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Fake firefighters arrested by real police
Jay Jackson

Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar and Turlock Fire Marshal Mark Gomez helped take two people into custody Thursday evening on allegations they had been posing as firefighters and were soliciting donations.

Arrested on suspicion of impersonation of firefighters and fraud were Melissa Annis, 30, and Jay Jackson, 54, both of Merced.

Both the fire and police departments had been notified of individuals dressing up as firefighters and trying to get people to put money into a boot. The pair had stopped at several locations around Monte Vista Crossings before Amirfar and Gomez stopped them at the AM/PM at Countryside Drive and Fulkerth Road.

Numerous citizens had called in to report the pair and several sent cell phone photographs, which assisted in the investigation and arrests.

The fakery comes just as the real firefighters are getting ready to have an official Boot Drive for their Random Act of Kindness Fund from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Monte Vista Crossings. 

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Officer Jose Calvache at 668-5550 ext. 6716. People can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at 668-5550 ext. 6780 or email at