Press Releases

Federal Indictmend: Additional Information Including Victim Names.

Release Date/Time: 10/23/2020 1:46 PM
Incident: Federal Indictmend: Additional Information Including Victim Names.
Time: 1:46 PM
 

Federal Indictment: Additional information including victim names.

  • Date:     January 12, 2017
  • Time:    2104
  • Location:  Sunrise St.
  • Double Homicide, Double Attempted Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: Siaki Tavale, Andrew Alvarado, Mark Garcia
  • Victims: Jose Luis Flores-Vargas, Alejandro Ramirez, (2) additional victims
  • Number of Shots Fired: 25
  • Short narrative: ShotSpotter activated on Sunrise. Officers arrived in less than one minute and encountered 4 victims with gunshot wounds; 2 dead and 2 with bullet wounds to their legs and a chaotic scene. Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by a homeowner who provided a description of the suspect vehicle; a Nissan van. Officers broadcast the information and 5 seconds later an officer, who was eastbound Boronda Rd. responding to the shooting, observed a possible suspect vehicle. The officer turned and followed the vehicle. He continued following the vehicle to 2073 Santa Rita when the driver sped up and crashed into the front gate. All occupants fled. CHP and MCSO responded and assisted with a large perimeter. But the suspect made their escape through the large apartment.

 

  • Date:     February 11, 2017
  • Time:     00:25
  • Location: Fremont St
  • Homicide, Attempted Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: Siaki Tavale, Andrew Alvarado
  • Victims: John Rodzach, (1) additional victim
  • Number of Shots Fired: 18
  • Short narrative: ShotSpotter reported shots in the area of Hebbron Heights. Officers found the victim, John Rodzach (39), with multiple gunshot wounds in front of the Hebbron Heights Center. Rodzach was a known gang member and had many contacts with SPD. Several casings were recovered at the scene. 

  

  • Date:     February 12, 2017
  • Time:     00:21
  • Location: Orchard Ave.
  • Double Attempted Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: Siaki Tavale, Andrew Alvarado, Anelu Tavale
  • Victims: 2
  • Number of Shots Fired: 21
  • Short narrative: ShotSpotter reported shots fired in the area of Orchard Avenue. Dispatch then updated there were several victims of a shooting. Officers responded and on arrival observed a crowd of 50+ hysterical people at the scene. Victim 1 and Victim 2 were found with multiple gunshot wounds. According to witnesses', Victim 1 and Victim 2 had just driven into the driveway when a white Lexus SUV stopped on the street.  Four suspects exited the Lexus (which was Stolen) and began firing at the victims while they were still inside their vehicle. The victims put their vehicle in reverse striking the front neighbors front yard pillar. The victims then put their vehicle in drive and rammed the Lexus, disabling it. Unable to drive away, the suspects exited the Lexus and fled on foot.
     
  • Date:     March 25, 2017
  • Time:     23:07
  • Location: Dennis Ave.
  • Double Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: Andrew Alvarado, John Magat, Mark Garcia
  • Victims: Fidencio Vega, Rutilio Vega (4/5/17)
  • Number of Shots Fired: 32
  • Short narrative: On Saturday, March 25, 2017, at approximately 11:07 PM, we received a ShotSpotter activation stating there were gunshots fired in the 200 block of Dennis Ave. A short time later, the reports of shots fired started to come into dispatch from residents in the area. As officers arrived, they were advised of a victim of a shooting at a residence. When the officers arrived, they found a 31-year-old male, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. In the backyard of the same residence, officers found a 33-year-old male victim also suffering from gunshot wounds. Salinas Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) arrived and pronounced victim 1 deceased. They ultimately transported the second victim to Natividad Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. It appears the victims, were in the driveway of the residence drinking beer when two suspects confronted them. It is unknown if anything was said prior to the suspects pulling out guns and opening fire. Victim 2 was able to run into the backyard even though he had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Both victims lived in Salinas and have no gang contacts. Both were said to work in the fields. The suspects fled on foot and may have gotten into a vehicle near the intersection of Dennis Ave. and Miami St. The only description of the suspects was two males dressed in dark clothing.  Although the victims are not associated with any gangs, this shooting is indicative of being committed by gang members, therefore considered as gang related.
     
     
  • Date:     May 13, 2017 
  • Time:     22:48
  • Location: Paloma Ave.
  • Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: Andrew Alvarado, John Magat
  • Victims: Gabriel Rangel
  • Number of Shots Fired: 16
  • Short narrative: On May 13, 2017, at approximately 10:47pm, officers responded to the report of a victim of a shooting. The caller said they had heard about five gunshots about 15 minutes prior but did not look outside to investigate. When they did go outside, they found the 23-year-old victim laying on the porch at the front door. He had been shot several times in his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  The investigation has revealed the victim was at an address on Paloma to visit a family member. The victim walked out of the house to use his phone and was confronted by at least two suspects. For unknown reasons, the suspects fired several rounds, striking the victim and the residence. The suspects may have fled in a white, smaller SUV. They were last seen southbound on Tampa St.  The victim does not have any history of being involved in gangs with the Salinas Police Department, but this case is being investigated as gang related.
     
