The Los Banos Police Department is reporting issuing more than $16,000 worth of citations for illegal use of fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
According to police, 15 citations were issued for unlawful possession of dangerous fireworks and using fireworks after permitted hours.
“Safe and Sane” fireworks are legal in Los Banos between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. July 1-4
An apartment complex on D Street suffered an estimated $25,000 in damage July 5 after it caught fire due to the use of modified fireworks, authorities said.
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Since 2005, when fireworks became legal in Los Banos, police have received numerous calls reporting fireworks use weeks after the allotted time fireworks are permitted.
Police said they will not hesitate to continue to issue citation.
“We aren’t playing games when it comes to dangerous fireworks violations. Offenders have learned these violations carry stiff penalties, and the consequences can be costly,” Cmdr. Jason Hedden said.
Police said leftover fireworks, both legal and illegal, can be turned into the Los Banos Fire Department for disposal; no questions asked.
To leave an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070, ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, you can also leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s webpage at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the “Contact” page, click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or visit the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at (855) 725-2420, or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org