By Christin Ayers

SAN LEANDRO (KPIX) — San Leandro police had no illusions that their officers would be able to make contact with every person launching illegal fireworks this Fourth of July.

They added extra officers on the street this year along with additional dispatchers to take fireworks-related calls.

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Their main focus was on getting large quantities of commercial-grade illegal fireworks off the streets of San Leandro before they hit the black market. Their latest haul: roughly 200 pounds of M-80s and other illegal fireworks found in a vacant car in Washington Manor Park this Independence Day.

San Leandro police spokesman Lt. Robert McManus said the fireworks likely would have been sold on the streets or in local parks had police not intercepted them.

McManus showed KPIX the stash of fireworks as Alameda County bomb squad technicians sorted through them. There were two bags of small, highly-combustible explosive devices which contain a quarter-stick of dynamite each.

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“They’re dangerous and the over-pressure on that can really hurt you,” said one technician.

The Independence Day bust was one of two in as many days. On July 2, San Leandro officers responded to a report of suspicious activity at a storage facility and discovered two men unloading more than 2,000 pounds of illegal, commercial-grade fireworks.

As McManus patroled the streets of San Leandro looking for people setting off fireworks, he admitted stopping them all can be daunting.

“Generally we drive away and the second we get around the corner, they’re back out in the street again lighting more fireworks off even if we’ve already confiscated what they had,” he said.

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But, he said, that won’t keep officers from trying.