OAKLAND (CBS SF) – An Oakland man was arrested and £ 165 of illegal fireworks confiscated after an Oakland Police raid before the holidays on July 4th.
Police received several leads Tuesday from people in the community who were illegally selling fireworks in the 73rd and Garfield Avenues area near Eastmont Town Center. During the investigation, community officials said they found a man arranging fireworks on the back of a large utility vehicle.
The officers arrested the man, whose identity was not disclosed. The truck was towed and the fireworks were confiscated and taken to a safe location.
“There were customers who actually showed up at the truck and wanted to buy fireworks. The officers arrested the adult male who had 165 pounds of illegal fireworks, ”said Oakland police officer Kim Armstead.
Police said the suspect was also linked to a traffic stop on May 23, during which about 20 boxes of illegal fireworks were confiscated.
“You have to be aware that it is dry and that it can cause a lot of fires – we don’t have the resources for a drought. People have to wake up. It will set other people’s homes on fire and cause problems. You just have to stop, ”said Tony Wallace from Oakland.
Authorities across the Bay Area have stepped up enforcement against illegal fireworks as July 4th threatens record drought due to drought. Officials in neighboring Contra Costa County said they had confiscated around 300 pounds of fireworks over a 30-day period after multiple operations.
In Oakland, fines can go as high as $ 1,000 for being caught with what are known as “safe and healthy” fireworks. People with “large amounts” of fireworks can face fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 with potential imprisonment.
Locals say a constant detonation of fireworks has recently become the soundtrack of the night.
“After a while it takes its toll – after midnight and into the wee hours of the morning – then it becomes a real problem,” said Paul Garrison. With the July 4th weekend approaching, residents say it’s not just the noise that is now disturbing their sleep.
“There is now a fire hazard, so we are in a completely different room because of the drought. It is probably wise to be tough at this point, ”Garrison said.
The Oakland Fire Department has set up fireworks barrels at several stations. The collection points are located at Station 1 on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Station 3 on 14th Street, Station 4 on International Boulevard, Station 5 on 34th Street, Station 18 on Bancroft Avenue, and Station 20 on 98th Avenue.
The police have set up a hotline for illegal fireworks that can be reached at 510-777-8814.
© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. Andria Borba from KPIX 5 contributed to this report