Merced Police Department

  • Agency: Merced Police Department
  • Address: 611 W 22nd Street, Merced, 95340 CA
  • Chief: Russ Thomas (Chief of Police)

Merced Police Department is located at 611 W 22nd Street, Merced, 95340 CA. The Chief of Police of the department is Russ Thomas. The Merced Police Department phone number is 209-385-6905.

Merced Police Department News

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE June 4, 2018 Sgt. Robert Solis Disruptive Area Response Team (DART) Office: (209) 385-4703 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Selling Illegal Fireworks Date and Time: June 4, 2018 @ 3:15 P.M. Location: Merced County Victims: None Arrested Persons: Ashley Thigpen (26) Case Number: 18-30998 On Monday, June 4th, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Disruptive Area Response Team (DART) officers responded to a Craigslist advertisement selling illegal fireworks. DART officers met with Ashley Thigpen in a hardware store parking lot in Merced County. Officers arrested Ashley Thigpen (26) of Ceres, Ca. Thigpen was arrested for selling illegal fireworks and advertisement of illegal fireworks. Thigpen was booked at the Merced County Jail for the mentioned charges. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Sgt. Solis at (209) 385-4703 or the Merced PD Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.

Merced has Zero Tolerance for illegal fireworks Three men arrested for the sale of illegal fireworks in the City Use a skyrocket or a barrel bomb and it could cost you up to $2,000. Keep using illegal fireworks or sell them and it could land you in court, as three men learned Friday. Three men were arrested for sale of illegal fireworks Friday as part of the City of Merced’s Zero Tolerance campaign on illegal fireworks. Officers from the DART team arrested two Livingston men and a Winton man on charges of selling illegal fireworks, advertisement of illegal fireworks and conspiracy to sell illegal fireworks. Officers seized a large amount of fireworks and $666 in cash in an undercover operation. The three men were booked in the Merced County Jail. ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY This year the City of Merced has Zero Tolerance for illegal fireworks in an effort to cut down on fires, injuries, noise, lost pets and neighborhood disruptions. The Zero Tolerance Policy is in effect for any fireworks not labelled “safe and sane” by the California State Fire Marshall. Basically, if it explodes or leaves the ground, it’s not safe and sane. Extra officers will be on patrol over the Fourth of July holidays to enforce fireworks violations. There also is a special phone number and email for people to report illegal fireworks. “The last few years Merced has looked like a battle zone with the sky lit up with skyrockets and the air filled with explosions. It’s time for that to end,” said Council Member Kevin Blake, who asked for the increased enforcement of the City ordinance’s against illegal fireworks. “I received a number of calls from constituents who had to medicate their pets because they were traumatized due to the loud noises over the holidays,” he said. “We want people to have a fun Fourth of July, but not a dangerous one, a Fourth that is enjoyable for everyone, including your neighbors,” Blake said. “We want people to be good neighbors and stick with the ‘safe and sane’ fireworks,” said Mayor Mike Murphy. “Have respect for people. Some of these illegal fireworks explode and leave buildings shaking. They scare little kids, senior citizens, and our veterans and pets who may be sensitive to loud explosions. We need to show consideration for everyone. “This is the first year of a multi-year campaign. We are expecting to build on it each year,” Murphy said. “Once word gets out that we are serious, that we will cite you, that we will take away your illegal fireworks, people will be less likely to buy them and use them.” The City shows a definite uptick in fires around the Fourth of July season when fireworks gain in popularity. While not all fires can be attributed to illegal fireworks, last year there July 4th saw 75 percent more calls than the average day, according to Fire Department records. FIREWORKS RULES • “Safe and sane” fireworks with the State Fire Marshal seal of approval can only be used from noon June 28 through noon July 6. • The non-safe and sane fireworks are illegal year-round, 24-7. • If fireworks can leave the ground or go up in the air they are illegal. Illegal fireworks include cherry bombs, bottle rockets, mortars, aerial shells, M-80s and firecrackers. • Illegal fireworks the lack of the seal of approval by the California State Fire Marshal. During the Fourth of July holiday period special teams of police officers and firefighters will be patrolling the City streets tracking down fireworks violators. Once found, the fireworks will be confiscated and the owners will be cited. Repeat offenders could end up in court. Anyone caught possessing, using or selling dangerous or illegal fireworks is subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 as well as criminal prosecution. HOW TO REPORT ILLEGAL FIREWORKS The number 209-388-SAFE became active June 1, and people are encouraged to report anyone they see or know who is buying, selling or distributing illegal fireworks. Someone will answer the line as available, but all messages will be followed up on. Residents can report illegal fireworks displays before the holidays by calling 911. During July 3 and 4 people are being asked to call 209-388-SAFE (7233) to report illegal fireworks displays, not 911 in order to keep the emergency dispatchers free for urgent calls. On July 3 and 4 there will be a call center opened from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and operators will be answering the phones and sending reports of illegal fireworks directly to dispatchers. The information will be forwarded to teams in the field. Part of the problem with illegal fireworks is that authorities usually receive multiple calls for any one offender. One neighbor setting off numerous skyrockets can swamp the 911 dispatchers with many calls on the same incident. The 209-388-SAFE number relieves pressure on the emergency dispatchers but still allows the illegal fireworks to get reported and acted upon. In addition, people can report illegal fireworks by sending an email to celebratesafe@cityofmerced.org. Those emails will also get forwarded to authorities. A third option is to report illegal fireworks using the Merced Connect app. The Merced Connect app is free and available at the Apple Store and Google Play. In addition to allowing you to report illegal fireworks, residents can obtain other information about City government. The City also will hold a fireworks Safe Surrender Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at Station 51, 99 E. 16th St. where people can turn in illegal fireworks with no questions asked.

