The number of reports of illegal fireworks called to the Los Angeles police increased 170 percent in the first three weeks of June compared to the same period last year. This is clear from the latest patrol data from the LAPD.
Officials were dispatched 1,429 times between June 1 and June 20 to investigate complaints about fireworks. During the same period in 2019, 528 such reports were sent to officials.
City Councilor Bob Blumenfield told the I team that he suspected part of the increase was due to the fact that so many people are stuck at home and bored and scared.
"I think it's more than just an annoyance problem. There are really security issues here," he said.
Illegal fireworks were accused last year of lighting a fire in a carport in Highland Park. The fire spread quickly, destroying 20 cars and 6 condos.
"The flames were so high – they licked the way here," said resident Tom Louie, who saw the fire.
The LAPD said officials had made nine arrests related to "ruthless burning," a category that may include illegal fireworks but could also reflect unrelated crimes.
The department also said officials have confiscated £ 5,100 illegal fireworks in the past few weeks, down 9 percent from the same time last year.
The I-Team reported on Monday that the number of firework calls in the first two weeks of June had doubled in the same period last year.
On Wednesday, the LAPD posted photos of two officers standing near a fireworks display on its main Twitter account, as well as three other pictures showing packaged fireworks.
"Officials across the city have worked hard to address a growing problem – the detonation of illegal fireworks," the message said.
LA City attorney Mike Feuer said he was going to announce illegal fireworks on Thursday afternoon.