Press Releases

Salinas Police Department Encourages Public to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Responsibly

Release Date/Time: 5/21/2020 11:37 AM
Incident:Salinas Police Department Encourages Public to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Responsibly
Date: Memorial Day Weekend
Location:City of Salinas

Salinas Police Department Encourages Public to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Responsibly

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and as we slowly travel down the road to reopening, the Salinas Police Department encourages everyone to listen to advice from public health officials and be responsible during these trying times.To help protect you and your family, Salinas Police Department will have officers on patrol over the Memorial Day Weekend looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

'This Memorial Day weekend will be much different than years before due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'But when it comes to protecting your family and getting around, it doesn't mean we have to get complacent. If you plan on drinking, stay at home.”

Pandemic or no pandemic, it is never okay to drive under the influence of alcohol. Remember, a DUI does not just mean alcohol: some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving or 'operating heavy machinery,” which includes driving a car. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

While the state is relaxing stay-at-home orders, Salinas Police Department advises the public to avoid large gatherings for Memorial Day Weekend and practice physical distancing measures, when feasible, by staying at least six feet away from others.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Update arrest made: Atempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 5/14/2020 4:17 PM
Incident:
Date: Thursday, 5/14/2020
Time: 4:17 PM
Location:100 Block Orchard Ave.

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Duran
Telephone:831-758-7496

On 4-20-2020 at approximately 9:31 hrs., officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the area of the 100 block of Orchard Ave. with multiple gunshots detected.  At about the same time, officers were advised that a male victim was being driven to the hospital by private vehicle. It was later determined the victim's wound was not life threatening. Officers contacted the victim (23) and were able to determine he had driven to the area of Orchard Ave. to drop off a friend. The victim stepped out of his vehicle near the friend's residence and observed a 08-10 silver Honda Civic occupied by several male individuals was driving towards him.

The Honda accelerated towards the victim then stopped, one of the occupants exited the vehicle and pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired several rounds at the victim who dove to the ground. The victim was struck once in the back. The armed suspect was described as a Hispanic male adult, heavy set and wearing a black hoodie. The vehicle sped away from the area. No further information is available at this time as the investigation continues.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact 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

Update: 

During the course of this investigation Detectives were able to develop information leading to the identification and arrest of three suspects involved in this attempted homicide. Based on the information developed by Detectives they authored two search warrants for two residences in the City of Salinas. The two search warrants were served this morning by the Salinas Police Department SWAT Team, VSTF and Detectives on a residence in the under 100 block of Prince Pl and a residence in the 300 Block of Pueblo Drive in Salinas.

The suspects were identified as known gang members Joshua Garcia (20), Jesus Lopez (22) and Cynthia Edeza (22) all from Salinas. Joshua Garcia has been in-custody for an unrelated case at the Monterey County Jail since April 24, 2020. He was arrested on new charges for the April shooting today. Cynthia Edeza was arrested this morning at her residence following the service of the search warrant. Jesus Lopez was taken into custody in the 200 Block of Winham St. this morning. Edeza and Lopez were booked into the Monterey County Jail. All three suspects are facing charges of attempted homicide, conspiracy and gang enhancements

If anyone has further information regarding this investgation  please contact Detective Gabriela Contrereas at 831-758-797. Email- [email protected].

Carjacking, Kidnapping and Child Endangerment Arrest

Release Date/Time: 5/14/2020 9:25 AM
Incident:Carjacking,Kidnapping and Child Endangerment Arrest
Date: Wednedsday, 5/13/2020
Time: 1:22 PM
Location:1400 Block Constitution Blvd.

Daniel Orozco (28) was released from county jail on 5-13-2020 at approximately 1pm after being arrested by CHP the day before for DUI and drug related charges. Not more than ten minutes after his release, as he was walking through the parking lot of Natividad Medical Center, he confronted a victim sitting in her vehicle with her child and forced her out of her car and demanded the keys.

The victim (48) initially refused to give up the keys but gave them up when Orozco proceeded to strangle the child (11) with a headlock around his neck. The victim was able to take the child out of the vehicle as Orozco fled the scene in her vehicle. The child suffered minor injuries. Officers arrived and immediately broadcast the suspect information.

A short time later, an alert off-duty officer spotted the vehicle and with the assistance of CHP and Gonzales PD the vehicle was stopped S/B on HWY 101 with Orozco still driving it. Orozco was positively identified as the carjacking suspect and taken into custody.

Orozco was transported and booked, again, in county jail on carjacking, kidnapping, child endangerment, and assault with a deadly weapon charges.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 5/12/2020 2:06 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Tuesday, 5/12/2020
Time: 2:06 AM
Location: 900 Block of La Mancha Way

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7250

On 5/11/20, at approximately 11:34PM, officers responded to a victim of a shooting.  Officers arrived on scene and located two victims.  One of the victims was unresponsive and officers began giving the victim medical attention.  Medics arrived on scene and pronounced the victim deceased.  The second victim was transported to a medical facility.  