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE June 2, 2018 Sgt. Brian Rodriguez Gang Violence Suppression Unit Office: (209) 385-4710 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Parolees arrested for possession of a firearm. Date and Time: June 2, 2018 @ 5:44 P.M. Location: 9600 block of Broadway in Planada, CA Victims: None Arrested Persons: Vanessa Hurtado (35) and Angelo Peters (32) Case Number: 18-30646 On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) officers developed information that Parolee Vanessa Hurtado had a firearm. GVSU officers stopped a vehicle leaving her home and contacted Parolee Angelo Peters. Peters was arrested for possession of meth and a pipe. Officers responded to Hurtado’s residence where they conducted a parole search of her home. During the search, officers located a 22 caliber rifle inside her home. Hurtado was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm and parole violation. Peters was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, possession of meth and parole violation. They were both booked at the Merced County Jail for the mentioned charges. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) Sgt. Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710, GVSU@cityofmerced.org or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.

The Merced Police Department is asking for the publics help in locating the owner of this trailer. If you own the trailer or know who does please contact Detective Pinnegar at pinnegarj@cityofmerced.org

MERCED POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2018 CONTACT: Sergeant Dan Dabney, dabneyd@cityofmerced.org, (209) 385-7719 Law Enforcement Memorial Day Weekend DUI Enforcement Crackdown Additional Officers to look for alcohol and drug impaired drivers If you plan to spend time outdoors for backyard barbeques or recreational activities at local parks this Memorial Day Weekend, remember to do so responsibly. Alcohol and marijuana may be included in these gatherings. Tragically, Memorial Day marks the start of California’s 100 dangerous days of summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. In 2016, 16 people were killed and another 385 injured in alcohol involved collisions over the Memorial Day weekend. Sixteen people were killed and 377 injured over the 2016 Labor Day weekend. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Merced Police Department will deploy additional officers on DUI Saturation Patrols to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. The patrols will be in areas with a history of DUI crashes and arrests. The goal is to reduce DUI-related collisions resulting in injuries or deaths. The Merced Police Department joins the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to raise awareness on the best ways to get from point A to point B safely. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, many police and sheriff departments in addition to the CHP will use OTS grant funds for overtime to deploy officers across the state to aggressively ticket or arrest traffic violators. High visibly enforcement operations will be in place all summer. In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Merced Police Department reminds drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI. In addition to stopping and arresting impaired drivers, officers will watch for aggressive drivers. Those who speed, tailgate, fail to obey traffic signs and signals, drive distracted will also be cited The Merced Police Department wants to remind drivers of the simple things that can save their lives and the lives of their loved ones: • California’s Click It Or Ticket campaign is underway so Buckle Up — it's the best defense if you're in a crash. • Drive sober! Plan your designated driver and take the keys away from friends or family that are drinking this weekend. • Never drive distracted – Put down your phone and Just drive! Avoid other distractions that diverts your full attention to the road. • Report drunk drivers – Call 911! This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The next statewide DUI enforcement campaign is set for Independence Day.

