SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Craigslist ad led investigators Thursday to a Santa Ana garage, where they seized up to $10,000 in illegal fireworks.
Undercover agents responded to the post advertising fireworks and were directed to a garage in the 1100 block of West Stanford Street, police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Police arrested the resident on suspicion of possessing illegal fireworks and the explosives were seized, Bertagna said.
The stockpile weighed about 560 pounds and was worth between $5,000 and $10,000, he said.
Thursday's bust was the first in Santa Ana this season and investigators plan many more.
OC Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi says the fireworks were purchased from outside the country.
"These were the dangerous explosives, the kinds that blow hands off," Concialdi said.
The fire chief says they're going after unregulated fireworks because they often have quick fuses that lead to dangerous accidents. He says crews responded to 39 serious injuries last year.
Officials also worry that setting off fireworks can cause fires.
Residents were urged to not buy illegal fireworks and to instead attend public firework displays. To find an OC fireworks event near you, call (714) 573-6225.
Police in El Monte also made an explosives seizure Thursday, confiscating some 10 tons of illegal fireworks from a Pico Rivera metal shop business. Officers acting on a tip raided Thomas Brothers Tube Bending and obtained at least $100,000 worth of fireworks.
Lt. Chris Williams says customers walked up to try to buy fireworks even as detectives were dismantling the operation.
The metal shop owner and an employee were arrested. Their names were not released and no one at the business could be reached for comment.
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