Cannabis dispensaries across the city targeted by thieves

By Shoshana Stahl

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ST. Louis, Missouri (KMOV) – A crime alert covers the St. Louis metro area as thieves break into marijuana dispensaries.

Monday morning, there were three attempted robberies. One of them happened in Jefferson County and the other two in St. Louis.

The gates to Berkeley’s Greenlight Dispensary are barricaded after a burglary on Saturday where a car drove through the gate. The dispensary is adding cement barricades to the front of the store in hopes of preventing further damage.

Tom Bommarito is one of the Greenlight Dispensary partners and says they have been hit five times.

“The goal of this program is to take him off the streets and put him in secure facilities that have armed guards during the day,” Bommarito says. “That’s what we’re trying to do, it’s just to provide a safe place for people to get their medicine.”

Greenlight’s location in Ferguson has been hit by attempted robberies. The Chippewa location in St. Louis was hit twice. The Berkeley location near the airport was also hit twice, which was captured by security footage.

“There are several in cars, like four to eight people,” Bommarito says. “They jump up and try to get in and then when they walk into the showrooms all they find is empty packaging and they throw the product away or they clear the tables, they just cause damage.”

It is not just Greenlight that is targeted.

Early Monday morning, Swade’s dispensary in the Delmar loop was also robbed. Another clinic in the Central West End was hit on Monday morning. At Festus, Star Buds was also targeted on Monday morning.

Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis believes it’s a group behind all the break-ins.

“I don’t have proof yet that everything is the same, but the actions are the same,” says Chief Lewis. “The only difference is the name of the dispensaries and the location, but the actions are all the same.”

Chief Lewis says thieves always break down doors.

At Star Buds in Festus no money or product was stolen but the store was damaged. Festus police told News 4 the cars used in the attempted break-in were stolen.

Agencies in the metropolitan area are banding together to try to put an end to these crimes.

“It’s not something that’s limited to Festus,” says Chief Lewis. “I now have detectives in the city working, so hopefully this evidence video, when we get it, helps us.”

The damage in all the various Greenlight dispensaries totals nearly $20,000.

Bommarito says law enforcement took extra steps to patrol the areas around the dispensaries at night.

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