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Out-of-towners who went to 7-Eleven for ‘essential drinks’ are fined $1,000 each

Santa Cruz police ticketed seven out-of-towners who gathered at a 7-Eleven.
Santa Cruz police ticketed seven out-of-towners who gathered at a 7-Eleven on Friday night.
(Santa Cruz Police Department)

A run to 7-Eleven came at a hefty price for seven people Friday night, as Santa Cruz police cited them each $1,000 for violating local shelter-in-place rules.

The gathering — which authorities called an expensive hangout — took place at a branch of the convenience store on Ocean Street, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Police said the visitors were from Fremont, which is more than 40 miles away.

“Not smart,” the department wrote on Facebook. “Everyone should know by now that this is not the time to meet up and party.”

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Police said the tickets should “help these guys remember their time in Santa Cruz.”

All of Santa Cruz County has lived under a “shelter-in-place” order since March 16. The same goes for Alameda County, where Fremont is located.

Those guidelines — which are meant to help stem the spread of COVID-19 — bar public gatherings and stipulate that residents should leave their homes only for purposes deemed to be essential.

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In the eyes of Santa Cruz Police Chief Andrew Mills, an out-of-town beer run didn’t meet that standard.

The “visitors came from Fremont to get some ‘essential’ drinks. Essentially, they were all given $1,000 tickets for SIP violations,” he wrote on Twitter. “If you are not from Santa Cruz and you put our community at risk, you will get a ticket.”

As of Monday morning, there had been 88 confirmed coronavirus infections among Santa Cruz County residents, according to health officials. One person has died as a result of COVID-19 and 36 others have recovered.

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