Community alert

To: UCSC Community

From: Nader Oweis, UCSC Chief of Police

I want to call your attention to three robberies that occurred on the west side of Santa Cruz in the past week. Although the incidents happened in the city, our students, staff, and faculty may frequent these areas. We want you to be aware of these incidents so you can make smart decisions about how to keep safe.

On Sunday, August 28 at about 12:30 a.m., two people walking along the railroad tracks near Fair Avenue were robbed by two men wearing bandanas over their faces. The robbers demanded that the victims empty their pockets and start running.  One robber brandished a black handgun. Both left in a white truck.

About 30 minutes later, a couple walking near High and Storey streets were robbed by two men brandishing a handgun and a knife. The robbers demanded the victims empty their pockets and start running. The suspects left in a white station wagon.

The suspects in both cases are described as:

Suspect No. 1:    White male, late teens, 6’ 2,” medium build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Suspect No. 2:    White male, late teens, 5’8,” medium build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and white bandana.

On Thursday, September 1 at about 10:20 p.m., at California Street and Walnut Avenue, a man was robbed at gunpoint by two men who kicked and hit him in the head with a black handgun. The suspects in that case are described as:

Suspect No. 1:     Hispanic male, light skinned, 18-22 years old, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and long shorts.

Suspect No.2:    Hispanic male, light skinned, 18-22 years old, wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

I urge anyone with any information to call Santa Cruz Police Department investigations at (831) 420-5820.

To ensure your safety and the safety of your friends and colleagues remember to:

  • Always be alert to your surroundings.
  • Be aware of location and situations that might make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots
  • Avoid people and situations that make you nervous – trust your instincts.
  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
  • Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.
  • Walk confidently and at a steady pace, making eye contact with people when walking.
  • Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street – continue walking.
  • If you have a purse, carry it securely against you. Although a purse-snatcher’s intent is to steal the purse, your personal safety may require you to give it up.