SPPD: Santa Paula’s Most Wanted on reactivated Facebook page

January 31, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

The Santa Paula Police Department has returned to Facebook with a bang...and in some cases, a gangbang. 

As of January 3, 2014 the Facebook page, first posted in January 2011, was reactivated after being taken down July 2012 when the understaffed SPPD had trouble monitoring the posts.

Since Police Chief Steve McLean, who joined the city July 1, had the page reactivated it has become a showcase for what he refers to as “Santa Paula’s Most Wanted” featuring mug shots and information on numerous felons.

Santa Paula  had six homicides in 2013, a number only matched in 2002. Since then the murder rate had averaged less than one homicide a year-there were several years without such an incident-before the 2013 violence. A majority of the 2013 homicides were tied to gang activity or committed by those belonging to or associated with a gang. 

Four suspects in six of the homicides were arrested, a combination of good police work, strong partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and the cooperation of the public which has shown to be more willing to offer information.

So far the SPPD has more than 900 “Likes” on its Facebook page, a social media resource commonly used by law enforcement agencies for a variety of purposes.

And that includes finding fugitives: “We want people to see these felons,” McLean said of Santa Paula’s Most Wanted displayed on the Facebook page that is being added to all the time.

Those displayed are wanted on warrants ranging from drug possession and/or under the influence of same to assault, domestic battery, parole violations, carrying a weapon and other charges. 

McLean said that the Facebook page listings are expected to bring more arrests. 

“If they’re around we’ll run across them eventually,” said McLean, “but if people know where they are, even out of town, that helps save us time...and gets people off the street that shouldn’t be there.”

One of those listed on Santa Paula’s Most Wanted is Jesse Moten, wanted for murder-the June 28, 2013 midday murder of Joseph Arellano, 24, outside his grandmother’s North 6th Street home-and a felony warrant for parole violation for assault with a deadly weapon.

The listing notes Moten’s December 29, 1993 birth date, that the Hispanic male has black hair, brown eyes, is 5’8” tall and 150 pounds.

Moten’s photo shows a facial tattoo as well as the hint of a tattoo on his neck.

McLean said there is a $5,000 reward offered for Moten’s arrest and conviction.

Check out the Santa Paula Police Department Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SantaPaulaPoliceDepartment

If you have a tip on any of Santa Paula’s Most Wanted or criminal activity in the city contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474.

If you would prefer to remain anonymous you can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691.

In addition, tips can be emailed to the SPPD at tipline@spcity.org

Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). 

Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org   

Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for a tip that leads to a felony arrest as confirmed by the arresting agency. 

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