Video results in community support -- and arrests
July 2, 2020 | View PDF
An arrest was made over the weekend and three other cases were handed to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation regarding a rash of illegal fireworks activity in and around Shafter.
Police Chief Kevin Zimmermann posted a video reaching out to the community for assistance in catching the perpetrators, who have been inundating the community with a series of explosions, some strong enough to rattle windows. Shafter’s pet population has also been disturbed by the noise.
Zimmermann said he doesn’t know the reason for the increase in illegal fireworks activity, but he said it has been a bad year already. “I don’t know if it is from people being cooped up due to the quarantine or what, but this year has seen a big increase in the number of illegal fireworks being set off in town, and also the period of the activity is a lot longer.”
Zimmermann said the best defense against the activity is the involvement of the community. “The best-case scenario we have is if a resident sees the activity and knows either who is doing it, or the precise location of the activity,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to go as far as a private citizen arrest, but even the precise location of the activity while it is going on can help us tremendously in catching the lawbreakers.”
Zimmermann said it is not only the fireworks the police are dealing with this year, but also a number of acetylene bombs, which put off a very big explosion. “It is not only the fact that our pets go crazy, or the noise and nuisance of the activity, but there is a real danger of physical harm with these illegal fireworks,” he said. “I would hate to think what would happen if one of those landed on an older roof. It would be so dangerous.”
Zimmermann thanked the community for their cooperation and continues to encourage the community to get involved. Residents with information about illegal fireworks are asked to contact the Shafter Police Department at 661-746-8500.