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Ruben Sanchez at (831) 758-7927, or email at : [email protected] or 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.

Homicide Arrest

Release Date/Time: 5/7/2020 5:03 PM
Incident: Homicide Arrest
Date: Thursday, 5/7/2020
Time: 1:45 PM
Location: N. Main Street / Russell Road

On 05/01/20, at approximately 5:28 PM, officers responded to a call of a shooting. The caller told dispatch there were two people shot. Officers arrived on scene and located a homeless camp in the wooded area near the bicycle path located east of the County Yard facility on the 800 block of East Laurel Drive. The officers located two shooting victims, one victim, a 28-year-old man, was deceased at the scene. The second victim, a 53-year-old man was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

0n 05/02/20, at 8:32 AM, officers responded to a gunshot wound victim near the same homeless camp on the 800 block of E. Laurel Drive. The victim, a 29-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. He had hidden in the wooded area from officers the evening prior.

On 05/07/20, at approximately 1:45 PM, Salinas Police Detectives, SWAT, VSTF, and U.S. Marshals collaborated on a surveillance and tactical operation to locate and arrest 18-year-old John Barriga Macias. Macias was arrested for murder during a car stop on N. Main Street and Russell Road at approximately 1:45 PM. The SWAT team then served a search warrant on a home located at an apartment complex on the 2400 block of N. Main Street. Macias was booked into County Jail on charges of Murder, Attempted Murder and gang charges.

The murder is still under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137, or email at : [email protected] or 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.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7350

Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 5/6/2020 3:34 PM
Incident: Attempted Homicide
Date: Wednesday, 5/6/2020
Time: 12:55 PM
Location: 800 Block of Caribbean

Salinas Police Officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation on the 800 block of Caribbean Ave. Prior to officers arriving, the call was upgraded to a victim of a shooting. Officers were able to locate the male juvenile victim suffering from several gunshot wounds and facilitated treatment. It appears that the victim was on foot when he was approached by an unknown type car after which he was shot. It was later determined the victim's wounds did not appear to be life threatening.

This case is still under investigation. 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.

Release Authorized by: Commander B. Cupak
Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Shooting Investigation

Release Date/Time: 5/2/2020 12:42 PM
Incident: Shooting Investigation
Date: Saturday, 5/2/2020
Time: 8:32 AM
Location: 800 Block of E. Laurel Drive

0n 05/02/20, at 8:32 AM, officers responded to a gunshot wound victim near the 800 block of E. Laurel Drive. The victim, a 29-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. Detectives are investigating whether there is any connection to last night's shooting.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137, or email at : [email protected] or 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

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7350

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 5/1/2020 10:12 PM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Friday, 5/1/2020
Time: 5:28 PM
Location: 800 Block of East Laurel Drive

On 05/01/20, at approximately 5:28 PM, officers responded to a call of a shooting. The caller told dispatch there were two people shot. Officers arrived on scene and located a homeless camp in the wooded area near the bicycle path located east of the County Yard facility on the 800 block of East Laurel Drive. The officers located two shooting victims, one victim, a 28-year-old man, was deceased at the scene. The second victim, a 53-year-old man was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

There may have been several others at the scene of the shooting who fled from the area. The suspect was described only as a Hispanic male who was last seen running eastbound.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137, or email at : [email protected] or 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.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone:(831)758-7350

Shooting/Attempted Murder/ Robbery - Arrest

Release Date/Time: 4/30/2020 3:11 PM
Incident: Shooting/ Attempted Murder/ Robbery - Arrest
Date: Thursday, 4/30/2020
Time: 7:00 AM
Location: 400 Block of Noice Dr. / 1000 Block of East Laurel Drive

On 4/14/20, Officers responded to reports of gunshots at an apartment complex located on the 300 block of Casentini Street. On arrival, they found the front door to an apartment had been kicked open. Officers entered the apartment and found it empty, but they found nine 9 mm spent bullet casings on the patio. The officers searched the area and located the uninjured victims. One of the victims, a 22-year-old man, told officers he and a friend were inside his apartment when he heard a knock at the front door. He looked out the window and saw a man dressed all in black wearing a black mask. He was scared and decided not to open the door. About 30 seconds later he heard someone kicking the door, so he and his friend ran to the patio, jumped the fence, and ran. He then heard multiple gunshots as both victims ran from the area but neither of them where hit.

Patrol officers searching the area for evidence located a nearby security camera. The video showed a possible suspect vehicle, a silver 2017 Dodge Charger entering the apartment complex. Two males, one of which matching the description provided by the victim, could be seen on video running and getting into the vehicle after throwing what appear to be bags into the passenger compartment.

