HFD employee, girlfriend accused of stealing $4,000 meant for Super Bowl tickets

HOUSTON – A Houston Fire Department employee and his girlfriend are accused of stealing $4,000 that was meant to purchase tickets to Super Bowl LI earlier this year, according to police.

Houston police said John Dunham, 60, was arrested Wednesday morning. The Houston Police Department's Major Offenders Division worked on the case.

According to police, a longtime friend gave Dunham $4,000 to buy the tickets and cover the associated service fee. They said that when Dunham did not get the tickets, the friend asked for the money back. They said Dunham never returned the money.

Police said a woman at Dunham’s home, identified as 49-year-old Cheryl Lynette Jackson, was also arrested in connection with the case.

According to jail records, both Jackson and Dunham were being held on an investigative hold in connection with a fraud case.

A neighbor identified Jackson as Dunham's girlfriend.

According to a written statement from the Houston Fire Department, Dunham is a 31-year veteran of the agency, who is currently assigned to the Life Safety Bureau.

"The department will fully cooperate with the ongoing police investigation," the statement said. "Any administrative decision and employment status will be determined at the conclusion of such investigation."

A neighbor of Dunham's, Danny Love, claims he had a separate but similar encounter with Jackson earlier this year. He said he paid her $530 to get him a ticket to February's Super Bowl. He never got the money. He filed a report with Houston police.

"No tickets. No money," said Love.

Love said his neighbor, Dunham is innocent.

"He would never do anything like that," Love said.

This story will be updated.

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