SANTA CRUZ – As a 26-year-old man from Capitola awaits arraignment after allegedly stealing two big-screen TVs from Target and shooting security officers earlier this month, law enforcement area offer general tips for repelling potential thieves.
The Santa Cruz Police Department this week released a public service announcement for local business owners, offering “how-to” tips and personalized store safety assessments. The announcement was prompted by a series of national and regional reports on “smash-and-grab” crimes, officials said.
Armed robbery is a trend involving large, coordinated groups entering stores all at once and quickly. Criminals fill their guns or bags with goods and run away, usually in waiting vehicles, according to Blaschke.
Although this month’s local theft, which occurred on December 6 at the Target store in the Capitola Mall, does not fit the same definition, retailer preventive advice remains applicable to reduce the risk of take-out theft, Joyce said. Blaschke, spokesperson for the Santa Cruz police. Thusday.
In the local case, Fernie Ruiz was acting alone when he walked into the Target store around 8:19 p.m., grabbed the two boxed TVs and fled on foot, according to Capitola Police Detective Sgt. Leo Moreno. Ruiz allegedly shot security guards in the parking lot, hitting their vehicle but not injuring the occupants, according to police reports.
Ruiz was arrested on December 9 by the Santa Cruz County Interjurisdictional Crime Team on suspicion of his involvement in the mall incident, as well as in a separate attempted theft on December 1 at the station. service from 41st avenue Chevron. Ruiz is due to be indicted on December 21 in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on suspicion of theft, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, discharging a weapon through negligence, assault with a firearm. , robbery, being a criminal in possession of a gun, illegal possession of ammunition, attempted theft and assault with a lethal weapon, all crimes.
Regarding advice from retailers, Santa Cruz Police urge store owners to:
â¢ Keep front doors and windows clear of visual obstruction to people inside and out.
â¢ Maintain a visible presence of employees on the sales floor at all times. Never leave an employee alone.
â¢ Greet every customer who enters the company.
â¢ Place high-value merchandise away from entrances and spread throughout the store instead of bundling them. Limit the number of products on display.
â¢ Use a CCTV system with both visible and hidden cameras. Display signs announcing that the surveillance system is recording images 24 hours a day, with images being monitored and stored offsite. Evaluate the location of the cameras for the best vantage points most likely to capture quality images / videos.
â¢ Think of burglar-proof glass for sides, facades and tops of display cases.
â¢ Customers and employees should stay away and not get involved in a theft to avoid becoming a victim. Do not engage an offender in a confrontation; be an attentive witness.
Local retailers can also contact the Santa Cruz Police Department for an investigation of their safety measures and for personalized safety recommendations. To make an appointment, send an email to [email protected]