Tag Archives: police

Cops ticketing in seat belt crackdown

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 25, 2012 —

The West Sacramento Police Department announced last week it will participate in the statewide “Click it or Ticket” campaign this summer to target seat belt scofflaws.

The department promises to “help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” in the campaign that runs May 21 through June 3.

A ticket for a first-time seat belt violation costs $142.

Fifty-one percent of the people killed in auto crashes nationwide in 2010 were not wearing seat belts at the time they were killed, said the department.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Gang members sentenced for attack near Lowe’s


The following is from a May 17 press release from the Yolo County District Attorney’s office:

“District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen L. Mock concluded sentencing on three gang members convicted by jury for an attack on three people in a Lowe’s parking lot in West Sacramento on April 19, 2010.

“Twenty-year olds Jose Antonio Duran and Salvador Benjamin Vasquez, Jr., and 21-year-old Joseph Vincent Sisneros, saw a victim who was a Starbucks employee and UC Davis Student eating in his car in the Lowe’s parking lot just after 10 p.m.  The three Sacramento men, all of whom a jury found to be active Norteño gang members, took the victim’s iPod, wallet and keys.  The men then did what Judge Mock described as a “senseless beating” of the victim, causing two facial fractures, while he begged them to stop.

  “The men were laughing and shouting ‘Norte,’ the name of their gang, which caught the attention of four Lowe’s employees as they exited the store.  One employee, a U.S. Army Reservist, approached the assault and attempted to call the police.  According to Judge Mock, the men then ‘targeted [him] because he was calling the police,’ threatened to shoot him, and chased him away.

“The men caught the second Lowe’s employee, who was UC Davis physical therapy student.  Although the student immediately raised his hands in surrender, defendants Duran and Sisneros repeatedly kicked the victim in the face, breaking his nose, while defendant Vasquez threatened to shoot him.  Later, the defendants were pulled over by police as they left the area in Duran’s car.  After a two week trial, a YoloCounty jury convicted all three defendants on February 27, 2012.

“Judge Mock concluded that the defendants had ‘terrorized’ the three victims and demonstrated the threat posed by criminal street gangs.  He sentenced Sisneros to state prison for 15 years, Vasquez for 18 years and four months and Duran for 21 years and four months.  For the gang-related witness intimidation, Judge Mock imposed the statutory term of 7-years-to-life on all three defendants.

  “Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens prosecuted the case.  ‘Street gangs succeed as an enterprise because they routinely threaten and intimidate witnesses of their crimes,’ explained Couzens.  ‘The ‘life’ commitment lets witnesses of gang violence know that the justice system wants to protect them and deters gang members from interfering with investigations.’

“Prior to trial, the prosecution offered each defendant a non-life prison term.  All three defendants rejected that offer.”

Hostage incident on Marston Street


A nine-hour standoff on Marston Street ended early this morning with a 38-year old West Sacramento woman in jail.

According to Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department, the incident started with a medical call to the 1000-block of Marston at about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday. While a male family member was being removed by ambulance for a medical problem, 38-year old Melissa Dodd ran into the house, locking herself in and locking her mother out.

Police tried to get Dodd to let her mother in.

  “A few moments later, while officers and the mother were separated, Melissa Dodd pulled her mother into the house by force,” said a press statement from Lt. Sockman. “Yelling from inside the residence was heard. Officers were unable to make entry into the residence. It was believed that (the) mother was being held against her will.”

Dodd had felony warrants for domestic violence and possession of stolen property, said Sockman, and also had access to guns in the house. Yolo County hostage negotiators and a West Sacramento/Davis SWAT team were called to the scene.

“Throughout the nine hour standoff, Dodd was in possession of a handgun,” said Sockman. “Despite all efforts to have her release her mother and exit the house, Dodd refused. At approximately 4:15 a.m., Dodd cut her wrists, believed to be an attempt to commit suicide. At that time, the SWAT team made entry into the residence and took Dodd into custody.”

Aside from Dodd’s self-inflicted injuries, said Sockman, there were no further injuries to Dodd or her mother. Dodd was treated and booked.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

82-year old woman missing after walk

Georgina Crespo: missing after a walk from Southport home


West Sacramento police are asking for the public’s help in locating an 82-year old woman, missing under unknown circumstances.

