Dangerous stolen fireworks beginning to surface

Many of the ‘chrysanthemum bombs’ taken from a Lolland factory are still missing

Police are slowly beginning to recover some of the 512 powerful fireworks that were stolen from a Lolland fireworks factory on December 28.

In today's most recent find, officers from the South Zealand and Lolland-Falster Police department, acting on a tip, found some of the so-called chrysanthemum bombs in a lake near Nakskov, on the island’s west coast.

“Unfortunately, this is only a small fraction of the stolen bombs,” Stefan Jensen, a police spokesperson, told the Ritzau news bureau. “These are some of the largest, but not the biggest ones. We're still looking for the rest and are no closer to catching the thieves.”

Another anonymous tip-off helped police find some of the stolen fireworks on Saturday, the day after they were stolen.

“We got a tip-off that the fireworks were on a rural property on Lolland,” police spokesperson Henrik Karlsen told DR News.

The man who lives on the property was not home, and police would not speculate as to whether he was involved in burglary or had purchased the fireworks from thieves.

On Monday, police on Lolland arrested a 34-year-old man believed to be connected to the theft, but did not have enough evidence to hold him and he was released Monday afternoon.

Some of the chrysanthemum bombs stolen could contain over a kilogram of gun powder – enough to level a house – and are intended for professional use only. Proper use of the fireworks calls for a 100 metre safety zone, and although the bombs have a long fuse, police say it burns very quickly.

Police strongly advised against buying or attempting to use the fireworks, saying that they are normally fired from mortar-like bomb tubes, which the thieves had not taken during the theft.

“We will find those who committed the burglary, but the most important thing right now is to find the fireworks,” said Bøje Jørgensen, a police officer in Nakskov, told DR News.

In a related incident, police in Copenhagen were attacked when they attempted to remove the same type of dangerous fireworks from a warehouse in Christiania.

A spokesperson for the Copenhagen police said that officers moved in to remove the fireworks after receiving a tip off that they were being sold in the commune's open-air drug market.

Bystanders pelted the police with stones and launched fireworks at them. The police responded with tear gas. One officer reported feeling so threatened that he drew his service pistol. Ten officers were injured, none seriously.

There were no reports of Christiania residents being hurt in the incident, and no one was arrested.

Some of the 32 chrysanthemum bombs confiscated in the raid contained 1.6 kilograms of gunpowder. It was initially reported that the bombs were some of those stolen from the Lolland factory, but police later said that there was no evidence to support that theory, although they continue to investigate a possible connection.

A small chrysanthemum bomb was also found early Wednesday morning by a passer-by near a stream in the village of Helsinge in northern Zealand. Police detonated the 350 gram explosive at about 2:30am, after it was determined that it was wet and too unstable to move safely.

The explosive was far smaller than those stolen from Lolland, and police said it is normal to find unexploded fireworks following New Year’s Eve.

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