  • Date:     June 11, 2018
  • Time:     00:48
  • Location: Center St.
  • Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects: John Magat, Anthony Valdez, Anelu Tavale
  • Victims: Javier Santos
  • Number of Shots Fired: 19
  • Short narrative: ShotSpotter detected gunshots in the area of Center St. There were no callers and when officers arrived, they found Javier Santos suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to NMC where he died. He was heard by neighbors on the phone prior to the shooting. Several gunshots were heard, and neighbors went outside. They saw two cars leaving the area very close together and at a high rate of speed. Vehicles were last seen S/B on N. Filice St. There were multiple shooters, maybe up to three. Several casings were recovered at the scene. 
     
     
  • Date:     November 3, 2018
  • Time:     01:29
  • Location:  North Hebbron Ave
  • Homicide
  • Indicted Suspects:  Anthony Valdez, Anelu Tavale
  • Victims: Felix Francisco
  • Number of Shots Fired: 35
  • Short narrative: Officers responded to the area of N. Hebbron for a ShotSpotter activation.  Officers arrived and saw numerous casings in the street and an HMA lying in the driveway of 63 N. Hebbron. He had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Several casings were located at the scene. 

 

 

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

Police Service of Salinas Name

Release Date/Time: 10/20/2020 10:38 AM
Incident: Police Service of Salinas Name
Date: Tuesday, 10/20/2020
Time: 10:38 AM
Location: 312 E. Alisal Street

What's in a name?

A recent newspaper article referred to the new police building three times as the 'Police Services Building”. This is incorrect. We thought some clarity might help. The proper name, as displayed on the building's marque, is 'Police Service of Salinas”. It is a small distinction, but an important one: 'services” describes the particular work performed by one who serves; 'service” denotes the occupation or function of serving. The name, the order in which it is written, and the small distinction of service is intentional. Service is the sine qua non of policing, and its placement in the name is an affirmation of this to our community. Similar language can be seen at other police organizations to include the Toronto Police Service in Canada, the Queensland Police Service in Australia, and most notably, the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Language has meaning, and its proper use in the public discourse is important.

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

Homicide Victim Identifed

Release Date/Time: 10/9/2020 2:55 PM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identified
Date: Friday, 10/9/2020
Time: 2:55 PM
Location: 1180 South Main Street

On 10/07/20, at approximately, 1955 hours a shooting occurred in the Lucky Grocery Store parking lot at 1180 S. Main Street.

Samuel Mendoza (26) fired several shots striking a 26-year-old man in the leg and killing 22-year-old Rafael Jose Pineda.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Gabriela Contreras at (831) 758-7971 or email her at [email protected]

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 investigation

Release Date/Time: 10/7/2020 11:21 PM
Incident: Shooting Investigation
Date: Wednesday, 10/7/2020
Time: 11:21 PM
Location:1100 Block of South Main Street

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

Officers responded to the area for a report of shots fired.  Casings were located in the area and witnesses stated several vehicles left the area immediately after.  The case is being investigated as a homicide.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective Gabriela Contreras at (831) 758-7971 or email her at [email protected].  If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222. 

Homicide Victim Identified

Release Date/Time: 9/23/2020 4:40 PM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identified
Date: Wednesday, 9/20/2020
Time: 10:52 PM
Location:800 Block of East Laurel Drive

 

Murder victim identified:

On September 20, 2020, at approximately 10:52 PM, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the wooded area in the 800 block of East Laurel Dr.  Officers scoured the area and located two males suffering from gunshot wounds.  One male died from his wounds and the other victim, a 28-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

The homicide victim has been positively identified as Roberto Vargas Hernandez (38).

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277, or email him 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 and Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 9/21/2020 4:52 AM
Incident:  Homicide and Attempted Homicide
Date: Sunday, 9/20/2020
Time: 10:52 PM
Location: 800 Block of East Laurel Drive 

Release Authorized by:  Sergeant Danny Warner
Telephone:  831-758-7128

On September 20, 2020, at approximately 10:52 PM, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the wooded area in the 800 block of East Laurel Dr.  Officers scoured the area and located two males suffering from gunshot wounds.  One male died from his wounds and the other victim, a 28-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive. 

We will provide more information when available.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277, or email him 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.

Labor Day Weekend Reckless Driving Enforcement

Release Date/Time: 9/11/2020 11:34 AM
Incident:Labor Day Weekend Reckless Driving Enforcement
Date: Friday, 9/4/2020
Location:City of Salinas

The Salinas Police Department has received numerous complaints from local businesses and residents about reckless drivers in parking lots and on our roadways.  These drivers shut down our roadways or block parking lots to perform dangerous driving maneuvers such as drifting, donuts and racing; commonly known as Side-Shows.  Some vehicles have passengers hanging out of the windows while performing these maneuvers creating a dangerous situation for nearby spectators and passengers.

