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Man arrested after posing as firefighter

A Wisconsin man was arrested by the Kent County Sheriff Department last week for posing as a firefighter to fraudulently obtain money.

On August 18, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of a white male entering a local store and identifying himself as a lieutenant with the fire department.  He then used his alleged governmental status to obtain refund money for purchases that were never made.

Jeff Lowery

According to police, he told businesses that his co-workers had been in the store earlier to return items that they had purchased, and that during the transaction they had to leave for an emergency call. He told them that “central dispatch had called several times” advising store officials he was retuning to the store to complete the transaction and collect the refund money.

The suspect flashed an official looking government identification, but would not allow the clerks to view it up close. He has traveled throughout Michigan, and has successfully completed this scam from 21 stores in 21 cities in Michigan, within the last 21 days. He has obtained over $4,500.00 that investigators know of.

This department believes this suspect has scammed additional businesses and may have attempted to get narcotics through area hospitals, possibly under assumed names. He has reportedly represented himself as a firefighter, a lieutenant, a Captain, a fire marshal, and hospital employee.

The suspect was tracked into the U.P., and was apprehended in the City of Ironwood, Michigan. With the help of the Ironwood Public Safety Department he was lodged and transported back to Kent County. He has been identified as Jeffrey Edward Lowery, 40, of Wisconsin. He was arraigned and is awaiting a preliminary hearing at 63rd district court on Friday, September 10. He is charged by the Kent County Prosecutor with felony larceny by false pretense over $1000, less than $20000, and felony false impersonation of a firefighter. His bond has been set at $20,000 cash/surety.

If anyone has had contact with this suspect, please contact Silent Observer at 774 – 2345  or the Kent County Sheriff’s Office  at 632-6125.

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