinas Police Department will join statewide enforcement campaigns on April 7th and 20th, 'zero tolerance days,” when all agencies will be especially vigilant for distracted drivers. Although the purpose of the campaign is not to write as many citations as possible, sometimes citations are necessary for drivers to understand the importance of focusing on their driving.

Distracted driving continues to be a problem, especially as the use of Smartphones increase. Although such crashes are often difficult to prove, California had at least 84 fatal distracted driving collisions in 2013, 85 in 2014 and 67 in 2015, with the actual number of cases likely higher. The number of injury collisions for the same three-year period shows an increase: 10,078 in 2013; 10,463 in 2014, and 11,023 in 2015. NHTSA data for 2014 show nationwide, 3,179 people died in distracted driving collisions, which is 10 per cent of all crash fatalities. An additional 431,000 people, or 18 per cent, were injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers. 'As we rely on our cell phones more and more in our everyday lives, we seem to be kidding ourselves in thinking that they don't affect our driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'Crashes are up. The scientific evidence is solid. The dangers are real, and they apply to all of us. We need to silence the distractions.”

The problem of distracted driving is significant, and no surprise to drivers day in and day out. The Department Of Transportation notes that at any given moment, during daylight hours, more than 660,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cellphone. NHTSA will conduct a television campaign in April with the message 'U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” OTS will produce public service announcements and conduct a social media campaign urging drivers to 'Silence the Distraction.”

WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING? Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

• Texting

• Using a cellphone or smartphone

• Eating and drinking

• Talking to passengers

• Grooming

• Reading, including maps

• Using a navigation system

• Watching a video

• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. The California Office of Traffic Safety, Police, Sheriff and the CHP reminds everyone that best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses.

The Salinas Police Department will also be hiring extra officers on grant funded overtime to supplement the patrol officers already on the street focusing on Distracted Driving. 'We feel it is very important to stress the dangers of distracted driving to the drivers in Salinas,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'Please turn you cell phone off before driving so you won't be tempted to answer.” This overtime enforcement is 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

Attempted Murder-Shooting

Release Date/Time: 3/28/2016 8:01 PM

Incident: Attempted Murder-Shooting

Report #: 16-031382

Date: Monday, 3/28/2016

Time: 5:10 PM

Location: E. Market / 1st St

A 32-year old Hispanic male was walking on E. Market toward Williams Rd when he sustained multiple gunshots to his lower extremities. The injuries appear to be non-life threatening. He ran around the corner and the suspect vehicle fled. Nothing was said before the shots and the attack appears to be unprovoked. The suspect vehicle is described as a white, late model SUV. The case is being investigated as gang related.

Release Authorized by: Commander Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 3/26/2016 11:52 PM

Incident: Stabbing

Report #: 16 03 1294

Date: Saturday, 3/26/2016

Time: 8:06 PM

Location: Soledad St.

A 47-year-old homeless man was stabbed in Chinatown. The man was walking to his tent on Soledad Street when he became involved in an argument with another male. They exchanged words, their dispute became physical, and the suspect stabbed the man one time resulting in a small laceration. The suspect fled the area, and the victim would provide no information. Despite a number of people on Soledad Street, there were no witnesses willing to discuss what had occurred, however, an anonymous 911 caller described the suspect as a HMA, approximately 19 years old, wearing a dark clothing.

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

Vehicle vs. Ped Fatality, Hit & Run

Release Date/Time: 3/26/2016 9:22 AM

Incident: Vehicle vs. Ped Fatality, Hit & Run

Report #: 16-031271

Date: Saturday, 3/26/2016

Time: 4:27 AM

Location: E. Market Street / King Street

Officers responded to E. Market Street & Kings Street on a report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic collision. The suspect vehicle was described as a small white pick-up truck, possibly a Toyota leaving the scene. On arrival, Officers found a 65-year old male in the roadway. He was unconscious and had no pulse. Emergencey medical personnel arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. It appears the victim was crossing E. Market Street (northbound) when he was struck. It is unknown at this point if alcohol or drugs were a factor. The Monterey County Coroner was notified and an autopsy and toxicology screening will be conducted. Salinas Police Department asks anyone with information to contact the Watch Commander at 831-758-7250 or leave a message on the anonymous tip line.

Release Authorized by: Commander Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Homicide

On March 20, 2016, at approximately 3:50 am, Monterey County Communications received a 911 call regarding a victim of a shooting at a residence in the 1100 block of Ranchero Dr.  The caller, who was not at the scene, said the shooting had occurred about 30 minutes prior to calling in but reported the male was dead in the living room of the residence.  Officers arrived, looked through a living room window and saw a male on the living room floor.  Officers forced entry into the residence and found 21-year-old Ruben Estrada suffering from gunshots wounds.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation has revealed there was a party at the residence during the evening, into the early morning hours.  For unknown reasons there obviously was some type of altercation, ending in the shooting of Estrada.  There was no call to 911 when the actual shooting occurred and, although there were several people at the party, no one was at the residence when officers arrived. 

Estrada is not a known gang member with the Salinas Police Department and the motive for this Murder is unknown.  This is the 8th homicide in Salinas this year.

If anyone has information regarding this homicide, they are asked to contact Detective Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or by email at [email protected]; or Detective Sivertson at (831) 758-7132. 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".

 

Shooting

Release Date/Time: 3/19/2016 2:50 AM

Incident:  Shooting

Date: Saturday, 3/19/2016

Time: 12:43 AM

Location:  1300 Block of N. Sanborn Rd.

An adult male was driving in the area of N. Sanborn and Del Monte.  A vehicle began following him and the occupant shot at the victim multiple times in the 1300 block on N. Sanborn Rd.  The victim was transported to a local hospital with, what appear to be, non-life threatening 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:  Sgt. Danny Warner

Telephone:  831-758-7250

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