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE May 19, 2018 Sgt. Brian Rodriguez Gang Violence Suppression Unit Office: (209) 385-4710 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Gang member arrested for possession of a stolen firearm. Date and Time: May 19, 2018 @ 1:14 P.M. Location: 100 block of Donna Merced, CA Victims: None Arrested Persons: Isaiah Leal (22) Case Number: 18-27591 On May 19, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) developed information that gang member Isaiah Leal had a firearm at his residence in the 100 block of Donna Ave in Merced. GVSU officers responded to Leal’s residence where they contacted him. He admitted to possessing a handgun that was not registered to him and allowed officers to search his room. During the search, officers located a stolen 45 caliber handgun and ammunition. Leal was arrested and booked at the Merced County Jail for receiving stolen property, child endangerment and gang enhancements. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) Sgt. Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710 or GVSU@cityofmerced.org or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. ***** END *****

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE May 24, 2018 Lieutenant Jay Struble Office: (209) 385-4739 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Date and Time: May 23, 2018 @ 9:12 P.M. Location: E. Olive Ave & College Ave Incident: Fatal Traffic Collision Case Number: 18-28479 The Merced Police Department responded to E. Olive and College Avenue for a vehicle v wheel chair traffic collision. When officers arrived they located a 62 year old female in the roadway. The female had major injuries and was flown to a Modesto trauma center. The female later passed away due to injuries sustained in the traffic collision. The initial investigation shows that Benjamin Lopez (34, Merced) was driving west on E. Olive Avenue passing College Avenue. The female in the wheel chair was crossing E. Olive Avenue, going south, not in a crosswalk, when she was struck by Lopez. Lopez was driving a 2016 Nissan Maxima. Drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the collision. Lopez stayed on scene and is cooperating fully with investigators. The collision investigation is ongoing. Police Officers are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Officer McKeeman at (209) 388-7752, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “ComVIP” as the “keyword” in the text message.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2018 CONTACT: Sergeant Dan Dabney, dabneyd@cityofmerced.org, (209) 385-7719 CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN STARTS MAY 21 Merced law enforcement will show zero tolerance As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Californians. Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles on their way to start their summer vacations. To help keep drivers and passengers safe, the Merced Police Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. The national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3 concurrent with the busy travel season. The Merced Police Department will deploy additional officers during the two-week campaign on special traffic patrols specifically to stop and ticket both drivers and passengers for failing to use the vehicle’s safety belt restraints. This will also include drivers who fail to secure children in the proper child restraint seats. “Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said Sergeant Dan Dabney of the Merced Police Department. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement personnel see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life and injuries at the scene of a crash. Often, deaths could have been prevented and injuries reduced with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 56 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Police, Sheriff and the CHP will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In California, the minimum penalty for a seat belt violation is $162. “This Memorial Day period and, in fact, every day, we want everyone in every vehicle to remember that buckling up could be their greatest defense in a crash,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Putting on a seat belt is one of the quickest, simplest and most effective ways to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe and sound on the road.” In 2016, Statewide, 426 individuals that died in collisions were found to be unrestrained at the time of the collision. It is estimated that 74 would have survived if they had simply buckled up. The state had 8,767 people injured due to not wearing safety belts. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Sgt. Dabney. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.” This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and remember - Report Drunk Drivers - call 911.

