Press Releases

Arrest of Wanted Subject

On December 11, 2016, officers responded to a domestic violence incident at a local Salinas motel. The victim told officers she had been threatened at gunpoint and held against her will by Luis Morales Alvarado (38). As officers were arriving, Alvarado cut a hole in the wall of the motel room, crawled into an adjacent room and then jumped from the second floor room to the parking lot before fleeing on foot while armed with a semi-automatic pistol. Officers searched the motel room and discovered over 140 grams of methamphetamine and determined that Alvarado was wanted on a felony warrant.

This morning at about 9:20am, officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex in the 700 block of W. Acacia St. involving Alvarado. Officers were aware that he was armed with a gun on the previous case. Before officers could contact him, Alvarado jumped from the second-story bathroom window to the ground and ran toward a nearby elementary school. One officer fired three rounds from a 40mm, less lethal projectile device striking Alvarado twice. He fell to the ground but was able to get up and keep running. Alvarado ran onto the campus of the elementary school prompting police to order a lock-down of the campus. Another officer deployed a Taser, which struck Alvarado and safely ended the pursuit. He was not armed when arrested. Police and school staff conducted a search of the campus but no firearm was located. The campus lockdown was lifted after approximately 40 minutes and no students were harmed. Alvarado was booked into the Monterey County Jail on a variety of felony charges.   

Winter Campaign DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 12/13/2016 11:18 AM

Incident: Winter Campaign DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 12/13/2016

Time: 11:17 AM

Location: City of Salinas

This Holiday Season, The Salinas Police Department Is Looking For Drunk Drivers.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

This holiday season, Salinas Police will be out looking for drunk & drugged drivers as part of a special year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization. 'December 16th through January 1st we will be sending out extra patrols with specially trained officers who are experts in DUI enforcement and recognition,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross, 'The dangers of drunk and drugged driving are well known. There is no excuse for driving intoxicated and the Salinas Police Department will do everything we can to catch, arrest, and prosecute DUI drivers. Our goal is to keep the roads safe so everyone can enjoy the holidays free of the tragedies that often accompany DUI driving.”

As part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, police, sheriff and the CHP will be deploying DUI Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols during the upcoming 17-day DUI crackdown throughout the region. Salinas PD is conducting a DUI Checkpoint and several DUI saturation patrols. Drugs such as prescription medication, marijuana or illicit drugs can impair judgment and get you the same DUI arrest as alcohol.

Nationally in 2014, 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes with 9,967 people killed in crashes involving an impaired driver. In California, total highway deaths were reported at 3,126 with 1,155 lives lost in alcohol and/or drug impaired collisions. If you're caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver's license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.

'Driving under the influence is not only costly, but can ruin the holidays for you, your family or for someone else's family,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'Make the decision to drive sober or use our DDVIP app to help you find a safe ride home for yourself or your friends if you know they've been drinking.”

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. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign and all OTS efforts, visit To learn more about the DDVIP app, please visit the OTS Facebook at or follow OTS on Twitter @OTS_CA.

The Salinas Police Department wants everyone to have a safe and memorable holiday season, and is calling on everyone to be alert; ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911! Funding for this holiday enforcement campaign is 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

Salinas Police to Conduct Live Fire Test of ShotSpotter Technology Wednesday

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2016 12:14 PM

Subject: Salinas Police to Conduct Live Fire Test of ShotSpotter Technology Wednesday

Date: Monday, 12/12/2016

Time: 12:14 PM

Location: Salinas, CA

Release Authorized by: Commander Mike Groves

Telephone: (831) 758-7123

The Salinas Police Department has recently teamed with ShotSpotter Technologies to help detect gunshots fired within various locations throughout the City of Salinas. ShotSpotter uses a network of sensors to detect when a gun is fired and pinpoint the location. According to the manufacturer:

Within minutes, police are able to send officers to a potential shooting scene, even if no one calls 911. ShotSpotter picks up the sound from gunshots on multiple sensors and triangulates the location of the gunfire in live time. By quickly notifying police, ShotSpotter helps speed police response, has the potential to save lives, increases weapons-related arrests, and enhances the safety of our neighborhoods.

