The Weekly Dump 1.5.18

Armed Robberies at Capitola Mall?

I heard a number of reports from witnesses and other sources that there was some kind of armed robbery or attempted robbery in or around Capitola Mall on Wednesday morning and afternoon. I heard a report that earlier that morning, the Bed Bath and Beyond store across the street from the mall was the victim of an armed robbery. Then some time later in the morning around 11AM, I heard about something going on at the Sears store. Details are few and of course, there was nothing forthcoming about this from the city, SCPD, Capitola PD, the mall, or any mainstream news media outlet. If anyone has anything “official”, feel free to share in the comments.

Santa Cruz Man Arrested in South Dakota After Mom’s Body Found in Car

A 30 year old man from Santa Cruz is in jail after South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers found the body of a woman later determined to be his mother in the vehicle he was driving, which they stopped on Interstate 90 on Monday afternoon after a 100 mph pursuit. A trooper originally tried stopping the suspect near Spearfish, South Dakota around noon on New Year’s Day, but the pursuit continued for almost 50 miles and reached speeds of 118 mph before officers used spike strips to disable the suspect’s tires. Officers found the woman’s body wrapped in a blanket inside the SUV. A court complaint filed this week states the suspect faces charges including aggravated eluding and drunken driving. His bail is set at $2.5 million. Nice bail! Obviously, they expect more charges to be filed related to his mother’s “suspicious” death. Apparently the suspect also has a long history of domestic violence. And details released Thursday morning confirmed the body in the car was his 58 year old mother. Keeping Santa Cruz weird! My theory is he needed money, was probably hopped up on meth or heroin, went to mom and asked her for money, mom refused, they fought, he killed her, maybe by accident, and then freaked out and drove across country with her body in the SUV. Better call Saul!

“Released on His Own Recognizance”

Tuesday night around 9:15PM, reports came in about a drive by shooting off the 300 block of Western Drive. SCPD responded to a report of a subject with a shotgun standing near a truck on Western Drive and numerous calls reported shots being fired. SCPD found 2 spent shotgun shells at the scene so they shut down Western to investigate. The suspect was last seen leaving the area in a large gray “lifted” pickup. Minutes later, they got a report of a man swinging an ax on the 200 block of McPherson Street. When officers responded, they found a truck matching the description in the Western Drive incident. The empty vehicle had several firearms in plain view, including a 12 gauge shotgun.

SCPD eventually caught up with the suspect and had to shut down McPherson at Fair in their pursuit. The suspect was finally caught near the Old Watering Hole on Mission. Nearby witnesses identified a 52 year old male from Boony Doon as the person who walked away from the parked truck. A background investigation revealed the suspect is a convicted felon and is out of jail on his own recognizance from a previous gun case. He was arrested for six counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a large capacity magazine, negligent discharge of a firearm and possession of ammunition. He was also apparently on probation for possession of a firearm. Imagine that!

Santa Cruz Celebrates With a Relatively Quiet New Years Eve Downtown

New Year’s Eve celebrations in downtown Santa Cruz went off without any reported major incidents of violence, according to SCPD. Extra officers were brought in with many on foot in the downtown corridor, where police estimated the crowd to be about 3,000 people. According to SCPD, between 5PM on December 31st until 2AM On January 1st, there were 139 calls for service. Nine people were arrested, mostly for public intoxication, a decrease from 12 last year. 27 citations were issued, with 17 of them being “triple fine citations”, and the majority were for open containers of alcohol. Last year, there were 19 citations issues, 11 being triple fines.

Junkies Fight Over a Fix at Louden Nelson Community Center

Wednesday night around 7:30PM, a male in his twenties who was described as an “agitated transient” was threatening others, including the staff at Louden Nelson Community Center while holding heroin in one hand and some kind of weapon in the other hand on the back deck. Apparently “heroin guy” and another bum were in the middle of some kind of beef over something (I’m guessing it had to do with heroin?). This is the city’s local community center. The place the city encourages people to send their kids for classes given by the city’s Parks and Recreation department among others. It’s a city owned facility, that has city classes for kids (including a playground) and here we have a couple junkies fighting over a fix on the back porch while the place is still open. And did I mention it’s directly across the street from the main police station?

