Cannabis dispensaries across St. Louis area targeted by thieves

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A crime alert is spanning the St. Louis metro area as thieves break into marijuana dispensaries.

Wednesday morning, Hazelwood police were called to Terrabis dispensary where thieves attempted to steal money or product. Two days earlier, there were three attempted thefts. One of them happened in Jefferson County and the other two in St. Louis.

Doors at the Greenlight Dispensary in Berkeley are boarded up after a break-in happened on Saturday where a car drove through the door. The dispensary is adding cement barricades to the front of the store in the hopes of preventing any more damage.

A crime alert is spanning the St. Louis metro area as thieves break into marijuana dispensaries.

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

“The whole point of this program is to get it off the streets and into safe facilities that have armed guards during the day,” Bommarito says. “That’s what we’re trying to do, is just supply a safe place for folks to get their medicine.”

The Greenlight location in Ferguson was hit by attempted thieves. The location on Chippewa in St. Louis was hit twice. The location in Berkeley near the airport was also hit twice, which was caught on security footage.

“There are several of them in cars, like four to eight people,” Bommarito says. “They jump out and try to get in and then when they get in the showrooms, all they find is empty packaging and they dump the product or they dump the tables so they’re just causing damage.”

It’s not just Greenlight that is being targeted.

Early Monday morning Swade Dispensary in the Delmar Loop was also broken into. Another dispensary in the Central West End was hit Monday morning. In Festus, Star Buds was targeted Monday morning as well.

Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis thinks it’s one group behind all of the break-ins.

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

Chief Lewis says the thieves always ram doors.

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

Agencies across the metro area are banding together to try to put a stop to these crimes.

“This isn’t something just limited to Festus,” Chief Lewis says. “I’ve got detectives now up in the city working, so hopefully that evidence video, when we get it, will help us out.”

The damage across all the different Greenlight Dispensaries is totaling nearly $20,000.

Bommarito says law enforcement has been taking extra measures to patrol the areas around dispensaries overnight.