Community Crime Bulletin—False imprisonment and kidnapping

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Nader Oweis, Chief of Police

The UC Santa Cruz Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance in identifying the suspect and vehicle associated with a false imprisonment and kidnapping investigation.

This morning, at approximately 12:45 a.m., a female student reported that while she was waiting for a bus at the Kresge College bus stop at the corner of Heller Drive and McLaughlin Drive, she decided to hitchhike a ride from an oncoming vehicle to the base of campus.

The driver, described as a Hispanic male, approximately 24 years old, with short slicked back hair, speaking with a Spanish accent, who also appeared to be intoxicated and smoking marijuana, agreed to provide the ride and began casual conversation. Once they arrived at High and Bay streets, the driver did not stop to allow the student to exit the vehicle and continued down Bay Street toward Mission Street.

The student repeatedly requested that the driver pull over or stop, and he ignored her requests. When approaching Mission Street from Bay Street, and as the vehicle slowed to make a right turn to head northbound on Mission Street, the student exited the vehicle as it was slowly moving. The driver continued driving and fled the area. The student suffered minor injuries.

The vehicle was described as newer model 4-door sedan with dark gray or silver paint. It had red paper dealer plates from a Watsonville dealership.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to immediately call the UCSC Police Department at 831–459–2231, ext. 1.

Safety Tips

Victims are not responsible for being victimized, regardless of any action or inaction on their part. Perpetrators are responsible for crimes and their effects. Report all suspicious persons, in-progress crimes, and emergencies to the UC Santa Cruz Police Department by calling 911.

  • Be alert to your surroundings. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims. Attempt to keep a safe distance from strangers.
  • Whenever possible, please remember to lock your vehicle and residence doors. Keep valuables secured and out of sight.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, tell someone, avoid the person or leave the area.
  • Encourage the use of the Night Safety Escort Service, offered by the UC Santa Cruz Police Department from Monday through Thursday evenings, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. More information about this service can be found at:
  • Encourage friends to travel in pairs or with trusted companions, especially at night or in remote areas.

Campus resources

For students, a range of support services is also available through the Cowell Student Health Center, including personal counseling through Counseling and Psychological Services and support through a Confidential Victim Advocate.

For employees, the Employee Assistance Program can provide personal counseling and support.

This bulletin is in compliance with 20 U.S.C. Section 1092 (f), the “Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act” (“Clery Act”), and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).