Santa Cruz on High Alert After Local Hells Angels Murder | Crime
Nicknamed "Mr. 187" after the penal code for murder, Steve Tausan owned a bailbonds shop in San Jose but was the sergeant in arms for the Hells Angels Santa Cruz chapter.
His murder Saturday at the funeral of his best friend, San Jose chapter president Jeff Pettigrew, has Santa Cruz police waiting for a shift in power.
"We fully suspect that they will be looking for another sergeant in arms here locally and we'll monitor that and learn who this person is, and sort of what they have to do to prove themselves and become that position," said deputy chief Steve Clark.
Proving themselves usually involves some sort of crime said Clark.
He said there are probably a few dozen members in Santa Cruz lending their support to bigger branches like San Jose through mainly drug sales and extortion.
"For some time now they've been active in the Santa Cruz area trying to cement a chapter here, they've been looking for a clubhouse for some time."
Last year, Santa Cruz police said they had to break up a fight in this busy downtown intersection when local Hells Angels and Vagos members went at it right here in the street.
That fight was all over which gang claimed the Starbucks on Pacific Avenue as their territory.
Vagos biker gang members are blamed for Pettigrew's death a few weeks ago in a Nevada casino. Monday, various biker blogs are speculating about who killed Tausan. Santa Cruz police want to know too.
"Well be looking to work with San Jose police and exchange information and learn as much as we can about what caused this to occur, was this house cleaning going on was this something else that carries on with their feud with the Vagos?"
The santa Cruz Sheriff's Department said they are also in contact with San Jose police and are keeping an eye on the situation locally.