SCPD Executes High Risk Stop in Front of Their Main Station

There was what only can be described as a “slow chase” on Wednesday morning around 10:45AM through the downtown area. SCPD did a high risk traffic stop right in front of SCPD main station where the suspect was arrested.

Wrong Turn Leads to Repercussions

Wednesday around 4PM, I heard a report about a woman driving a White Jeep Cherokee who crashed through a fence and drove around on the lawn of the Santa Cruz Memorial cemetery near Highways 1 and 9. Apparently the suspect left before SCPD arrived but left a piece of their bumper on the gate they broke through, and they also conveniently left their license plate. Oops! The plate came back to a woman who owns a Jeep. Imagine that! SCPD later got a call from the same woman who was at the Ocean Street Terrace apartments with the vehicle.

The Wonders of Clam Chowder

SCPD credits a veteran officer and a cup of clam chowder for helping persuade a man from jumping off the end of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf on Tuesday afternoon. Bystanders called 911 when they saw a man hanging off the edge of the wharf. SCPD responded, including Sgt. Bill Azua who is trained in crisis intervention tactics and managed to de-escalate the situation by engaging with the man, who was on narcotics. He offered him some clam chowder and managed to coax him off the edge of the railing. After pulling him to safety, the man was arrested and taken into custody for being under the influence of narcotics and having a probation violation.

Out Through the In Door

I got this report from a friend and faithful Dump reader about a recent trip to the Safeway on Morrissey: “As my wife was pushing the shopping cart through the entrance, she was met by 2 thieves with a full shopping basket, and other various items trying to push through the wrong way to get to a vehicle that was backed up in the front parking space! Evidently, she blocked them long enough for 3 Safeway employees to take the stolen goods. Then the thieves were threatening to call the cops on Safeway!”. I usually hear about so many reports of theft from local Safeways I don’t even consider it really news anymore. The Safeway on Morrissey is notoriously bad as being one of the single highest locations for calls for service from SCPD or fire and rescue. It’s a daily thing there.

Fire in Homeless Squat House Near Downtown

Monday morning around 11AM, I heard a report about a fire at 108 Sycamore. Apparently a homeless person started a fire in a bbq in an abandoned building. The address is apparently a known vacant and abandoned residence that a number of local homeless people have been squatting at. This is how entire buildings burn down, and the city looks the other way as far as code enforcement goes.

Fire Shuts Down Traffic on West Side on Monday Morning

Monday around 11:30AM, I heard a report about a fire near Mission street extension and Swift. SCPD shut down and diverted traffic at Western. Fire seemed to be located in a culvert along Swift street near Mission extension. Fire crews extinguished the fire, that burned two power poles and an underground culvert causing about $20,000 in damage, according to fire officials. At the scene, firefighters found two power poles burning and fire coming up from numerous storm drains. Firefighters ultimately found an underground culvert had caught fire along with the power poles.

Bottoms Up!

Early Saturday morning, a male was witnessed shoplifting champagne from the Safeway in Aptos. A Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy was in the area and spotted the suspect, who was attempting to make his getaway on a bicycle. The suspect led the deputy on a chase that spanned a few blocks before he was apprehended with help from another deputy. The suspect was booked into County Jail on theft charges, evading arrest, and an outstanding warrant that was already out for his arrest.

It’s the Batman

Sunday night around 6PM, I heard a report about a transient male sitting outside the Valero on Ocean street with a bat that had barbed wire wrapped around it. Nothing suspicious or concerning about that. It’s just part of the local walking dead that welcomes visitors to Santa Cruz as they come to town on Ocean street.

Body Found Near Water and Market

In a piece of news I learned about too late to include last week, I heard from a number of people that there was a report of a body being found last Friday morning near Water and Market streets in Santa Cruz. The witness reported seeing the body of a young woman being taken away by fire and rescue. I haven’t heard any other details on this.

