Valuable Chinese fireworks ‘stolen’ in Rye

Police
Police

Around £1,100 of Chinese fireworks were apparently stolen in Rye with police warning people of any dodgy sales ahead of the bonfire celebrations.

A firework magazine was broken into in the week leading up to Saturday, September 17, police said.

Despite a sophisticated locking system, someone gained access to the licensed storage facility and reportedly removed around £1,100 worth of fireworks, mainly higher category display items designed to be used by trained, professional operators.

“This was almost certainly carefully planned and targeted, and tyre tracks leading to the container would suggest that a reasonably large vehicle was used to carry off the fireworks,” PC Paul Eastes said.

“A witness reports hearing noises in the area in the early hours of the Saturday that the break-in was reported, but did not associate them with any suspicious activity.

“We are investigating the burglary, but our main concern is that these explosives may fall into the hands of people who do not know how to use them or appreciate just how dangerous they might be.

“The fireworks, imported from China, are packaged in plastic bags that are in turn boxed in cardboard cartons sealed with packing tape.

“The majority of the items are display ‘cakes’, but there are also mines and candles and any attempt to light them or to throw them into a fire could be extremely dangerous.

“They are designed to be used on an organised display field with significant safety distances and if used in a domestic setting, such as a back garden, would be very hazardous.”

If you have information about the break-in or know where the fireworks may have been offered for sale, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 518 of 17/09.

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org

If you see anyone trying to use them outside of an organised event, call 999.

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