Mission District residents (and terrified dogs) are well aware that the nightly boom of illegal fireworks is already underway as we sit within a week of July 4th. SFist reminds you that all fireworks are illegal in our advanced nanny state city of San Francisco even sparklers but many Bay Area cities allow the sale and discharge of so-called “safe and sane” fireworks. One of those cities is the Fremont-adjacent community of Newark, though the East Bay Times reports that Newark police arrested a 21-year-man who went way beyond the safe and sane guidelines with 378 pounds of illegal fireworks he was hawking on Craigslist.
That bust is pretty low-octane compared the recent 2,700-pound fireworks seizure by San Jose police, detailed in the above ABC 7 video in which a fellow in a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt happily obliges to an interview wherein he admits illegal activity.
Monday’s Newark bust wasn’t difficult for Newark police, considering the culprit was openly advertising his illegal fireworks on Craigslist.
“Neighborhood complaints regarding illegal firework sales led today's day-shift team to conduct an investigation into illegal fireworks sales,” the Newark Police Department said in a Facebook post. “Officers located a Craigstlist [sic] advertisement for ‘Boom fireworks’ in Newark. An officer posing as a buyer established contact with the seller and met at his home where he purchased several illegal aerial and explosives. A follow-up search warrant was conducted and officers ultimately seized several thousands of dollars in illegal fireworks well in excess of 350 lbs.”
Just for kicks, SFist hopped onto Craigslist and searched for fireworks to see if there are any more illegal fireworks vendors operating in plain sight. There are! Though most listings seem pretty scammy and possibly created by bots.
Given the certainty that massive illegal firework activity will be a Bay Area constant for the next eight or so days, killjoys and concerned residents can use a new app called Nail ‘Em to report sales or discharges of illegal fireworks. The app was actually launched last year, but new updates allow you receive notifications on your complaint in addition to sending photos and GPS locations to police and fire departments. The app was commissioned as a public service by TNT Fireworks, who are California’s largest fireworks distributor.