Merced Police Department PRESS RELEASE May 14, 2018 Lance Eber Crime Analyst/Grant Director (209) 385-4701 eberl@cityofmerced.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ________________________________________________________________________ Merced Police Department Presents Assemblies to Students The Merced Police Department has assemblies planned at five middle schools aimed at having a dramatic effect on students’ decisions in life, especially regarding driving. Through a grant funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, the MPD is using funds to sponsor assemblies at five middle schools in Merced…Weaver Middle School, Rivera Middle School, Tenaya Middle School, Cruickshank Middle School, and Hoover Middle School. The title of the assembly is “Live Out Loud” and is presented by Motivational Media Assemblies (MMA) out of Burbank. MMA uses three large size projection screens for their presentation. The presentation includes scenes from movies, music videos, and sporting events, as well as cameo appearances by sports, television, and movie celebrities “Live Out Loud” sends the message that teenagers have to be the one to have dreams and visions of how life could be or should be. Teenagers want the good life, but this good life doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a choice. It is planned. Teenagers have to make solid decisions every single day. The youth of our day face uncertainty, boredom, peer pressure, moral confusion and unhealthy choices both physically and mentally. In this day and age of technology overload, teenagers tend to get locked into “watching” reality instead of trying to “change” reality. Teens need to be proactive and get involved and be the ones to make a difference in their lives and their community. Life only gets better when we choose to get better. We can watch life happen or make it happen. Our daily choice is to be a spectator or to be a participant. “We have done these assemblies off and on for six year years. The last three grants, we decided to present them to eighth graders just before they graduate and become high schoolers,” said Lance Eber, Crime Analyst and Grant Director for the Merced Police Department. “The presentation is very action packed to keep the interest of the students. Not only does it have a positive message about life in general, but it also includes several real stories about driving and what the negative impacts of making poor decisions while sitting behind the steering wheel can do to a person and family. Although our audience this year will include non-drivers, these non-drivers are passengers in some type of vehicle nearly every single day. They need to be responsible for their own safety and speak up on their own behalf. They need to be the voice of positive change in regards to driving habits.” The dates for the assemblies are: Wednesday, May 16 at Weaver; Thursday, May 17 at Tenaya and Hoover; and finally, Friday, May 18th at Cruickshank and Rivera. For more information, contact Lance Eber. Each of the schools prefer advance notice if the press arrive for coverage.

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE May 08, 2018 Sgt. Reynaldo Alvarez Office: (209) 388-7705 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Identity Theft Date and Time: Thursday, May 3, 2018 @ 09:00 AM. Location: Merced Victims: N/A Arrested Persons: Kevin Chavez (28), Priscilla Flores (29) Case Number: 18-24331 In December of 2017, Merced Police Department (MPD) Detective Moses Nelson began investigating a series of identity theft cases. The potential suspect(s) were stealing mail from citizens in Merced in order to gain personal identifying information. Through his investigation, Detective Nelson was able to identify the suspects as brothers Kevin and Ruben Chavez (32). Detective Nelson followed up on several leads, where he identified as many as ten victims of both theft and identity theft. The total loss between all victims was over $10,000.00. Kevin and Ruben were using the stolen information they obtained to open credit and other financial accounts. In addition, Ruben and Kevin were also found to have been involved in the theft of packages from multiple homes in Merced. These packages included a wide array of items such as TV’s and other electronics. On May 3, 2018, MPD Detectives along with members of the Gang Violence Suppression Unit and M.A.G.N.E.T served two search warrants at homes related to this investigation. At these homes, investigators recovered several ounces of methamphetamine, heroin and other items related to identify theft and drug sales. Detectives were able to arrest and book Kevin Chavez and Priscilla Flores for charges related to the identity theft and child endangerment. Ruben Chavez was not at either location and he is still outstanding. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Detective Moses Nelson at (209) 388-7756. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE Date: May 5, 2018 Bimley West, Captain Office: (209) 385-4706 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release ________________________________________________ Incident: Police Pursuit of Parolee Suspected of Being Armed with a Firearm Date and Time: May 4, 2018 9:49 p.m. Location: South Hwy 59 and W. Gerard Avenue - Merced Case Number: 2018-24643 Arrested: Erwin Harris – Age: 31 yrs. On May 4, 2018, at approximately 9:49 p.m., Merced Police Department Officer made a traffic stop of Harris as he was travelling S/B on Highway 59 at W. Gerard Avenue. The officer had earlier received information that Harris was a parolee and that Harris was in possession of a handgun. After the officer made the traffic stop of Harris and directed Harris to turn off the engine of his vehicle, Harris then put the vehicle in drive and quickly drove away. At this point, the officer pursued after Harris from the traffic stop to Los Banos at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. With the assistance of the Merced County Sheriff Department deploying a spike strip to safely end the pursuit, Harris drove over the spike strip and the pursuit ended at Highway 152 at Volta Rd. Harris’ wife, Elvira Harris, 35 yrs., was in the car with Erwin Harris during the vehicle pursuit. Subsequently, officers arrested Harris and found 38 caliber handgun bullets in his possession. Officers believe that Erwin Harris threw the handgun from his vehicle during the vehicle pursuit but did not have the time to discard the bullets. Officer did the best that they could to check the area of the pursuit route for the handgun but did not locate the handgun. However, it is a felony offense for a parolee to be in possession of ammunition; therefore, Erwin Harris was arrested for being a felon in possession of ammunition and felony reckless evading a peace officer and other violations. Harris was booked at the Merced County Jail for the violations. Elvira Harris was not arrested. No one was injured during this incident. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2018 CONTACT: Sergeant Dan Dabney, dabneyd@cityofmerced.org, (209) 385-7719 Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Responsibly Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving In the United States, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is often associated with parties and alcohol. If you’re celebrating with friends and family this weekend, remember that at the end of the night, you need to have a safe and sober ride home. Police, Sheriff and the CHP will be out in force this weekend looking for obvious signs of impaired driving. In the rush to prepare for a night out, it’s easy to forget the most important Cinco de Mayo plan of all: designating a sober driver. Some may think they can play it by ear and wait until after the party has started to decide whether they’re “okay to drive.” By this point, it’s too late. Going out for a night of drinking without a plan for getting home safely is a recipe for disaster. The Merced Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI Saturation Patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. Merced PD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive impaired, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. You will be looking at jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car or motorcycle towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay for a ride home? There are many other ways to ensure a safe ride home besides relying on a friend. The OTS DDVIP app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The app offers enhanced features, allowing users to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Additionally, the app users can easily order a sober ride from Uber or Lyft. Drunk driving is claiming too many lives. On average in 2016, someone was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes. On Cinco de Mayo weekend, that equaled 51 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes in the nation. So, if you choose to drink this Cinco de Mayo, make sure you have a designated sober driver or have arranged another safe way home. Decide today that you won’t ever drive after drinking or impaired by drugs. If you know someone who is about to drive buzzed or ‘high’, step in and help. Take their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely. A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100-percent preventable. This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and remember - Report Drunk Drivers - call 911. The next statewide DUI enforcement campaign is set for Independence Day.

