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Sharene Sars

SANTA CRUZ

Missing Santa Cruz woman at risk

Police have asked for the public's help in finding a 60-year-old Santa Cruz woman last seen Tuesday morning.

Sharene Sars is at risk because of a medical need, said Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend. Sars walked away from her home on Gault Street in Santa Cruz.

No foul play is suspected in her disappearance, according to police. She was reported missing Tuesday.

Sars is 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans and white tennis shoes.

Police asked that anyone with information to call 911, investigations at 831-420-5820 or the anonymous tip line at 831-420-5995; or leave a tip at www.santacruzpolice.com or by the mobile application at http://m.santacruzpolice.com.

SANTA CRUZ

Woman pepper-sprays attacker

Police searched for a man who attacked a woman and touched her inappropriately on Laurel Street Tuesday night.

A 23-year-old Santa Cruz woman got out of her car on Laurel near Mission Street about 10:45 p.m., said Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend.


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A man came from behind, "bear hugged" her and tried to put his hand down her skirt, police said. She pepper-sprayed the man and ran.

The man fled north on Laurel, according to the woman, who was not injured and declined medical attention.

Police responded and set up a perimeter with a police dog. The man was not found.

He appeared to be a white man 30- to 35 years old and 6 feet tall. He wore a blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a light blue beanie.

No other similar attacks have been reported recently in Santa Cruz, but police are investigating whether the man has attacked women elsewhere in Santa Cruz County.

Police asked that anyone with information to call 911, investigations at 831-420-5820 or the anonymous tip line at 831-420-5995; or leave a tip at www.santacruzpolice.com or by the mobile application at http://m.santacruzpolice.com.

SANTA CRUZ

Candle sparks house fire

A candle left burning on a shelf near flammable materials caused an early morning fire on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, fire officials said.

Santa Cruz Fire responded to a reported structure fire at a one-story apartment just before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The fire had been extinguished when firefighters arrived at the home on the 100 block of Ocean Street. A bystander told them a garden hose had been used.

The occupant suffered a small burn on one hand but declined further medical care.

Damage was estimated at $10,000.

RIO DEL MAR

Cyclist died of natural causes

A Scotts Valley man died of natural causes while riding his bike in Rio del Mar on Saturday, the Santa Cruz County Coroner's Office reported.

Richard Lucero, 45, is believed to have suffered a heart attack, then crashed his bike on Bonita Drive about 10:15 a.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Paramedics administered aid to Lucero at the scene, but he was pronounced dead a short time later, said CHP officer Grant Boles. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.