On June 1, 2018 a group of Officers were assigned to work at the Pacheco High School Graduation when they were alerted that someone was tampering with vehicles in the parking lot.

When the Officers got to the parking lot, they noticed several vehicles had been vandalized with spray paint graffiti. Officers began checking the rest of the parking lot and located 19-year-old Josiah Collins, of Dos Palos, as he was spray painting a vehicle. After Collins was placed under arrest, Officers discovered approximately 33 vehicles which had been vandalized.

Collins was booked into the Los Banos Police Department Jail, pending $5,000.00 bail, charged with felony vandalism. The Police Department would like to thank the concerned citizens who took the time to report this incident.

Anyone who was victimized during this incident but has not had the opportunity to make a police report may call the department at (209) 827-7070. If you have already filed a police report but need to get your vehicle repaired, please don’t forget to provide a copy of the vehicle repair estimate to us.

To leave an anonymous crime tip call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the internet you can also leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s web page at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the “Contact” page simply click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or contact the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-855-725-2420, or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org


Sergeant Ray Framstad and the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team were busy on Saturday serving six (6) search warrants throughout the county. During the search warrants, the Marijuana Enforcement Team eradicated 3887 marijuana plants, destroyed 115 pounds of finished product, and seized eight (8) guns.

Sheriff Vern Warnke wants to remind everyone that the Merced County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the cultivation laws regarding marijuana that the county has put in place starting in 2018. All outdoor marijuana grows are illegal and will be dealt with immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Additionally, you are only allowed to grow 6 plants indoors. If you have questions about the laws regarding cultivation and possession of marijuana, please call the Merced County Sheriff’s Office 209-385-7445.

The new County Cannabis Ordinance details are as follows:
***Personal Cultivation Restrictions reasonably regulated (Ord. 9.29.060):
***Personal use cannabis plants limited from twelve (12) to six (6)
***Cultivation can occur in either 1) within a single private residence; or 2) inside a fully enclosed and secure structure located upon the grounds of a private residence. Outdoor cultivation of any type, on any parcel is prohibited.
***Cultivation must comply with Building and Construction Code, Title 16.
Cultivation cannot be conducted in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance.
***Enforcement – penalty/consequences for noncompliance unchanged from previous Medical Marijuana Cultivation ordinance
***Administrative Penalties for unlawful cannabis cultivation(Ordinance 9.29.083)
***All violations deemed a misdemeanor; Sheriff has ability to abate unlawful cannabis cultivation (Ord. 9.29.200)


Illegal fireworks are a zero tolerance in the City of Merced, 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. The following are the three men arrested, Jatinder Tumber 24-year-old, of Livingston, Baj Singh Chahal, 24-year-old, of Winton and Gurjit Singh 24-year-old, of Livingston.

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.


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 skyrocket and the air-filled with explosions. It’s time for that to end,” said Council Member Kevin Blake, who asked for the increase