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE May 3, 2018 MPD Case # 2018-24439 Captain Bimley West Office 209-385-8550 For Immediate Release ________________________ FELONY HIT/RUN – Motor Vehicle vs Pedestrian Date/Time: 05/03/2018 8:30 P.M. Location: W. Olive Avenue & “M” Street – Merced Victims: Male Adult, 33 Yrs. Suspect: Unidentified Vehicle: Small – 4Dr, Possible Honda or Other vehicle similar to the size of a Newer Model Honda Crime: Felony Hit/Run ________________________________________________ Merced Police Officers were dispatched to the intersection of W. Olive and “M” Street to investigate a vehicle vs pedestrian collision. Before police arrived on scene, the driver of car fled from the area, leaving the pedestrian lying on the ground with life threatening injuries. The preliminary investigation of this collision has disclosed the following information. The driver of the car that struck the pedestrian was traveling W/B on W. Olive Avenue, facing a green signal light at the intersection. The pedestrian walked into the crosswalk, S/B, into the intersection, while facing red light at the time that he was struck by the car. Merced City Police and Fire personnel were the first to arrive on scene to render assistance to the pedestrian. Riggs Paramedics arrived at the scene and subsequently had the pedestrian medi-flighted to a regional hospital in Modesto, CA. Investigators are interviewing witnesses to determine exactly how far into the intersection was the pedestrian in the crosswalk at the time that the signal light changed for W/B traffic to proceed forward. Investigators discovered that there were citizens who witnessed the collision, but departed the scene before officers could interview them. More information is being provided to the police about the suspect vehicle in this collision. Police are asking citizens who witnessed the hit/run collision to contact the police department with details about the collision. Police are asking the driver of the car that hit the pedestrian to do the right thing by contacting the Merced Police Department to further the investigation of this incident. The Merced Police Department requests any information from the public to help solve this hit and run collision by calling Lieutenant Jay Struble at 209 385-4739 or the tip-line at 209 385-4725. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Date: May 3, 2018 Ms. Beverly Flores has been located and is safe. The Merced Police Department would like to thank all the residents of Merced who assisted in looking for Ms. Flores. MISSING ELDERLY ADULT Merced Police Department is looking for an elderly adult female who walked away from the 3100 blk of M st at 1540 hours. Beverly Flores, a WFA 5-4, 140, Gray hair, last seen wearing a red shirt, black pants unknown direction. She may also be carrying a bag with polka dots on it. We are asking the public for assistance in locating Beverly Flores. If you see Beverly, please call the Merced Police Department at 209 385-6905. Thank you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2018 CONTACT: Sergeant Dan Dabney, dabneyd@cityofmerced.org, (209) 385-7719 May is Bicycle Safety Month With the California weather warming up, the Merced Police Department and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) are highlighting how bicycling is a great way to stay in shape, save money on gas, reduce pollution and when visiting recreational areas, a great way to see the sights. These benefits are nothing new to bicyclists and community leaders. Many cities have created bike-friendly routes now complete with paths, special parking areas and special amenities. National Bike Safety Month in May is just one way we celebrate our love to ride. However, motorists and bicyclists must take extra precautions when they travel together. Bicyclists often share the road with vehicles, which creates a host of hazards, and injuries can happen even on a designated path. In 2016, California passed legislation requiring motorists to proceed past bicyclists with at least three feet of clearance. According to National Safety Council Injury Facts 2017, 488,123 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2015 after being injured riding a bicycle. The only sport resulting in more injuries overall was basketball, at 493,011. Football was third, at 399,873. According to Injury Facts, about 1,100 deaths resulted from cyclists colliding with motor vehicles in 2015. With millions of bicyclists sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of safety precautions in traffic cannot be overstated. Cyclists who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury by an estimated 60%, and brain injury by 58%. That statistic makes sense when you consider the first body part to fly forward in a collision is usually the head, and with nothing but skin and bone to protect the brain, the results can be fatal. California witnessed 147 bicyclist deaths in 2016, accounting for over four percent of all traffic fatalities, much higher than the national average of over two percent. Nationally, 70 percent of all bicyclists who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 died in urban area crashes. Over a 10-year period (2006 to 2015), the average age of ¬cyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes has steadily increased from 41 to 45. In 2017, Merced had 52 bicyclists injured in collisions with vehicles. Fortunately, none of the bicyclists ended up being fatalities. The Merced Police Department will be doing grant funded operations during the month focusing on bicyclists not following the rules of the road. All operations are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association through the California Office of Traffic Safety The following safety tips can help prevent injuries and save lives: Drivers: • “Share the road” with bicyclists • Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists • Look for bicyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space • Yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals • Be especially watchful for bicyclists when making turns, either left or right • It is unlawful to drive in a bike lane except for 200 feet prior to making a right or left turn Bicyclists: • Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. If under 18 years of age, it’s the law • A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent a head injury • Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. • When cycling in the street, bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic. • Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during all parts of the day • The law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear when riding in the dark • For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing

