Medical marijuana: Three-peat of attempted dispensary burglaries baffle owner

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Verde Wellness.
Verde Wellness's Chuck Blackton locks up his medical marijuana buds, edibles, hash and tinctures in a Volkswagen-sized, all-but-dynamite-proof safe each night. So does every dispensary owner who follows the law (or has any sense) -- which makes the three after-hours break-ins Verde's experienced comically pathetic.

Verde has been in business on Colfax for nearly two years (check our review of the shop here). But in recent months, Blackton says he's suffered a trio of B&E's by would-be crooks. The first involved a group of "kids in hoodies and bandannas," who didn't find anything -- which makes the same crew's decision to bust in a second time even more baffling to him.

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Sheldon Black remains unscathed.
The most recent break-in left a shattered plate glass window, security doors gnarled from being pried open and some minor damage to furniture and artwork. The crooks weren't total shitbags, and thankfully the shelves of high-end Sheldon Black pieces and irreplaceable pipes and slides from local artists were left untouched.

Still, these clearly weren't the most intelligent crooks.

Lets look past breaking into a place on a street Denver police patrol more often than pretty much any other road in the city and move right to the Colorado law mandating that damn near every inch of a dispensary be covered by 24/7 surveillance cameras. Unlike every other business in the state, the cameras are constantly fed to a room where cops may or may not be watching. Patient privacy issues aside, this makes anything that goes on inside a dispensary very well documented.

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Verde waiting room, pre-break in.
Cameras aside, the law also says dispensaries have to lock up all of their products each night. So breaking into a dispensary after hours is akin to breaking into a bank after all the tellers have gone home. Unless you're a team of professional safe-crackers, you aren't going to get much of anything. And given that every one of these inept crooks tripped the security alarms, this scenario isn't likely.

Essentially, people who are breaking into these places after hours are dumbasses. At most, they may wind up with a dispensary-logo T-shirt or a few glass pipes that could well shatter during the getaway.

Blackton sees the burglaries as more of an annoyance than a safety issue. "We've put a lot of money into security, so I'm not worried about that," he says. "It's that I'm spending money cleaning up after this shit. I lose money in the robbery, these [burglars] get nothing, and if they get caught, they are doing time for nothing. And they are going to get caught, bottom line. Any burglars -- when you start doing that, you're desperate. I mean, if you're going to do something, at least be good at it."

More from our Marijuana archives: "Herbal Wellness, Fort Collins pot shop, open after armed robbery;" "Medical marijuana dispensary security cameras key to busting Pagosa Springs burglary ring" and "Fort Carson soldier busted for MMJ burglary says he wanted to destroy the pot."

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13 comments
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Burglar Alarm
Burglar Alarm

   Really cool post, highly informative and professionally written..Good Job

CedrickD1
CedrickD1

The cops got the video and it just aired on world's dumbest criminals Denver Edition.

What is Kush

ralph
ralph

should society cut off the hand of the common thief,and one who is not very good at their chosen profession,because they get caught,or give them a slap on the wrist and say dont do it again,then let them go

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

There is no end to stupidity on East Colfax.I had my V.W. parked in a paid parking space behind the Prohibition Bar.The engine was removed from the V.W. for an overhaul.No battery, electric fuel injection wires hanged to the ground.Some idiot broke in my car, broke the steering wheel lock and tried to hot wire the car.To add insult to injury, Life On Capitol Hill published a picture of my car, credited to under-cover detectives claiming winos slept in my car.

namijoh
namijoh

Pretty sure I drink wine and I have passed out, drunk off wine, in a VW bus behind the Prohibition Bar...

Guest
Guest

i'm sorry chuck.. the love you have for this plant is amazing. everytime i see you i wish more shops had owners like you. at least the shit bag thieves know quality.

Jake Browne
Jake Browne

"Unlike every other business in the state, the cameras are constantly fed to a room where cops may or may not be watching. "

Law enforcement isn't granted access to cameras unless there is a specific information request. The only way that they could have been watching is if they had known in advance there would be a break-in. 

Sorry to hear about this, though. Best of luck to you, Chuck. Colfax can be tough but Verde is an example of what proper security can do to minimize losses due to burglary. 

Garry
Garry

How do you know law enforcement doesn't have a standing request for all the video information? Don't they have the IP addresses of the web cameras and ADMIN CONTROL over the cameras? What's to prevent them from looking in whenever they want without you knowing it?

William Breathes
William Breathes

...hence the "may or may not" in that sentence. ;)

Thanks for commenting.

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