On May 20, 2021, the Oakland Police Department received information of a large cache of illegal fireworks. OPD’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 involved agencies conducted a joint operation where they identified and arrested one male adult (resident of Oakland), in connection with possession, sales, and the distribution of a large cache of illegal fireworks. The arrest took place in a neighboring jurisdiction. Officers recovered a pick-up truck full of illegal fireworks worth thousands of dollars (see photo). A follow-up investigation led to the address of the man arrested, where additional fireworks were discovered inside his residence.
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.”
At this time, no further information will be released by OPD, 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.
“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.”
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.
You may remain anonymous when providing information. Those caught with fireworks, even the “Safe & Sane” brand, will be fined up to $1,000. Possession of large quantities of fireworks carry penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 as well as imprisonment.
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