Police seize nearly 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in Irwindale as demand skyrockets

As the Fourth of July approaches, complaints about fireworks are surging across the country.
As the Fourth of July approaches, complaints about fireworks are surging across the country.

In Irwindale, police responded to a tip about fireworks at a home on Central Avenue where they say officers discovered over 70 illegally possessed fireworks amounting to almost 2,000 pounds.

Police seized the fireworks and the residents were charged.

Fireworks have been in high demand, and industry experts say it will be a record-breaking year.

The fireworks boom has possibly been an unexpected result of the coronavirus pandemic, with people tired of staying home and the weather warming up.

"With people being home and less to do, people may have been entertaining themselves with more of these fireworks, shooting, them off," said Capt. Paul Vernon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the city of Rancho Cucamonga has been seeing six times the number of fireworks-related calls compared to last year.

In some areas, deputies and officers have been reassigned to simply drive around and search for the use of illegal fireworks. But even if they catch the people responsible, most of the time the infraction is only a misdemeanor.

"There's often very little the officers can do," Vernon said. "These tend to be lower-priority types of calls, because the firework goes off, the firecracker lights off, and by the time the police get there there's no one around and no evidence of the crime."
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.