Nine people are going to find their wallets $750 lighter in the coming days.
According to Manteca Fire Marshal Lantz Rey, the city issued eight citations through Fourth of July weekend for using illegal fireworks and one more through the city-sponsored application that allows for people to take video of illegal fireworks in use and tag the location where they are being fired from.
And the application — Nail ‘em — came in handy for the first responders that issued the citations as well.
While the city has used the app in previous years to allow residents to report those that are being a nuisance and used data from previous years to create “hot spot” maps where infractions are likely to occur, this year the city used it during enforcement periods themselves to see where the reports were coming in from before dispatching a fire inspector and police officer to observe the activity in progress.
By giving fire inspectors an iPad that is connected to the city’s end of the app, Rey said that responding crews were able to catch people in the act rather than relying on the application and any potential legal challenges that may come as a result of not being visited in person.
The tickets are $750 each, and the City of Manteca will prosecute the cases itself rather than referring it to the San Joaquin County District Attorney for consideration. Because the city is handling the prosecution itself the person receiving the citation will be liable for the costs the city incurs for the citation and the administrative legal proceeding.
From 2016 through 2018, 46 people paid fines for illegal fireworks in Manteca to the tune of $45,000.
Because the City of Manteca approved a host ordinance that allows for citations to be issued when illegal fireworks are observed from a specific residence, the property owner of record will receive the citation even if they aren’t physically present at the time that it was issued — removing a long-standing loophole that allowed those that were renting properties or visiting them from being responsible for the penalty.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.