Late Night Chase on Highway One

Friday morning around 2AM, a car was being chased on Highway 1 by CHP. They put down spike strips near the Bay Street exit, where the car apparently ran over them but still didn’t stop. The suspected vehicle made it to the Morrissey exit, where the suspect bailed and took off running into a nearby neighborhood. SCPD joined the CHP, which included the use of a K9 unit, but the search was eventually called off and the suspect got away.

Arsonist Nabbed at 7/11

Also last Friday morning around 2AM, some derelict on Riverside threw something flammable into a parked car and set the car on fire. SCPD ended up catching the guy with burned hands at the nearby 7-11.

Saint Merde!

Friday night around 7PM, I heard a report of multiple vehicle burglaries from the Kelly’s French Bakery parking lot on Swift street. It takes some brasserie balls to pull that off, considering there’s a popular courtyard that people sit in right next to the parking lot. Even if nothing got smashed, it’s pretty bold to be rifling through short term customer’s cars in a busy parking lot. The city calls this “nuisance crime”. I call it “the stuff that kills local business”. Now you have multiple people who will tell everyone they know locally how their cars got broken into in the parking lot at Kelly’s, who will suffer the fallout as people stop driving their cars there. The city doesn’t consider the trickle down effect of that “nuisance crime”, and how it bleeds out customers for local business to the point of the death of that business.

Nuts on the Loose

Around 3:15PM on Thursday afternoon, I heard a report about a male transient who was naked from the waist down screaming and yelling obscenities at people. This was next to Chipotle on the 500 block of River.

I Can’t Make This Stuff Up

I Guess It’s Back to Free Parking at the Downtown Garage!

The downtown Santa Cruz parking garage on River street has been vandalized and destroyed during an apparently failed break-in or theft attempt on December 16th around 1:30AM. The machinery was destroyed in the process, and will cost the city $43,000 to replace.

It was just recently able to resume charging drivers for parking after a month of technical difficulties. From October to November, the city was unable to charge hourly parking patrons while they waited for newly installed and upgraded garage hardware.

Candidate Information Night is January 10th

Want to run for county office? A workshop on candidate filing requirements and election processes for anyone interested in running for an office on the June 5th ballot will take place at 6PM this coming Wednesday in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers at the Santa Cruz County Governmental Center, 701 Ocean St. The county clerk will review the deadlines and answer questions regarding voter registration, voting by mail, campaign filing and other campaign practices and laws. County assessor-recorder, auditor-controller-treasurer-tax Collector, county clerk, district attorney, superintendent of schools, sheriff-coroner, supervisors for the third and fourth districts are up for election along with Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Almquist. The period to collect signatures in-lieu of the filing fee opened on December 14th and closes on February 7th. Candidate filing opens February 12th and closes March 9th.

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  1. If this is how the new year starts, we’re fucked.

  2. Ben- Great Issue!
    I agree with you about nuisance crime killing business. It’s also a big reason why the city is $2.7M in the hole.

    • There’s a plan to fill that budget gap deficit. It’s called the city’s new local cannabis tax. It’s the equivalent of the city printing money, and just wait until the tourists get wind this summer that they can come visit the beach and boardwalk and score some “legal” weed easily while they’re here. The really big money to be made here will come from tourist dollars this summer. Wait until the “green marketing” kicks in to a global market. Thanks Big J!

  3. Juanita Usher

    Hi — I think I saw something on KSBW news about a bath store in the mall being robbed that morning. Not the Bed, Bath and Beyond (as far as the news informed).

    • Interesting. Thanks Juanita! If anyone else has any details, chime in! I can’t count on the city or the local news for anything.

  4. The auto burglaries and theft from vehicles are out of control throughout the city. A friend who had her car broken into at Avanti on Mission Street received a call from the CATS Restaurant in Los Gatos. They had located some of her items in the dumpster and cars in their lot were broken into as well. These folks are travelers and know the odds of finding a lap top, or something in an unattended vehicle are pretty good.