Georgina Crespo was last seen yesterday (May 15) at about  4:35 p.m leaving her residence in the Southport area for a walk.  When she failed to return, family members called police at 10:45 p.m. to  report Crespo as a missing person.

Crespo has been known to frequent the  Southport Town Center Plaza and had made earlier statements she would possibly attempt to travel to Texas.  Anyone with information as to the location of Crespo is requested to contact the West Sacramento Police Department Dispatch at 916-375-6474.

   Sgt. Nathan Steele of the W.S.P.D. said Crespo is described as Hispanic, 5′ 0″ tall, 105 lbs, with gray hair and  hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a beige sweat shirt and jeans and carrying a green recycle bag.

The News-Ledger ‘Police Log,’ May 2


  Information for this ‘Police Log’ has come directly from original police reports and documents. The information includes citizen complaints and other statements that have not substantiated or proven by an investigation or a courtroom.  

April 24, 9:06 a.m.
A Southport parent reported that a 16-year old daughter was in a sexual relationship with a 20-year old man.

April 24, 2:52 p.m.
A resident of West Capitol Avenue visited the police lobby. The citizen said a neighbor had a cannabis card and was growing a lot of marijuana plants. The citizen wasn’t sure if this large number of plants was legal, and was also concerned about the smell of the plants.

April 24, 9:45 p.m.
A citizen said that a Russian-speaking man with white hair, a large belly and a walking street had been approaching children near Stonegate Elementary when school let out. Extra patrols were requested.

April 25, 1:08 a.m.
A man reported that he gave a $100 bill to a woman at an apartment complex on the 2400-block of West Capitol, because she said she would make change. The woman then went into her apartment and slammed the door on him, refusing to come back out. She also displayed a knife, but didn’t threaten him with it.

April 25, 7:25 a.m.
A boat was stolen during the night from a Betty Way home.

April 25, 2:59 p.m.
At a motel on western West Capitol Avenue, a woman complained of ongoing harassment from a downstairs neighbor. The other woman recently “threw tuna fish at (her) and called her satanic.”

April 25, 3:24 p.m.
A man reported a court order violation in Southport: his child’s mother had blocked his phone number so he couldn’t call the child. The woman also was in the habit of leaving the 9- and 11-year old children alone for extended periods of time.

April 25, 3:39 p.m.
Reported by a mother at the Westmore Oaks Elementary School campus: An ex-husband “went to (their) daughter’s school a short time ago, and met with (the daughter) and gave her birthday gifts, in violation of a child custody order.”

April 25, 5:16 p.m.
A resident of Molokai Road discovered damage to a garage door. The damage may have been caused in a failed burglary attempt.

April 26, 10:22 a.m.
A citizen reported that a man had been using tools to try to get into the door of a vacant home on Tahoe Street that was in foreclosure. The subject had arrived in a pickup truck with a lawnmower in it.

April 26, 11:48 a.m.
A north-area woman said her son was harassing her and taking money from her. The son also keeps visiting her at night, although he is unwelcome, makes false accusations, and is “trying to get (her) into a convalescent home.”

April 26, 1:22 p.m.
A woman reported that a vehicle may have been following her near on Tuesday near Jefferson and Southport Parkway. She said she became concerned after reading a newspaper account that someone in a car may have been impersonating a police officer (and may have “pulled over” another woman’s vehicle).

April 26, 2:26 p.m.
A man rented a room on the 900-block of West Capitol, but found “the room wasn’t up to his standards and the manager won’t refund (his) money.”

April 26, 9:03 p.m.
Police and firefighters responded to a mobilehome fire on the 1300-block of West Capitol. Firefighters called the fire “suspicious,” and said it could be the result of arson.

April 26, 11:30 p.m.
On the 1300-block of Halyard Drive, a man from Elk Grove discovered someone had broken the windshield and slashed all four tires on his vehicle.

April 27, 9:48 a.m.
The catalytic converter was reported stolen from a 1994 Toyota pickup truck parked on Maple Street.

April 27, 11:20 a.m.
A concerned citizen said there was a man on 19th Street shooting arrows from a bow. The citizen didn’t know what the archer was firing at.

