Since the beginning of the summer, St. Louis area medical marijuana dispensaries have been targeted time and time again in a wave of burglaries that have become increasingly concerning.
Reports show dozens of burglaries and attempts piling up throughout the summer.
While most of the facilities have not faced significant product losses, the attempts have become increasingly dynamic and dangerous.
Less than one week ago, burglars drove a vehicle through the front of the Cookies St. Louis location at 11088 New Halls Ferry Road in Florissant.
“The best thing you can do to prevent becoming a target is to harden your defenses and make your facility look like it’s not an easy target,” explained Corey Randall, Vice President, KC Protective Services and KC Cann Transport.
Randall emphasizes that operators and managers must do more than project the appearance of defense. “Now is the time to conduct a security audit to see where your weaknesses are and correct them.”
Reports and video from multiple security cameras indicate that the burglaries may be tied together. In many cases the suspects appear to be a group of young men in their late teens to early twenties, multiple burglaries have been tied to auto thefts, the general timeframes have coincided, and video indicates large groups in each instance. With the frequency these attempts increasing, Randall reminds dispensary staff, “Watch for suspicious activity during business hours because businesses are frequently cased before the crime occurs.” The burglaries are being perpetrated in the early morning hours, but in multiple instances, the suspects appear to have prior knowledge of at least a basic floorplan of the dispensaries – indicating that one or more have been in the building at some point before.
While no one has been injured to this point, Randall made a final warning.
“Remember that in recent incidents, the criminals have been heavily armed. Taking the proper precautions now can help prevent future property damage, loss of valuables, or even worse, injury or loss of lives,” she concluded.
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