The effort to make Manteca sound and feel like Kabul is already underway.
For several hours Saturday night residents had to deal with the illegal launching of fireworks —including aerial rockets.
It started a bit earlier than usual but it may be due to some lawbreakers wanting to reduce the risk of their cheap thrills burning a $1,000 plus hole in their bank accounts.
That’s because the targeted enforcement effort of the Manteca Police and Manteca Fire in the past several years using the “host” ordinance that holds the person who rents or lives on property they own where illegal fireworks are launched to be responsible. That law combined with tech and authorities patrolling in unmarked cars have cost more than 35 Manteca property owners or the individuals renting or leasing property for allowing the discharge of illegal fireworks over $1,000 apiece.
And if the San Joaquin County District Attorney steps into prosecute getting caught could shoot up to a $5,000 financial hit.
In past years the targeted enforcement didn’t start until several nights before the Fourth of July as well as on Independence Day itself.
Manteca authorities last year indicated that people who reported instances of illegal fireworks by using the “Nail ‘Em” app have provided law enforcement with a map of addresses to monitor. The app isn’t effective at helping slap offenders with fines as those who record the information need to be willing to testify which almost no one wants to do. What it does, though, is allow the city to map out hot spots for enforcement in a subsequent year.
The bottom line is if you shoot off illegal fireworks you are now running a greater risk than ever of taking a major financial hit.