    • The decriminalization of “non violent” crime in this state has given us the current apathy of punishing non violent criminal behavior locally. Steal a bike, a laptop, a purse, and it’s a big meh as far as law enforcement and the courts go. It’s why our recidivism is so high locally. There’s no repercussions for bad behavior. Gotta fill all those free needles. Thanks again for reading and commenting Jim.

  5. Hey Ben, you gonna be attending that workshop? You know, if you ever ran for County (or City) office, you’d for sure have my vote! ? …just sayin’.
    ?? Vote DOVER 2018! ??

    • ha, no I wasn’t planning on attending or running. But if I win the write in vote against Ryan for the BoS seat, I’ll happily serve my community! Thanks for the vote (of confidence).

  6. Quick FYI, here in California if a judge runs for election unopposed his name isn’t even put on the ballot. Basically, he automatically wins the election without even one vote being casted.

    • Thanks Ike. What you mention is one of the biggest issues we have locally with public safety. We have “judges for life”, in that rarely if ever does a local sitting judge run opposed. They’re almost always appointed by the Governor (who in our case is a moonbeam) when one retires or dies. No local lawyer or DA wants to run against a sitting judge and lose. They fear the repercussions of facing them again in court. So nobody ever runs against a sitting judge locally. It’s one of the biggest reasons for the status quo, “systemic” public safety issues we’ve been seeing here for 30 plus years and counting. And it’s something we can do little to nothing about. It’s pretty frustrating.

  7. Johnnybitchin

    Thanks for the info Ben…We get more information from you than we do the Sentinel each week. The only thing we dont get is the Obits and cheap ads..Keep up the great work….Johnnybitchin

    • Thanks Johnny! I noticed the Senile has it’s “pay wall” back up, or maybe it’s been up all this time and I’ve rarely gotten hit by it. No pay wall here! No ads, no spam, no pandering, no BS. Just a lot of vibrant honesty with a dash of snark thrown in for taste.

      • Chris Jordan

        That “pay wall” is up. It was the reason I subscribed to the Sentinel a while back- only to receive the worst delivery possible. I have had it with realty advertising and all that drop ad blocks filling up my screen. Moment I unsubscribed; that “pay wall” began again. Block block block- I do not know if that is even legal! Your news coverage is more about places I frequent. I especially enjoy your snark!

    • I’ll second that! 🙂

  8. Thank you for reporting on the abandoned building that caught fire and lack of code compliance. We are dealing with the same situation at 350 Ocean St. The property has sat condemned and boarded up and is a junkies dream. Newest owner won’t demo it because they may be bailing too. And the City has no Huevos. A Mierda story in the making!

    • I know I complain a lot about the city’s overall dysfunction and one of the most dysfunctional areas of the city government has to be code enforcement. The process for reporting is a joke. The department itself is way understaffed. The city probably has hundreds of backlogged code enforcement complaints. And like you say, they are all bark and no bite. Thanks for reading and commenting Justin.

      • If Ocean Street goes up in flames, there’s no one to blame but the City. The Corporate owner in Sacramento certainly doesn’t care. Neighbors have pleaded for years and we’re told to do more, email more, wait more.
        The City’s bark is merely a whimper.

  9. For next week’s issue:

    Breaking news from the Sentinel…………….Billy Hill or should I say Hill, Billy is in the news

    If you go to the SC County Court Portal Hill, Billy was arrested for a litany of charges in September 2017 but out on bail and awaiting trial……the justice system is a well oiled machine.

  10. When I read the Dump’s news, I just feel that 70 or 80% of all this criminal activity is due to drug problems. So why we’re not focusing more on the gangs that create the drug problems and the people that enable them is just unbelievable.

  11. Yes, the Clowns that are supposed to enforce codes are nearly as helpful as a Motor Vehicle Clerk with a hangover. I have a neighbor that Is doing all kinds of illegal construction, with no regard for property setbacks or building codes. I filed Five(5) complaints through the proper channels, and left SIXTEEN(16) phone messages with the compliance inspector, none of which were returned. And good luck getting through their phone system to speak with a live person.

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