Thousands of dollars worth of illegal fireworks were seized in Westchester after police received multiple reports throughout the county of booms and blasts in the middle of the night.
The Yonkers Police Department - and other departments throughout the county - have been cracking down on illegal firework activity in recent days following dozens of complaints from area residents.
According to police in Yonkers, during two separate investigations, officers seized more than $3,500 worth of illegal fireworks.
Following the complaints, the Yonkers Police Department, Fire Department, and the city’s building inspectors launched investigations on Monday, June 22.
Police said that early on Monday, “responding patrol units observed there to be numerous empty fireworks boxes at a city residence that had been discarded in trash and strewn about the immediate area.”
The investigation determined that a resident in southwest Yonkers was storing “large amounts” of illegal fireworks, and a 31-year-old - whose name has not been released - was detained by police pending the investigation.
Later on Monday, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Gang Unit Detectives on patrol near Riverview Place stopped a motorist who was in possession of “an assortment of illegal fireworks” that had an estimated value of a few hundred dollars.
The driver was issued a citation for the fireworks, which were seized, and he is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
There have been multiple reports of fireworks going off in the middle of the night in recent days and weeks, prompting police agencies in Westchester to begin conducting daily patrols to combat the activity. Violators are subjected to appear in court after being issued summonses.
“Possession, storage, sale, and transport of fireworks is illegal in the City of Yonkers,” Police Commissioner John Mueller stated. “While New York State did pass a law for permissible use of some fireworks, Westchester County and Yonkers did not participate and have opted out of this law.
“The use of any fireworks in Yonkers is illegal. If used improperly, fireworks can be extremely dangerous and put members of the public at substantial risk for personal injury or property damage,” Mueller continued. “Emergency room statistics for injuries put children at a higher risk of injury.
“Yonkers is a densely populated city and as such, make the use of fireworks all the more dangerous.”
Anyone looking to report illegal fireworks activity has been asked to contact the Yonkers Police Department’s non-emergency line by calling (914) 377-7900.
“Like many of our neighboring communities, Yonkers has seen an increase of illegal fireworks use which is not only unlawful and dangerous, but is disruptive to nearby residents,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano added. “Let these recent seizures of fireworks be a warning to others - Yonkers will not tolerate the illegal use of fireworks.”
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