Firefighters in Santa Cruz responded to a house fire early Sunday morning, which had started in an unattended fireplace. The residents of the house on Leonard Street awoke during the night and discovered the blaze, and used a hose to control the flames. Fire crews responded just after 4:30 a.m., and fully extinguished the fire, which had spread underneath the floor. The incident caused about 30-thousand dollars’ worth of damage.
A shooting in Salinas on Friday evening left 1-person dead and 2-others injured. The victims were in a garage of a house on the 5-hundred block of St. Edwards Avenue, when multiple suspects approached, and began firing. 30-year-old Faustino Benitez was pronounced dead at the scene, while a 21-year-old and a 24-year-old victim were taken to hospitals and were listed in serious, but stable condition, as of Saturday. The suspects fled north on St. Edwards avenue, and anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to contact the Salinas Police Department, or call the anonymous crime tip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.
A parole sweep in South Monterey County on Saturday netted 7 arrests. More than 30 law enforcement officers participated in the sweep, which targeted gang members on probation or parole in Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield, and King City. Arrests were made for weapons possession, as well as other parole violations. The operation is the 7th parole sweep over the last 3 months targeting gang members.
The Thanksgiving Holiday has the California Highway Patrol on full alert this week. The C-H-P is partnering with local police departments to target drivers talking on their cell-phones, as part of the “No Tolerance Campaign.” In addition to that effort, every available C-H-P Officer will be on duty from Wednesday night at 6 p.m., through Sunday at 11:59 p.m. The full deployment is part of a “Maximum Enforcement effort,” which targets unsafe drivers, particularly those who are impaired, or are not wearing seatbelts.
Salinas police are investigating the robbery of a church over the weekend. The First Presbyterian Church, on the 8-hundred block of Padre Drive, was broken into sometime on Friday night or early Saturday morning. The burglars stole video and lighting equipment, as well as laptop computers. The damage and lost items are estimated to cost about 50-thousand dollars, including a broken stained-glass window valued at about 6-thousand dollars. Insurance is expected to cover the losses, and Church officials plan to install additional security features.
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