Merced Police Department PRESS RELEASE April 20, 2018 Lieutenant Donald King Administrative Division Office: (209) 384-4188 For Immediate Release ________________________________________________________________________ Date and Time: April 20, 2018 @ 11:45 a.m. Location: Golden Valley High School 2121 E. Childs Ave. Incident: Report of an active shooter on campus Suspect: Unknown Case Numbers: 18-21879 On April 20, 2018 at 11:45 School Resource Officer Keith Rieg was working at Golden Valley High School. He heard a radio transmission over the school portable radio system that there was an active shooter on campus. Officer Rieg immediately relayed the information to the police department. The school was placed on lockdown and a large law enforcement response to the school was initiated. As officers began to search the campus, there were no additional reports of an active shooter or gunshots. As a precaution the school was evacuated and all students were escorted to an adjoining park (Joe Herb Park). Law enforcement officers from the California Highway Patrol, Merced County Sheriff’s Department, Merced County Probation Department, University of California Merced Police Department, Merced Community College, Livingston Police Department, Los Banos Police Department, and Merced County District Attorney Investigators responded. Merced City Fire Department, Cal Fire and RIGGS Ambulance personnel were also on scene to support the response. It was determined that the original report was false, and that an unauthorized person may have gotten a hold of a school administration portable radio to make the original broadcast of an active shooter on campus. We are very interested in determining the origin of the original transmission and have launched an active investigation into the incident. Update- April 23, 2018 The Merced Police Department has arrested a 14 year old freshman student at Golden Valley High School in connection with Friday’s false report of an active shooter on campus. Merced Police Department School resource Officer Rieg worked diligently to figure out who made the false report. Through a deliberate investigation Officer Rieg was able to make the arrest. The 14 year old was booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall for violation of section 626.8 California Penal Code, Disruptive Presence at Schools. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Sergeant Rey Alvarez at (209)388-7705, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-7826. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. X X X X X

Thank you letter to the Merced Police Department.