April 27, 3:01 p.m.
A witness on Pine Street saw somebody take the registration sticker from a Honda’s license plate and put it on the plate of a red Mercury Cougar. The subject was still at the scene.

April 27, 4:49 p.m.
Someone took prescription medication, a backpack and an iPad from an unlocked car at Stonegate Elementary.

April 27, 6:02 p.m.
Catalytic converters were reported stolen from vehicles on Pecan Street and (shortly afterwards) on Walnut Circle.

April 27, 9:18 p.m.
A Maple Street woman said that about an hour earlier, she “heard her dog yelp and found a hole in its cheek.” She “believes it’s the neighbors” who injured the dog, “since they are the only ones she’s having problems with.” She was trying to get treatment for the dog.

April 28, 2:03 a.m.
A man called police from a pay phone on C Street. He said “someone stole his shoes about 30 minutes ago while he was sleeping.”

April 28, 7:00 a.m.
A Willow Avenue garage was found burglarized. Items missing included power tools, a bike and an iPod, worth a total of around $2,700.

April 28, 8:29 a.m.
In the north-area, a resident told a dispatcher that a sister had been given an eviction notice a month ago. The sister was refusing to leave and was “throwing household cleaners all over the house.”

April 28, 11:27 a.m.
Someone broke the rear window of a Prius parked on Savannah Lane during the night.

April 28, 1:11 p.m.
A vehicle on Aruba Street was reported burglarized. A window was broken and unspecified items were missing.

April 28, 1:19 p.m.
An owner visited a property on Evergreen Avenue and found that two men and two women were “squatting” in the residence.

April 28, 3:38 p.m.
A woman asked for advice. She said a possibly-known suspect had hijacked her Facebook account and was posting links to videos that claimed she is a prostitute and urged people to report her to Child Protective Services.

April 28, 5:40 p.m.
A woman called police to report a disturbance involving a 16-year old brother. The caller’s mother and caller’s three-year old were now locked in a bedroom, while the caller and her two-year old were in another. The brother had punched  a wall.

April 28, 5:45 p.m.
A 30-year old Arthur Drive woman was detained for shoplifting a $9 pair of brown house slippers at a Riverpoint Circle store. An employee signed a citizen’s arrest and she was cited and released by police.

April 28, 6:20 p.m.
A woman on Harriett Street reported an incident that ended up something like this: she hired a homeless man to help her move. The man went upstairs to use a bathroom, and she then gave him $40 and he took a lunch break. She then discovered a wallet gone from upstairs. The man’s sleeping bag and cell phone were found in her garage.
A camera belonging to her was located stuffed inside a bush out front.
When police responded, an officer contacted the man as he returned, carrying a laptop computer missing from the residence.
The man explained to the officer that “another person gave him the computer while he was walking back to the residence.” He was arrested.

April 28, 7:14 p.m.
A citizen said three boys and two girls – all under age 16 – were “carrying bottles of vodka” as they walked near Ash and Evergreen avenues, and they were “extremely intoxicated.”

April 28, 7:24 p.m.
A fight was reported among members of a wedding party near West Capitol and Poplar.

April 28, 10:36 p.m.
A witness said there was a group of people stealing steel from a property on the 3400-block of Industrial Blvd.

April 28, 12:51 a.m.
A resident of 13th Street called 911 after he or she “heard someone trying to get in the bedroom window.”

April 28, 1:18 a.m.
On the 1600-block of West Capitol, a man with a guitar case was reported “bothering females who are walking up and down the street.”

April 29, 12:24 a.m.
Two men were reported running out of a mobilehome park “after shooting at. . . mobilehomes.”

April 29, 12:28 a.m.
On Holly Street, “someone is tapping on (the caller’s) bedroom window.”

April 29, 12:30 a.m.
A woman said she got out of her car at her Simon Terrace apartment complex, and two subjects robbed her of her purse.

April 29, 12:51 a.m.
A man called from a pay phone on 3rd Street, telling a dispatcher he “wanted to step in front of a train.”

April 29, 6:22 a.m.
Multiple vehicles were found burglarized on Pecan Street. Gone were some baby-shower presents.

