Press Releases

Winter DUI Enforcement Campaign

Release Date/Time: 12/14/2017 2:23 PM
Incident: Winter DUI Enforcement Campaign
Date: Thursday, 12/14/2017
Time: 2:23 PM
Location: City of Salinas

This holiday season, the Salinas Police Department will work around the clock to keep drivers and passengers safe as they search for impaired drivers. From December 15, 2017 through January 1st, law enforcement is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a special year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization to get impaired drivers off the street and to spread the word about this dangerous crime.

 

As part of the holiday enforcement campaign period, police, sheriff and the CHP will be deploying DUI Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols during the upcoming 18-day DUI crackdown throughout the region. Salinas PD is conducting 1 DUI Checkpoint and several DUI Saturation Patrols.

 

'We want to keep the roads safe all year round,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'But the holidays bring a lot of extra traffic along with holiday parties. When partiers decide to drink alcohol or use drugs and get out on the road, it makes for a very dangerous situation. The holidays should be a joyous occasion for everyone, not the time for a tragedy. There will be no warnings. If you are drinking and driving, we are coming after you.”

 

Driving under the influence of alcohol can have deadly, devastating consequences. Nationally in 2016, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 28 percent (10,497) died in crashes where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the limit of .08. California reported 1,059 DUI deaths at .08 or above.

 

In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. Salinas PD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that 'DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

 

'Two simple words can keep your holiday festivities safe – plan ahead,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'Before you head out to any celebration, plan how you are getting home safely. If you are drinking, that means knowing what sober driver or service you will be using.”

 

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or 'DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.

 

Funding for this DUI operations is provided to the Salinas Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1'.

 

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 12/14/2017 1:35 PM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identification
Date: Thursday, 12/14/2017
Time: 1:35 PM
Location: 700 Blk of Holly St.

On December 11, 2017, at approximately 4:00 pm, officers were dispatched to the 700 block of Holly St. on the report of a victim of a shooting. When officers arrived the found a male laying in the street, suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel. The victim has been identified as 29-year-old Hector Oswaldo Sandoval of Gonzales, CA. 

The Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information about this homicide to call (831) 758-7226. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department's Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 775-4222 or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME. 

Release Authorized by: Brian Johnson, Investigations Sergeant
Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Pedestrian Sting Operation

Release Date/Time: 12/14/2017 8:58 AM
Incident: Pedestrian Sting Operation
Date: Thursday, 12/14/2017
Time: 8:58 AM
Location: Various locaations in Salinas

Yesterday, December 13th, four officers from the Salinas Police Department conducted a pedestrian sting operation between 7:30am and 5:30pm. The sting was conducted at various locations that have a history of collisions in which pedestrians are seriously injured or killed. Some of the locations included Natividad Road and Sorrentini Drive, Abbot Street and Maple Street, and North Main Street and Lamar Street. North Main and Lamar is the location of a recent fatal collision where 41-year-old mother Bernardina Leon was killed while walking her 6-year-old daughter across the street.

An officer in plain clothes would walk back and forth in an intersection while three uniformed officers on motorcycles waited off to the side. If a vehicle violated the right-of-way of the pedestrian officer, the uniformed officers would stop the car and issue a citation. In all, the officers wrote 67 citations for pedestrian violations.

"Pedestrian injuries and deaths have been a main concern for traffic safety the last few years," said Sergeant Gerry Ross. "We have had 7 pedestrian fatalities this year alone. We are going to do everything we can to stop these needless deaths."

Sergeant Ross added that the officers only wrote tickets for the most blatant violations. "There was no need to write tickets for borderline violations." He said. "The officers were very busy citing the most flagrant violators."

Funding for the operation was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

 

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 12/13/2017 9:17 AM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identification
Date: Wednesday, 12/13/2017
Time: 9:17 AM
Location: Bellehaven St. and First Ave.

On November 27, 2017, at approximately 8:25 pm, Salinas Police officers responded to the area of Bellehaven St. and First Ave. on the report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found the victim suffering from mulitple gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim has been identified as 37-year-old Vincente Hernandez Cardenas of Salinas. 

The Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information regarding this homicide to call (831) 758-7226. 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.

Release Authorized by: Christopher Lane, Investigations Sergeant
Telephone: (831) 758-7496

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 12/11/2017 7:50 PM
Incident:Homicide
Date: Monday, 12/11/2017
Time: 4:01PM
Location:700 block Holly St

911 Dispatchers recieved a call of shots fired in the 700 block of Holly Street at approxiamtely 4:00PM.  Offficers arrived and found a male in the middle of the street who was already deceased.  While it is still early in the ivestigation, it is believed there were two male suspects in hoodies that shot the victim before fleeing in what has been described as a dark colored sedan.   Anyone that may have seen the shooting occur, has information about the suspects or may know the identity of the victim is asked to contact the Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau at (831) 758-7226.  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.

Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Investigations Commander
Telephone:831-758-7350

 

 

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 12/11/2017 5:09 PM
Incident:  Homicide
Date: Monday, 12/11/2017
Time: 4:01 PM

Location:  700 Block of Holly Street

Release Authorized by:  Commander Dave Crabill
Telephone:  831-758-7250

Salinas Police Officers responded to a victim of a shooting in the 700 block of Holly Street.  Upon arrival, officers located a deceased male adult.  Investigation continues and more information will be provided at a later time.

Two Separate Traffic Fatalities - Vehicles v. Pedestrians

Release Date/Time: 12/10/2017 8:08 PM
Incident:  Two Separate Traffic Fatalities - Vehicles v. Pedestrians
Date: Sunday, 12/10/2017
Time: 5:35 PM and 7:04 PM
Location:  East Laurel Drive and Terra Drive - North Main Street and Rochex Avenue

Release Authorized by:  Commander Dave Crabill
Telephone:  831-758-7250

On 12/10/17 at approximately 5:35 PM a 27 year old white male adult was pushing a shopping cart southbound across the eastbound lanes of East Laurel Drive just east of the intersection at Terra Drive.  A female, traveling eastbound on East Laurel Drive did not see the pedestrian in the roadway and struck him.  The victim sustained severe head trauma and was transported to Natividad Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.  The name of the victim is not being released pending contact with family.

On 12/10/17 at approximately 7:04 PM a white male adult, possibly in his late 40's early 50's, was walking across the southbound lanes of North Main Street just south of Rochex Avenue.  He was crossing westbound across the #1 lane of North Main Street when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on North Main Street.  The vehicle involved was described as a dark colored 4 door passenger car with probable front end damage.  The driver and vehicle fled the scene.  The victim sustained severe head trauma and transported to Natividad Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.  The victim has not been identified.

Both investigations are on going.  More information will be provided when available.  Neither of these fatalities are related to one another.

Parole Violation, Gang Member with a Firearm, Domestic Violence, Vehicle Pursuit, Criminal Threats and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

Release Date/Time: 12/3/2017 5:13 PM
Incident:  Parole Violation, Gang Member with a Firearm, Domestic Violence, Vehicle Pursuit, Criminal Threats and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle
Date: Sunday, 12/3/2017
Time: 11:56 AM 
Location:  Del Monte and Rider Avenue - 600 block of Williams Road - North Main Street and Boronda

Release Authorized by:  Commander Dave Crabill
Telephone:  831-758-7250

Salinas Police Officers responded to the area of Del Monte and Rider Avenue regarding a suspicious person with a gun that was involved in an argunment with his ex-girlfriend.  He reportedly left the area in a white Chevrolet Impala with the girlfriend who he may have kidnapped. Officer Jacky Bohn located the vehicle in the 600 block of Williams Road and confronted the parolee, Cesar Nieblas, 24, a gang member from the Watsonville area.  Nieblas refused to comply and re-entered the stolen vehicle.  A vehicle pursuit was initiated from East Salinas to North Salinas.  Nieblas collided with two vehicles in the intersection of North Main Street and Boronda Road.  No one was injured as a result.  Nieblas' vehicle was disabled and he fled from the collision on foot.  He was captured by officers a short distance away without incident.  The involved parties reported that Nieblas had a black semi-automatic firearm but it has not been located.  He made threats to his ex-girlfriend and she was located unharmed.  Nieblas was booked into the Monterey County Jail for the above charges.

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 11/28/2017 2:46 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Tuesday, 11/28/2017
Time: 2:46 AM
Location: Beelehaven St. and First Ave.

On November 27, 2017, at approximately 8:20PM, Salinas Police officers responded to the intersection of Bellehaven St. and First Ave. on a ShotSpotter activation. While officers were enroute to the call, we received additional calls about a male laying in the middle of the intersection. When officers arrived they found a Hispanic male, in his early to late 20's, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers and medical personnel were unable to help the victim and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The preliminary investigation has revealed the victim was riding his bike westbound on Bellehaven St. when he was confronted by at least three suspects. For unknown reasons, the suspects began shooting at the victim, striking him several times. The suspects fled eastbound on Bellehaven and may have entered a vehicle, but that has not been confirmed. The only description we received was the suspects were males in dark clothing. This is the 28th homicide in the City of Salinas this year and is being investigated as gang related.

The victim had no identification and his identity is unknown at this time.

Anyone that may have seen the shooting occur, has information about the suspects or may know the identity of the victim is asked to contact the Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau at (831) 758-7226.  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. You may be eligible of up to a $1000 reward. 

Release Authorized by: Christopher Lane, Investigations Sergeant
Telephone: (831) 758-7496

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 11/27/2017 10:00 PM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Monday, 11/27/2017
Time: 8:20 PM
Location:  Bellhaven Street and First Avenue

Release Authorized by:  Commander Dave Crabill
Telephone:  831-758-7250

Salinas Police Officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Bellhaven Street and First Avenue.  Upon arrival, officers located a deceased Hispanic male adult, possibly in his 20's in the middle of the road.  He had been shot several times.  Investigation continues and more information will be provided at a later time.  

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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.

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