The Examiner

Police Seize Cache of Fireworks, Evacuate Mt. Pleasant Street

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Westchester County police arrested a 53-year-old Valhalla man early Tuesday morning after it was discovered that a large cache of commercial-grade fireworks was being stored in his house’s basement forcing evacuation of the street.

Authorities arrested Stephen Surace of 4 Saldi Lane at 12:22 a.m. following a joint county police and federal investigation. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment, both felonies, and unlawfully dealing in fireworks, a misdemeanor. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Mount Pleasant Town Court today (Tuesday).

Surace was taken into custody after an undercover county police officer purchased $1,000 worth of fireworks and observed that the basement of the home was stacked nearly floor to ceiling with several hundred boxes of fireworks, many of them the type used in commercial displays.

Westchester County and Mount Pleasant police this morning alerted neighbors along Saldi Lane to evacuate their homes while the material was removed by members of the county police Hazardous Devices Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Several other streets in the vicinity will also be closed to traffic until the explosives are removed.

“Based on the volume of material and the potential explosive hazard, the decision was made to move immediately to arrest Mr. Surace and secure the home,” Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth said.




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