On 4/15/20, detectives conducted follow-up investigation on this case and authored a search warrant for the suspect's residence on the 1700 block of Humboldt Drive. The suspects were placed under surveillance by VSTF and detectives while the search warrant was obtained and while the SWAT team responded with aerial support from the CHP.

The SWAT Team surrounded the residence and peacefully arrested Jose Amezcua (18), and a 16-year-old juvenile. Detectives served the warrant and located a hidden and loaded .40 caliber handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Detectives also located additional evidence implicating the suspects in the drug and gang related robbery. Amezcua was booked in County Jail on charges of Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy, and gang related charges. The 16-year-old juvenile was placed in Juvenile Hall on the same charges.

UPDATE 04/30/20:

Salinas Police Detectives conducted further investigation and identified two additional suspects, 18-year-old Hector Camberos and a 17-year-old male.  This morning, 04/30/20, at approximately 7:00 am, Salinas Police Detectives, SWAT and VSTF served search warrants at the residences of both suspects on the 400-block of Noice Drive and the 1000 block of East Laurel Drive.  Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.  During the search, a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and gang paraphernalia was located.  Camberos was booked in Monterey County Jail for Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy and gang related charges.  The 17-year-old was booked in Juvenile Hall for the same charges, plus possession of a firearm. 

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Robert Miller at 758-7954, or email at: [email protected]

Contact 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.

 

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7350

Commander Stan Cooper Retirement

Release Date/Time: 4/29/2020 10:25 PM
Incident: Commander Stan Cooper Retirement
Date: Wednesday, 4/29/2020
Time: 10:25 PM

Commander Stan Cooper was born and raised in Salinas, graduating Palma High School and later attending Hartnell College.  He was hired by the Salinas Police Department in April 1990, attending and graduating the Gavilan Police Academy that summer. 

Over the course of his career, Commander Cooper has worked several different assignments across all three Divisions; Patrol, Investigations, and Administration.  Stan worked many rotations through Salinas Police gang units.  As an officer, he was a member of the Special Enforcement Team and was a founding member of the Violence Suppression Unit.  He was also assigned to patrol.  Stan promoted to Police Corporal in 1999.

As a Corporal, he was assigned to patrol and worked as a Field Training Officer (FTO).  Stan rotated into the Investigations Bureau in 2001 as a Detective working persons crimes and homicide.  He promoted to Police Sergeant in 2001.

As a Sergeant, Stan supervised patrol, Personnel and Training, and was a founding member of the Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force where he supervised a multi-agency team responsible for gang enforcement, intervention, and anti-gang education throughout Monterey County.  He also spent brief periods of time supervising the Field Training Program and the Investigations Bureau.  Stan promoted to Police Commander in 2011.

That same year, Commander Cooper was tasked with merging the existing Gang Task Force with the newly created Monterey County Narcotics/Violent Crimes Task Force, which combined both the Salinas Police Department and Monterey County Sherriff's narcotics units.  With this new collaboration, Stan led the build out of the Law Enforcement Operations Center (LEOC), a stand-alone investigations center, housing investigators from ATF, CHP, DEA, FBI, and HSI.   This team later became an arm of Northern California's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) South Bay Metro Task Force.  In 2013, Stan oversaw Monterey County's largest wiretap gang investigation, 'Operation Snake Eyes.”  He also worked as the patrol Watch Commander and managed the Field Training Program, K-9 unit, and served as both North and South Salinas Area Commander. 

2016 brought Stan back to the Investigations Bureau as the Investigations Commander.  It was during this time that he made his interest in helping with a new police facility known.  A new building had long been promised.  That interest led to his selection as Project Manager, a position he originally held collaterally while working as the Investigations Commander.  He was assigned to project management full time in 2018.  The opening of the new police building has been his greatest and most rewarding challenge of his career. Police Chief Frese stated, 'Commander Cooper immersed himself fully to our new building project. It was quickly apparent that his goal was to stretch every dollar of the project to create an environment that would serve the members of the police department and the community for decades to come. His coordination, attention to detail, and management, is the reason we now have a highly functional building in which we are all proud to work and have endless possibilities for community engagement.”

During his years of service Commander Cooper has held a number of collateral duties, to include Firearms Instructor/Lead Rangemaster, SWAT, Board Member for the Salinas Police Officers Association, Vice-President of the Salinas Police Managers Association and Police Academy Instructor. He has received numerous awards and accommodations throughout the years to include the Monterey County Peace Officers Association's Award of Merit, and the Salinas Police Department Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to his police service, Stan has volunteered his time with the Police Activities League, AT&T Pro-Am, Salinas Airshow, and the Salinas High School Mountain Bike Team.  Stan and his wife (Vicki) of 27 years plan to remain in the area. Their daughter is currently attending college in Washington State.

 

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Question of the Day

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.

There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by...

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