April 29, 7:53 a.m.
A woman called from a motel on the 2700-block of West Capitol. She said her boyfriend had taken her belongings, including her car keys – and her cell phone, to try to keep her from calling police.

April 29, 11:01 a.m.
The catalytic converter was reported missing from a vehicle on North Hobson.

April 29, 12:37 p.m.
In an Ikea Court parking lot, there was a man “in a referee-type shirt” seen trying to pick the locks of some cars.

April 29, 1:08 p.m.
A resident said there were about 10 bicyclists on the lawn of a business complex on 3rd Street. The cyclists were refusing to leave and were riding on the lawn.

April 29, 4:21 p.m.
A gas station on the 1700-block of West Capitol reported that the driver of a green Toyota Camry had just driven away with the pump nozzle still in the car. The pump was now damaged. The car was last seen going southbound on Westacre.

April 29, 5:07 p.m.
Two vehicles were in a collision on Promenade Street. The driver of a Dodge Nito said the driver of the other vehicle, a blue Honda Odyssey, was refusing to exchange information and denying involvement in the collision. But the Dodge’s driver said the damage on the Honda was consistent with the accident, and asked for an officer to respond.

April 29, 10:09 p.m.
A Columbus Road resident said someone took a camera from an unlocked vehicle during Thursday night. The neighborhood had experienced problems with petty theft lately.

April 29, 10:45 p.m.
At a market on the 1600-block of West Capitol, there was a man wearing a beanie and a trenchcoat, with an orange jumpsuit underneath, who was “stumbling around and seems to have a hard time walking.”

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

EDITORIAL: crime drama lessons & more

NEWS-LEDGER EDITORIAL, published April 25, 2012

Friday’s (April 20) crime drama caught the region’s attention. Apparently, a lone gunman shot at West Sacramento citizens and police, rammed a patrol car, caused at least one other car crash. He carjacked several vehicles, beat up a birdwatcher, and eventually was cornered in a Sacramento apartment, where he refused to surrender.

Finally, the suspect was shot and killed by deputies.

Amid all that action, there were certainly a lot of chances for other people to get killed or badly hurt, but none were. It sure could have been a lot worse.

  Meanwhile, it will be interesting to watch the actions of law enforcement be dissected and analyzed – the length of time they kept I-80 closed for public safety, the final decision to shoot, and so forth. There will be lessons to learn for next time.
When the River City High School football team had a breakout season a couple of years ago, winning nearly every regular-season game and making it to the playoffs for the first time in what seemed like forever, West Sacramento got excited.

The community paid attention to the winning season, and the city council even presented the team with a proclamation.

This year, the school’s girls’ basketball team had its own breakout season, going 27-4 overall after a near-perfect regular season. They earned their first trip to the playoffs ever.

They deserve a city council plaque, don’t you think?

  No more capital “I” in internet.

As one more tiny sign of a new era, the News-Ledger is going to try to make a slight change in the spelling of the word “internet” – no longer capitalizing the word like just about everybody did when the darn thing was invented.

And if it seems odd to you that the word ever was capitalized in regular use, just consider that this is a common thing with big new technologies. When that exciting and groundbreaking technology called “Radio” was invented, it also originally came with a capital “R.” Only after people got used to the idea did the “R” shrink.

So spelling the word as “internet” is pretty much an admission it’s been around a while and we’re used to it.

TO COMMENT on this editorial, please visit the same editorial at our sister site at WestSac.com by clicking here.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Crime drama started on Harbor Blvd

Three of the owners of B&R Head & Block Repair: Bill Kutsch, Dieter Kutsch Sr., Billy Kutsch (News-Ledger photo)


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A regional crime drama that included a huge manhunt and the six-hour closure of a major local freeway got its start when some employees of a West Sacramento repair shop arrived at work just before 6 a.m. on Friday.

B & R Head & Block Repair is a “family business,” reported Dieter Kutsch, a member of the family that runs it. The shop services big engine parts for a wide area around West Sacramento, and it’s located on an industrial stretch of Harbor Boulevard north of the freeway, where there isn’t a lot going on outside daylight hours.

