Police: Thieves take half a million dollars worth of pot products in cannabis club heist
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - An extraordinarily large amount of marijuana products worth more than half a million dollars was taken from a San Francisco cannabis club, according to police. KTVU has obtained exclusive video of a burglary where police say two thieves got away with plenty of pot products.
Early Sunday morning around 2 a.m., police say two men broke in through the front door of ReLeaf Herbal Center on Mission Street at Ninth. They pried open a gate and broke the glass on the door.
Police say the thieves rummaged for items inside the store for two hours or more.
"They went through and took several kinds of products: edible marijuana, marijuana supplies and a bunch of dried cannabis from this store," says Captain Joseph McFadden who heads up the police chief's newly created general crimes unit.
Investigators say one man, wearing latex gloves, gathered up the cannabis products and put them in black bags while the other served as the lookout.
"The thing was it's a large amount as far as the monetary value, about $600,000 worth of cannabis," says Captain McFadden.
Police obtained surveillance video from ReLeaf and other places in the neighborhood that show
one suspect carting some of the products away in a recycling bin.
Then later, additional video from inside a liquor store where a surveillance camera captures a clear image of him.
"Loss is loss. They lost the business," says Tia Singh, who manages the SoMa Park Inn across the street.
She says she feels bad for the owner of ReLeaf, but that the business attracts a criminal element.
Singh suspects the thieves are familiar with the cannabis club.
"Somebody knows them, how much stuff they have, where they keep it," says Singh.
Police say the burglary raises concerns this type of crime will escalate with more medical cannabis dispensaries or MCDs opening up in the new year when recreational marijuana becomes legal.
"When the new laws take effect , there's a lot more applications for a lot of these MCDs across the city. They do seem to be a target for some of these crimes that do happen and that's where our concern is," says Captain McFadden.
One neighbor says when thieves steal from cannabis clubs, they're stealing from patients.
"It's pretty messed up. We need that stuff for [medication] purposes. I personally use it for my pain. That's just sad," says one man who asked us not to give his name.
Since the two thieves stole a large amount of products, police suspect they used a getaway vehicle, but have not yet released a description.
Investigators describe the two suspects as men in their twenties. and ask that anyone with information to contact police.