We’re in full summer mode here in Santa Cruz, even if the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Last weekend was full of beachgoers avoiding the inland heat, and starting this weekend we’ve got graduations (and the traffic they bring). But we’ve got lots of other stuff to talk about, including the Aptos teens beaten in the head with a hammer while they slept, we’ve got lots and lots of poppy fields here, we had a couple of local home invasions, low hanging fruit and felons with guns, shears a beauty, Fresno thief arrested, bridge jumper talked down, please don’t feed the bum, truck thief arrested in Watsonville, gimme shelter, Badwill, and the Happy Story of the Week!
Aptos Teens Beaten With Hammer in Home Invasion Robbery
A local teenager is in critical condition after he and two friends were attacked with a hammer while they slept in the garage of a home on the 100 block of Monte Vista Drive in the Rolling Green Estates area of Aptos. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, several masked men entered a garage at around 1:30AM and assaulted the three teenage boys with a hammer while two of them were sleeping. The attackers stole several things and left in an unknown vehicle. I’m sure there’s more to this story we’re not hearing about (like why were they targeted? what was stolen?). So far, no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Alex, the 17 year old teen who suffered serious head injuries in the attack.
Why Import Heroin When You Can Just Produce it Locally?
Monterey County has the dubious distinction of hosting the biggest opium poppy field bust in California history. Eight fields were found in Moss Landing, Aromas, and Royal Oaks this past month. Almost 17 TONS of mature opium poppies were destroyed, which amounted to about 160,000 opium poppy plants. At one location, over 500 pounds of opium poppy pods alone were found and destroyed. The total amount of the growing area was about 5.5 acres combined.
Deputies teamed up with the California National Guard to eradicate the fields between May 13th through May 25th. Based on DEA statistics, this could be the largest bust in recent U.S. history. Right here in our backyard! We’re a “sanctuary” all right. A sanctuary for gangs to just blatantly grow their heroin in broad daylight without much fear of local repercussion. Maybe repercussions from other gangs but obviously not from law enforcement.
Here are the locations of the poppy fields (at least the fields they’ve found so far. You know there’s gotta be more):
- 500 block of Strawberry Road, Royal Oaks
- 200 block of Aromas Road, Aromas
- 200 block of Blohm Road, Aromas
- 50 block of Johnson Road, Royal Oaks
- 100 block of Johnson Road, Royal Oaks
- 14500 block of Tumbleweed Lane, Royal Oaks
- 400 block of Elkhorn Road, Royal Oaks
- 500 block of Dolan Road, Moss Landing
The case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution. The names of the landowners are not being released because no one has been arrested or charged with a crime. Investigators still have to confirm the motive for why the flowers were being grown.
NOBODY WAS ARRESTED OR CHARGED WITH A CRIME.
Home Invasion on California Avenue
I heard reports of a home invasion on California avenue in Santa Cruz last week (sorry I’m a bit late on this one), which happened around 10AM. Man got out of the shower in his home and walked into some bum in his kitchen with stuff in his hands getting ready to rip him off. Bum took off running and man called SCPD. Apparently, one of the man’s bank cards was later used at a nearby gas station. Doesn’t sound like anyone has been arrested yet.
Good Thing He Didn’t Break In to This House
Another story I found on NextDoor this past week. Tuesday morning around 3:30AM, a car alarm went off at a home on the 1500 block of Delaware, and shortly after someone began shaking the front door and trying to open the front windows of the occupied home. Residents called SCPD, while taking shelter in a back bedroom where one woman huddled with her two young daughters holding a gun for protection. SCPD apparently came within 5 minutes and found the suspect inside the homeowner’s fenced yard.
Santa Cruz County Deputies Pick Up More Low Hanging Fruit
Last Wednesday, deputies arrested a Santa Cruz man for a number of felonies after being pulled over for driving a vehicle with a registration that expired almost five years ago. A search of his vehicle turned up more than 47 grams of heroin, more than 57 grams of meth and more than $3000. The man was arrested and taken to county jail.
He’s Probably Out of Jail Already
Early Wednesday morning this week, the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team Gang Task Force conducted a search warrant operation at a home on the 300 block of Younglove. A 28 year old convicted felon and known gang member was arrested with a loaded handgun.
Shears a Beauty!