The Merced Police Department is recognizing our Dispatchers in appreciation of National Telecommunications Week. In 1991, Congress formally proclaimed the second week in April “National Telecommunications Week” to recognize the women and men who put countless hours behind the radio, phone, and computer to ensure the highest level of public safety. Our Dispatchers are the first ones to receive the call for all emergency and non-emergency situations. They are truly the first people to respond to a citizen’s call for help. The dispatchers are that calm, reassuring voice that relays to the caller that help is on the way. Merced Police Dispatchers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and dispatch both Merced Police and Fire units. In 2017, more than 87,000 incidents were created in our computer aided dispatch system and over 65,800 9-1-1 calls were answered. The Communications Center processed a total of 218,327 phone calls both incoming and outgoing. Our Dispatchers are not only devoted to their profession but they support one another in and outside of work, regularly covering extra shifts when needed or assisting another team member in need. During National Telecommunications Week, we would like to thank our amazing group of Dispatchers for their continued dedication and loyalty to the Merced Police/Fire Departments as well as the citizens of Merced. Keep up the good work!

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE April 12, 2018 Sgt. Reynaldo Alvarez Office: (209) 388-7705 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Residential Burglary Date and Time: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @ 10:00 AM. Location: Merced Victims: N/A Arrested Persons: Kobe Maynard 19 Case Number: 18-19680 On Monday April 2, 2018, Merced Police Department Detectives Moses Nelson and John Pinnegar began investigating a series of residential burglaries that occurred in North Merced. The burglaries were occurring during the night while the victims were sleeping. The suspect in each of the cases was making entry into the homes through an unlocked window. Once in the residence, the suspect was taking a variety of items including electronics, and other personal belongings such as credit cards and social security cards. Detective Nelson took the lead in the case and he was able to identify the suspect in the residential burglaries as Kobe Maynard 19. Detectives served a search warrant at Maynard’s home. In the home, Detectives located stolen property from three residential burglaries. The burglaries had occurred between April 1st and April 9th. During an interview with Detective Nelson, Maynard admitted to committing several burglaries in North Merced. Maynard was booked into Merced County Jail. All of the stolen property that was recovered was returned to the rightful owners. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Detective John Pinnegar at (209) 388-7712, or Detective Moses Nelson at (209) 388-7756. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE April 9, 2018 Lieutenant Alan Ward Office: (209) 385-8840 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Merced Police Department’s K9 Sam has received body armor Merced Police Department’s K9 Sam has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by The Hausman Family Foundation and embroidered with the sentiment “Gifted by the Hausman Family Foundation”. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,800 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.4 million dollars. The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate. The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE April 6, 2018 Sgt. Joe Weiss Operations Sergeant Office: (209) 385-4754 Dispatch: (209) 385-6900 Cellular: 209-564-0578 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Disorderly man on the Amtrak Train Date and Time: April 6, 2018 @ 12:44 PM Location: Amtrak Station, 324 W. 24th Street Merced Case Number: 18-19180 On April 6, 2018 at 12:44 PM, the Merced Police Department dispatch center received a call from the Amtrak Police regarding a disorderly man. An anonymous reporting party stated that an individual on the train had talked about shooting someone and being under the influence of drugs. A second reporting party stated that they had seen the subject with a handgun. The reporting parties initially could not provide a clothing and physical description of the suspect. Officers met the train at the Amtrak Station and coordinated with the train conductor to evacuate the train and search for the suspect. During the search, addition information came in describing the suspect as a white male with tattoos. Officers located an individual on the train who matched the description and was acting erratically. That subject was detained. After removing that subject from the train, officers were approached by witnesses who stated that we had the wrong subject. These witnesses pointed out an African-American male as the correct suspect and he was detained. Both individuals were cooperative. Our investigation determined that neither of the subjects were in possession of a firearm, nor had they committed any crime. Both subjects were released without charges and continued their train trip. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding any crime to contact the Merced Police Department at (209) 385-6900, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE April 5, 2018 Sgt. Reynaldo Alvarez Office: (209) 388-7705 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Trailer Theft Date and Time: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 @ 12:00 PM. Location: Merced Victims: N/A Arrested Persons: Raymond Andrew Robb 50 Case Number: 18-16599 On Saturday March 24 2018, at 9:28 A.M. Merced Police Department Officers received a call for service in regards to a stolen utility trailer. The utility trailer had been stolen in the City of Ceres, but had been possibly brought to Merced. The victims told officers that the trailer was being hauled by a red truck. Patrol Officers were able to identify the truck and locate it. When the truck was located it was being driven by Raymond Andrew Robb (50). At the time of the stop, the truck was also hauling a trailer that had been stolen from a local business in Merced. After the initial investigation, Robb was booked at the Merced County Jail on several theft related charges. After the initial investigation was completed, Detective John Pinnegar was assigned the case as lead investigator. Detective Pinnegar worked diligently on the case and over the last two weeks he has recovered six stolen trailers. The last trailer was recovered on April 4th, 2018. The recovered trailers had been stolen by Robb from locations within Merced and Merced County. In all, the total value of the recovered stolen property had a value of $40,000.00. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Detective John Pinnegar at (209) 388-7712, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE March 31, 2018 Sgt. Brian Rodriguez Gang Violence Suppression Unit Office: (209) 385-4710 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release ___________________________________________________ Incident: Convicted felon arrested for possession of a firearm. Date and Time: March 31, 2018 @ 11:45 P.M. Location: 300 block of Q St in Merced, CA Victims: None Arrested Persons: Juan Espinoza (28) Case Number: 18-18109 On Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) officers developed information that convicted felon Juan Espinoza had a gun and was located at his girlfriend’s home in the 300 block of Q St. GVSU officers authored a search warrant for the residence and Espinoza exited the apartment. During the search, officers located a handgun and ammunition inside the apartment. Espinoza admitted ownership of the gun and was arrested. He was booked at the Merced County Jail for felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) Sgt. Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710, GVSU@cityofmerced.org or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. ***** END *****

