The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Concern Over Stolen Fireworks

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 2, 2009 8:30PM

Photo by DR000
Around 5,000 pounds of "high-powered, commercial-grade fireworks" have gone missing in DuPage County and now authorities are worried whoever stole them may not be ready for the oomph of the explosives which are more powerful than the bottle rockets and low-grade shells that most people buy from stands and shoot off on Independence Day. Sgt. Jim Ruff, commander of the department's Hazardous Device Unit, put it succinctly when talking to the Sun-Times: "If one of these things goes off in your hand, you're probably going to die."

The sheriff's department recently helped dispose of a large quantity of commercial-grade fireworks illegally stored in southern DuPage County, though officials wouldn't disclose more information because the investigation is ongoing.

But authorities say at least 5,000 pounds of fireworks may have been removed from the stash -- and possibly sold or distributed in small quantities -- before police became aware of the supply.

Also of concern are the fuses which for these larger, more powerful shells, burn much faster than most small-time explosives: at a rate as fast as 100 feet per second. [Sun-Times]