I heard a pretty “Dump Worthy” story recently on NextDoor. I’m not on NextDoor very often but lately I’ve just been quietly looking for stories like this. The stuff you don’t find in the news! A 38 year old woman showed up at a man’s home, banging on his door while wielding a pair of pruning shears. When the man opened the door, she demanded money and when he refused, she assaulted him. The victim goes on to describe her, by name, as “whacked out on meth or something, violent, dangerous, and talking gibberish and clearly hallucinating”. She apparently now has a warrant out for her arrest for assault and battery as well as brandishing a weapon.
Fresno Thief Arrested in Watsonville
A Fresno woman was arrested for breaking into a car in Live Oak and using a stolen credit card. The car burglary took place some time on Sunday morning, when the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said a woman’s purse was stolen. The stolen credit cards were used at a gas station and a hotel in Watsonville. When Deputies went to the hotel, they found the room was registered to a woman who was on probation from Fresno County. Deputies found the same woman in the room in possession of most of the items stolen from the car burglary. Other stolen checks and ID cards were also discovered in the room. The woman was arrested for identity theft and possession of stolen property.
Possible Bridge Jumper Shuts Down Highway One Traffic
Around noon on Wednesday, the local California Highway Patrol shut down all lanes of traffic on Highway 1 in Capitola fearing a man might jump off the overpass into traffic. Apparently, a man was seen leaning off the overpass at Park Avenue when the first CHP officers arrived to the scene. The man was eventually talked down and rescued from the overpass and CHP Santa Cruz reopened the lanes to traffic around 1 p.m.
Alert Staff Member Foils Nuisance Crime at Book Shop Santa Cruz
Friday night around 9:30PM, a report came in about someone stealing something from Book Shop Santa Cruz downtown. The suspect apparently left the store on Pacific and was followed by staff to the Trader Joe’s parking lot, where he took the footbridge over the river towards San Lorenzo Park. SCPD didn’t seem in any particular hurry to catch the guy, but at least the staff person following the suspect was persistent. They eventually caught up to him near the duck pond.
Please Don’t Feed the Bum
Monday night around 10:30PM, I heard a report of a disturbance at the Taqueria Santa Cruz on 2215 Mission street. Apparently. a man was trying to take food from customers and refusing to leave. By the time SCPD showed up, he was gone. Probably got his fill from customers.
Truck Thief Busted in Watsonville
Friday afternoon, a man was making food deliveries in the Pajaro area when his truck was stolen. The victim later found someone driving his truck in the Corralitos area, and followed the truck to a home in the 2900 block of Freedom Blvd. A number of law enforcement agencies responded to the home. When seeing the deputies, a male tried to flee the scene but was quickly detained and found to have the ignition key in his pocket. The man and others were in the process of unloading the food to two different homes. Deputies recovered the truck, most of the food, and the suspected truck thief went to jail.
It’s Just a Shot Away
Sunday night around 10:30PM, I heard a report about a transient male who was “ranting madly at nobody” (according to a witness) inside the construction site of a home that was framed out but had no walls or roof on it near Laurent and Moore streets. Maybe that’s what he was complaining about? Give that man some shelter already!
Where’s the good will at Goodwill?
I found this on NextDoor. I’m rarely on NextDoor but maybe I should crawl it more often for tips.
I tried to verify all this and managed to at least verify, through the SCPD media logs, that some kind of battery took place on that date at that location. Names were redacted so I wasn’t able to get more details. If anyone has more on this story, feel free to add to the comments section.
The Happy Story of the Week
In our Happy Story of the Week, we’ve got a nice, feel good story courtesy of Brent and Ron. A couple weeks ago, Brent noticed a woman he apparently knows laying on a blanket. He noticed her walker was missing and she said it had been stolen while she slept. Brent apparently spent a bit of time looking for it, and even searched the local thrift stores in hopes of at least finding her a replacement. Then Ron saw his post about it on his Facebook page and commented he’d found one behind a building on Mission Hill. Brent connected with Ron and picked it up and delivered it back to her. I just want to say Ron (who is actually a friend in real life), is one of the finest guys in Santa Cruz, and you talk about “dirty jobs”, Ron does more to keep Santa Cruz clean than any single person I know. As for Brent, well we know all about Brent. But jokes aside, he did good here.
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