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE March 31, 2018 Sgt. Brian Rodriguez Gang Violence Suppression Unit Office: (209) 385-4710 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Suspect arrested for possession of a firearm. Date and Time: March 31, 2018 @ 4:24 P.M. Location: 500 block of W 5th St in Merced, CA Victims: None Arrested Persons: Eriberto Garcia (35) Case Number: 18-18035 On Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) officers developed information that Eriberto Garcia had a gun and drugs at his home in the 500 block of W 5th St in Merced. GVSU officers contacted Garcia and authored a search warrant for his residence. During the search, officers located a handgun and ammunition inside his home. Espinoza was arrested and booked at the Merced County Jail for possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) Sgt. Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710, GVSU@cityofmerced.org or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message. ***** END *****

Merced Police Department NEWS RELEASE March 29, 2018 Sgt. Brian Rodriguez Gang Violence Suppression Unit Office: (209) 385-4710 Dispatch: (209) 385-6905 For Immediate Release __________________________________________________________________ Incident: Convicted felons arrested for possession of firearms. Date and Time: March 29, 2018 @ 9:45 P.M. Location: 2300 block of Pinon Ct in Merced, CA Victims: None Arrested Persons: Felecia Purnell (46) and Riley Jones (51) Case Number: 18-17643 On Thursday, March 29, 2018, the Merced Police Department’s Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) officers developed information that convicted felons Felecia Purnell and Riley Jones had firearms at their home in the 2300 block of Pinon Ct in Merced. GVSU officers and patrol officers served a search warrant at their residence. During the search, officers located an AK-47 assault rifle, two handguns and ammunition inside his residence. Purnell and Jones cannot possess any firearms because they are convicted felons. They admitted ownership of the handguns. Both Purnell and Jones were arrested for possession of an assault rifle, felon in possession of firearms and felon in possession of ammunition. Both were booked at the Merced County Jail for the mentioned charges. Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Gang Violence Suppression Unit (GVSU) Sgt. Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.