Even with ShotSpotter in place, the community is always encouraged to report sounds of gunfire.

A ShotSpotter employee along with members of the Salinas Police Department will be conducting live fire calibration testing on the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 14. In a few selected areas of the city, there will be controlled gunfire as part of the detection qualification validation. The testing will be completed by 11 p.m.

For security reasons the locations of the test fire shall not be disclosed. There will be no danger to the community.

This is expected to be the final test before the ShotSpotter system goes live. Salinas Police will evaluate the results of the testing and, once the system is approved, will advise the community when the system is in use.

Three years of use of the ShotSpotter system is being paid for by a $1.5 million portion of a $5.5 million State of California public safety grant received by the City in August. At the end of three years, the City will evaluate the success of the system and decide whether to continue using it.

For inquiries about ShotSpotter and this Wednesday's testing, contact:

Commander Mike Groves


[email protected]

Felony Hit and Run Arrest

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2016 8:30 AM

Incident: Felony Hit and Run Arrest

Report #: 16-110961

Date: Sunday, 12/11/2016

Time: 7:25 AM

Location: W. Alisal / Capitol St

On 11/17/16, the 57-year-old victim was walking across W. Alisal St. in the crosswalk when she was struck by a red Dodge Neon. The victim suffered severe injuries. The driver of the Neon fled making no attempt to render aid. 

On 12/11/16, at about 7:25 am a Salinas Police Department officer spotted a red Neon speeding on East Market Street near Towt Street. The officer stopped the Neon and examined it to determine if it was the vehicle used in the hit and run. He noticed body damage to the hood and windshield consistant with the collision. The driver, Felipe Merino, age 19, had no driver's license or identification so he was arrested and brought to the Police Department.

Merino was interviewed and admitted to being the driver during the collision and admitted fleeing the scene. Merino's 9-year old step-son was with him at the time of the collision and confirmed his father had been driving. 

Merino was lodged into Monterey County Jail for 20001(a) CVC - Hit and Run Causing Injury and 12500(a) CVC - Unlicensed Driver.  

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7975


Release Date/Time: 12/9/2016 2:53 PM

Incident: Theft

Date: Friday, 12/9/2016

Time: 2:53 PM

Location: Kohl's

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson, Investigations Bureau

Telephone: 831-758-7128

The Salinas Police Department is seeking help in identifying the suspect in the photograph.  On November 16, 2016 the suspect carried a TV out of Kohl's in Salinas.  When contacted by Loss Prevention the suspect fled in a maroon truck.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected].

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2016 11:07 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 16 12 0331

Date: Tuesday, 12/6/2016

Time: 6:46 PM

Location: 1500 Block of N. Main Street

Two suspects entered a sandwich shop at the Harden Ranch Shopping Center and robbed the restaurant at gunpoint. One of the men approached two 17-year-old employees, pointed a small semi-auto pistol at them, and demanded they open the register. The suspect took the cash from the register. The second suspect stood by watching three customers and the door. Suspect #1 was described as a light skinned Hispanic male adult or white male, 5'11”, thin build, wearing a black hoodie, with a white bandanna over his face. He was armed with a small semi-auto handgun. Suspect #2 was a medium to heavy set Hispanic male adult, 5'5”, wearing a grey sweatshirt, with a yellow bandana. Both suspects fled eastbound on Harden Parkway.

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

Felony Hit and Run

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2016 4:20 PM

Incident: Felony Hit and Run

Report #: 16-110961

Date: Tuesday, 12/6/2016

Time: 4:09 PM

Location: West Alisal Street and Capitol Street

The Salinas Police Department is asking for your help in locating the suspect and suspect vehicle of a very serious hit and run collision. On 11/17/16, the 57-year-old female victim was walking across West Alisal Street in the crosswalk at Capitol Street. A red Dodge Neon traveling southbound on Capital Street made a left hand turn and struck the victim causing very serious injuries. The suspect did not even check on the victim but immediately fled the scene.

