An attempted dispensary robbery happened in Las Vegas over the weekend but thanks to security cameras and a proactive police department, all suspects were apprehended. We have seen quite a few attempted, and some successful, robberies of dispensaries recently in states that have legalized marijuana.
If it seems that dispensaries are being targeted by criminals, the reason may be that dispensaries are forced to keep cash on their premises. Federal laws make it difficult on dispensary owners to seek out the safety of banks for their revenue. Some states are trying to find a solution for their local dispensaries, such as municipal banks, but until then dispensaries will have to rely upon their security and law enforcement to protect them.
Four suspected thieves are behind bars after police say they targeted a Las Vegas pot shop early Saturday morning.
Three of the suspects used crowbars to get through the wall at Black Jack Dispensary on Western Avenue near Oakey Boulevard just before 4:00 a.m., according to police.
When officers arrived at the scene, they ordered the suspects to stop, and when they didn’t comply, one officer fired a round from a shotgun.
“At approximately 4:20 this morning is when the shots fired call came in,” said Capt. Kelly McMahill, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The officer missed the suspect, and they all ran off.
Officers caught one suspect quickly, while police nabbed the other two later near I-15, Capt. McMahill said.
Officers took the fourth suspect into custody who drove off from the scene in a car. Inside the car, police found items linked to the dispensary, Capt. McMahill said.
Investigators say officers were able to make it to the scene to catch the criminals in the act because the dispensary has monitored live video surveillance.
Because dispensaries are cash businesses, security is a big issue for pot entrepreneurs.
John Mueller who owns a dispensary in the same area says he has armed security at Acres Cannabis around the clock.
“We believe in treating this like it’s a bank,” Mueller said.
Mueller believes thieves are looking to prey on small businesses, especially places which sell marijuana.
He says his armed guards are military veterans, but the security measures don’t stop there.
“We have armed security up front. We use panic buttons at every register here. 38 cameras are monitoring this facility at all times,” Mueller explained.
Every square inch of Acres Cannabis is under the eye of a camera, and the video is stored for 90 days.
“When you walk through that door, you’re on camera for better or worse, and it’s just part of the equation. We want to protect our patients first and foremost,” Mueller said.
As for Saturday’s incident, Black Jack Dispensary released the following statement:
Blackjack Collective dispensary would like to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and their officers, detectives, and investigative staff for their quick response this morning. Around 4AM, individuals broke into the dispensary. No employees were on site. One suspect was immediately apprehended outside the building. The remaining suspects and getaway vehicle were detained minutes later.
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