Our community has reported the loud vehicles, yelling spectators and screeching tires keep nearby residents up at night and our businesses report vandalism, littering and damage to their parking lots.  These events attract hundreds of vehicles and hundreds of spectators.  

Over Labor Day Weekend, we conducted special enforcement to curb the reckless driving.  With help from the Monterey area California Highway Patrol, we were able to identify several vehicles driving recklessly in parking lots and took immediate action by impounding vehicles and citing drivers for reckless driving.  

Some vehicles were able to get away, but our Traffic Unit has followed up with seizure warrants authorized by a Monterey County Superior Judge to seize and impound the vehicles for 30-days.  We have since impounded and seized five vehicles and are in the process of locating and seizing more throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.   

This is an ongoing investigation and we will continue this type of enforcement.  If drivers come to Salinas to drive recklessly then expect their vehicles to be seized; either immediately from the scene or a few days later after a seizure warrant has been authorized.

We send a sincere thank you to our local businesses and residents who have reported the reckless driving and encourage them to continue to let us know.

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

Shooting Arrest

Release Date/Time: 9/3/2020 2:40 PM
Incident: Shooting Arrest
Date: Thursday, 9/3/2020
Time: 7:00 AM
Location: 100 Block of North Madeira Avenue

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Danny Warner
Telephone:  831-758-7128

On August 21, 2020, at approximately 9:50 PM, officers responded to a shooting. The victim had been standing in front of a food truck located on Carr Avenue just north of E. Market Street. The victim was approached by 3 suspects who arrived in a grey Kia Stinger. One of the three suspects fired several shots at the victim as they fled the area.

On September 3, 30, SWAT, HNT, VSTF and Detectives served a search warrant in the 100 block of North Madeira Avenue.  Detectives searched the home and located a Kahr 9mm semi-auto handgun, a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun, 16 lbs. of marijuana and over $18,000 in cash. During questioning, 21-year-old Roberto Amesquita, and a 17-year-old male, both placed themselves at the scene of the shooting.  The evidence indicates the victim was targeted because they believed he was a rival gang member.  Roberto Amesquita was booked in County Jail for attempted murder, gang conspiracy, possession of marijuana for sales and firearms charges.  The 17-year-old was booked in Juvenile Hall for attempted murder and gang conspiracy.  A third man, 31-year-old Armando Reyes, was arrested during the warrant service for a felony no-bail warrant for domestic violence.

The investigation is on-going, we would like to hear form anyone with information. Please call Detective Robbie Miller at (831) 758- 7954, or email him 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.

Go Safely, California: September is Pedestrian Safety Month

Release Date/Time: 9/3/2020 12:26 PM
Incident:Go Safely, California: September is Pedestrian Safety Month
Date: September
Location:City of Salinas

September is Pedestrian Safety Month and Salinas Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the state to educate the public on how to be safe when walking or driving. While the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfire emergencies have had an impact on Californians, the safety of pedestrians remains a cause for concern.

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has increased dramatically, accounting for nearly 25% of all roadway deaths. A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Association (GHSA) projected that pedestrian deaths in 2019 reached the highest point in more than 30 years.

'More people are out walking, exercising and doing what they can to spend a little time outdoors after spending so much time inside staying at home,” Salinas Police Department, Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'Looking out for one another is the least we can do during these difficult times.”

For the safety of everyone walking or driving, Salinas Police Department will have additional officers on patrol throughout the month of September specifically looking for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe.

These violations include speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield, not stopping for signs or signals, and pedestrians who do not cross in marked crosswalks or designated crossing areas.

Salinas Police Department offers steps drivers and pedestrians can take to be safe:

Pedestrians 

  • Ditch the distractions. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street. 
  • Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals. 
  • Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you. 
  • Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you. 
  • If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, remember to look both ways for cars.

 Drivers 

  • Slow down on busy streets and at intersections. 
  • Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers. 
  • Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk. 
  • Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn. 
  • Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see

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

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 8/28/2020 2:58 PM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Friday, 8/28/2020
Time: 3:15 AM - 7:00 AM
Location: 300 block of Archer Street.

At approximately 7:30 AM, officers responded to a possible shooting victim on the 300 block of Archer Street. Officers found a 30-year-old male later identified as Alejandro Ruacho. Ruacho had been shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. We have reason to believe the shooting may have taken place earlier in the morning, possibly around 3:30 AM.

Detectives are investigating the homicide and we would like to hear from anyone in our community who may have information that can help. Please call Detective Justin Heckman at (831) 758-7323, or email him 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

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Question of the Day

What can I do if I see a car parked in my neighborhood which I think may be abandoned?

The City of Salinas has people specifically designated to handle abandoned vehicles and long-term parking problems. These problems are generally handled on a complaint basis. The abandoned vehicle office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The phone number, day or night, is (831) 758-7316.

The following information will help you determine whether or not a vehicle has been abandoned or is a long-term parking problem:

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