Nearby surveillance video shows the car driving by. The vehicle is described as a red Dodge Neon. A photograph of the vehicle as it drove from the scene as well as a photograph of a generic red 2005 Dodge Neon which is similar to the suspect vehicle, have been posted to the Department Facebook page. If you have any information as to the suspect or the suspect vehicle, please call Sergeant Gerry Ross at (831) 758-7975. You can also email Sergeant Ross at [email protected]

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Rape

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2016 12:12 PM

Incident: Attempted Rape

Report #: 16-111551

Date: Tuesday, 12/6/2016

Time: 12:00 PM

Location: 600 Blk of Hartnell St.

On 11-28-16, at approximately 7:10 pm, a 21-year-old female was walking on the 600 block of Hartnell St., along the fence line of the Hartnell College track. The victim was approached from behind and attacked by a male who appeared to have come out of the bushes that line the fence. The male was able to get the victim on the ground and tried to remove her clothing. The vicitm was able to defend the attack by kicking and punching the suspect. The attacker fled on Hartnell St. toward Central Ave. and out of sight. She described the attacker as a Hispanic male, 19-20 years old, 5-7, 175, heavy build, with no facial hair. She described him as wearing prescription glasses.

Attached is a composite sketch of the suspect. Also attached is a picture of similar vehicle the victim said the suspect was possibly associated with, as it was seen in the area before and right after the attack. The Salinas Police Department's Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may recognize the person in the sketch to contact Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or 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".



Release Authorized by: Christopher Lane

Telephone: (831) 758-7496

Arrest - 459 PC (Burglary), 211 PC (Robbery) 594 PC (Vandalism), 466 PC (Possession of burglary tools) and 1203.2 PC (probation violation)

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2016 6:19 AM

Incident: Arrest - 459 PC, 211 PC, 594 PC, 466 PC, 1203.2 PC

Report #: 16-120266

Date: Tuesday, 12/6/2016

Time: 1:51 AM

Location: 1333 N. Main St

Officers responded to the Taco Bell restaurant in the 1300 block of N. Main St. for a report of a fight possibly involving a firearm. The first officer on scene determined this was a citizen's arrest with a fight between suspect and victim. James Armijo, 27, was arrested after it was determined he burglarized the China Garden Restaurant. While inside he stole cash and merchandise from the store. The merchandise included seven meat cleavers, food and laptop computer. The crime was interrupted by the business's owner who responded to an alarm on the building. The owner confronted Armijo and tried to detain him. The two fought briefly and Armijo was able to break away and run.  The owner captured Armijo again near Taco Bell and the two struggled again.  Armijo punched the business owner during struggle.  Neither man was injured in the incident. It was the arrest of Armijo which prompted the call to 911. No firearm was located during the investigation. Armijo was in possession of tools used to break into the business.  During the burglary he damaged a surveillance camera which monitors the business. He was booked for 459 PC (Burglary), 211 PC (Robbery) 594 PC (Vandalism), 466 PC (Possession of burglary tools) and 1203.2 PC (probation violation).

Release Authorized by: Dana Cornelison

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Shooting / Parolee In Possession of Firearm

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2016 12:12 AM

Incident: Shooting / Parolee In Possession of Firearm

Report #: 16 12 0262

Date: Tuesday, 12/6/2016

Time: 10:50 PM

Location: 300 Block of Chaparral St.

Armando Yslas (36), a parolee, was intoxicated, and went to a residence on Chaparral Street. He had an argument on the porch with a woman he knows and when she refused to talk to him anymore he walked out to the street and fired off four rounds from a semi-automatic pistol. Yslas inadvertently hit the magazine release and ejected the magazine before finishing his shooting. Officers responded to the area and Yslas attempted to hide in a nearby driveway. He was taken into custody and a firearm with removed serial numbers was located behind some trash cans in the driveway where he had been. Yslas also had a bag with an additional 40 rounds of ammunition. A witnesses said he had been firing the rounds in the air. No bullet strikes were located in the surrounding area. Yslas was book in County Jail on fresh charges and a parole hold.

 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


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We're maintaining special pages about the 2014 officer involved shootings.

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