Kutsch’s son, Dieter Kutsch, Jr., opened the door that morning for two employees, Keith and Robert.

  “He turned the alarm system off for the guys, and the other two went in, while he went to get coffee. They walked toward the back, hitting the lights. It was still dark inside.”

They made a turn and started heading back on the other side of the building.

“There were lights upstairs,” said Dieter Kutsch, Sr. “Robert yelled ‘what’s going on?’ At that time, the shooter opened the door and started shooting at Keith and Robert. He shot three rounds at first. The guys went down onto the ground. They weren’t hit.”

The suspect – later ID’d as 38-year old Jimmy Lee Graves of Dieppe Way, Sacramento – had a revolver with him. Kutsch’s employees were pinned down, but they had some cover from posts and engine parts inside the building.

The pair hurriedly talked to each other and agreed to make a break for it, one at a time. They did — and the gunman shot at them again.

“They ran out (of the building) and at that time, Robert called 911 and then he called me,” said Kutsch. “They also wanted to contact my son, so he wouldn’t go back into the building not knowing what was going on.”

Kutsch’s son didn’t get the message – and he returned to the building to enter it evidently just as the shooter went out a window elsewhere.

William Lee Graves: shot by deputies in Sacramento after allegedly starting a fire, refusing to surrender

Police arrived, not sure whether all the suspects were out of the building. They used tear gas to make sure it was clear.  They established a perimeter, but the shooter was gone.

Graves allegedly took a Remington rifle with a scope from the shop – but dropped it nearby.

“I had my gun there because I had been hunting the previous day,” said Kutsch.

Why the break-in?

“It was a random deal,” said Kutsch. “There was no money in the shop, all our business is through accounts.”

Then, at 6:39 a.m., police received a phone call from near a liquor store at Poplar Avenue and West Capitol: the caller reported that a man in a long coat, with a gun, had just carjacked a brown Ford Focus.

  Police spotted the vehicle and pursued at high speed. The suspect bailed on foot on the 2900-block of West Capitol, and then carjacked a white Ford F-150 pickup.

“Officers confronted the suspect, ordering him to surrender, and were fired on by the suspect,” reported Sgt. Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department.

The pickup fled west, shooting again at an officer and ramming a patrol car on West Capitol, causing the officer driving it to lose control. Then the pickup got on I-80 westbound, losing control and hitting a center divider. Law enforcement personnel set up a perimeter around this Yolo Causeway site – and entirely shut down traffic on the causeway.

The freeway wasn’t reopened until after noon. The closure by then had caused major Sacramento-area traffic trouble. Before stopped traffic was allowed to pass, vehicles were inspected by officers to make sure the suspect wasn’t hiding inside.

At this point, there were several law enforcement agencies involved – including SWAT teams, K-9 teams and helicopters, said Steele. The manhunt eventually grew to involve 12 agencies.

Now there were two “active crime scenes” – but a call came in at about 10 a.m. that there had been another carjacking, near County Road 127 and River Road. Yolo sheriff’s deputies responded, learning that somebody in a suspected-stolen tractor had approached a male victim and struck him over the head. The victim’s vehicle – a 2008 Ford F-150 – was taken.

The victim was said, in some media reports, to have been a birdwatcher. He wasn’t seriously injured.

That victim’s pickup was later found abandoned near Lenwick and Morse Avenue in Sacramento, said Steele.

Investigators followed leads, checking on “numerous potential suspect locations.”

  At about 6:55 p.m., the Sacramento sheriff’s department checked out one of those locations, an apartment at 1968 Ethan Way.

“While attempting to secure the scene in the 1900 block of Ethan Way a suspect fled from Sacramento County Deputies, barricaded himself and started a fire in the apartment,” reported Steele in a press release. “After a standoff in which the suspect was repeatedly ordered to surrender, the suspect was shot by Sacramento County deputies to allow for emergency personnel to extinguish the rapidly growing fire.”

Graves was killed.

Steele declined to discuss whether the suspect had a criminal history.

The Sacramento Bee reported that family members said the man had trouble holding a job, as well as drug problems, a failing marriage, and pending charges on a robbery.

  If you would like to comment on this article, please go to our sister website, WestSac.com, by clicking here.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012