Oakland, CA

Oakland police make major fireworks bust in joint San Francisco Bay Area operation

Ed Walsh

Cash of illegal fireworks seized by Oakland PoliceOakland Police Department

Oakland Police say they discovered a large cache of illegal fireworks and have made an arrest. The bust comes on the eve of the busiest time for firework use as Indepence Day and Juneteenth approaches.

Oakland Police Department says it received information earlier this week of a large cache of illegal fireworks. Oakland Police Department's Community Resource Officers in Areas 4 and 5, began a follow-up investigation working collaboratively with the East Palo Alto Police Department, and the Menlo Park Police Department. 

On May 21, 2021, all of those involved law enforcement agencies conducted a joint operation where they identified and arrested one male adult who is resident of Oakland, in connection with possession, sales, and the distribution of a large cache of illegal fireworks. The arrest took place in an undisclosed neighboring jurisdiction, outside of the City of Oakland. Officers recovered a pick-up truck full of illegal fireworks worth thousands of dollars cash. A follow-up investigation led to the address of the man arrested, where additional fireworks were discovered inside his home. 

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong, said “This arrest and recovery of illegal fireworks is significant for the City of Oakland. Traditionally, fireworks pose tremendous safety concerns, often causing serious injury or death. In our Oakland community, the sounds of fireworks are disruptive to our seniors, young children, and animals. We ask all Oaklanders, as well as visitors, to respect one another and not participate in firework activity. The Oakland Police Department will have additional patrols throughout the city, and we will do our best to ensure our community is safe.”

Oakland Police stated that no further information will be released by the Oakland Police Department, or our partnering law enforcement agencies, due to ongoing investigations. This case will be forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for review and charging of the suspect.

The successful law enforcement operation that led to the seizure of illegal fireworks is a great reflection of the regional commitment there is to addressing an issue that challenges both police and fire departments and threatens lives, property, and the environment,” said Chief Reginald Freeman. “The Oakland Fire Department is working collaboratively with OPD to promote community safety and mitigate the use and impact of illegal fireworks as we head into the July 4th holiday, including the collection and disposal of unused fireworks. Between Memorial Day and Fourth of July, we encourage all Oaklanders to think of the health and safety of themselves, their families, neighbors and animals before they participate in any firework activity.”

Oakland Police are asking if you know someone or see someone who is in possession, selling, and/or lighting fireworks, please call the Fireworks Tip Line at 510-777-8814. Police say you may remain anonymous when providing information.

The Oakland Police Department says those caught with fireworks, even the “Safe & Sane” brand, will be fined up to a thousand dollars. But if you have a significant amount of fireworks, the fine is much more. Possession of large quantities of fireworks carry penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 as well as jail time.

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