Police are looking for up to four teenagers who they say smashed a stolen van into the front of a pot dispensary and ran off with T-shirts and what they thought was marijuana.
But it turns out it was just oregano.
“Our product is never out,” said Kim Casey, the communications manager for Native Roots, the dispensary that was broken into.
But it seems the suspects who drove the van into the store early Wednesday morning didn’t know that.
“We have pre-rolled joints on display in our packaging in our display cases,” Casey said. “We do not put actual medicated product in them, so we use oregano to simulate the cannabis.”
The suspects took off with some of that oregano, plus a few T-shirts.
But it’s the damage they left behind that’s really going to cost the store.
“It was a little worse than I expected,” Casey said.
The suspects left behind the van – which police said was stolen – sitting well inside the store, parked and still running.
Sgt. L.C. Morgan with the Colorado Springs Police Department said the van went “all the way through the front foyer of the business and inside.”
And it happened right in front of witnesses, who called police.
“With the damage that people have done just to, you know, just to get high, which, you know…it’s not worth it,” said Brent Wrathbone, the witness who called the police.
Wrathbone said one of the suspects threw a bottle at him as he was making the call.
The suspects fled in a separate getaway car waiting on the other side of the dispensary, Wrathbone and other witnesses said.
And police said this isn’t the first time they’ve seen crooks try this tactic on a marijuana dispensary.
Last month, surveillance video captured thieves driving a stolen car through the front of Canna Meds, another marijuana shop in Colorado Springs.
Police aren’t saying if it’s the same group of teens who committed both crimes.
“There does appear to be a pattern with regards to similar crimes like this, not only with dispensaries, but with other businesses as well,” Morgan said.
A separate burglary that happened just up the road around the same time as the Native Roots break-in could be connected.
Police said they think some of the suspects broke into the nearby 3 Thirsty Goats liquor store to create a distraction while their accomplices drove into the dispensary.
Because the burglaries are still open and active investigations, police said they can’t say if anyone has been arrested.
Native Roots says it hopes to have everything fixed within the next few days.
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