Gunmen disarmed a security guard and stole marijuana from an illegal dispensary in Spring Valley Thursday night in what sheriff’s officials said is part of a violent trend for take-over style robberies that employees don’t report.
A passerby reported the holdup about 8:50 p.m. at a dispensary with a FlavRX products sign in the window, on Bancroft Drive at Memory Lane.
“As expected, no one associated with the dispensary called law enforcement to report the incident,” sheriff’s Sgt. Kotaro Murashige said in a statement.
Murashige said the area has seen more violent robberies at dispensaries in recent months. Armed guards have not proved to be a deterrent.
“The suspects were all armed,” Murashige said. “Dispensary staff members failed to call for help even after people were physically assaulted, and in some cases the staff members refused to allow law enforcement to enter, causing a stand-off situation that stretched the department’s resources in helping victims.”
The problem is not limited to the Spring Valley area. In June, Chula Vista police found out about a dispensary holdup when hospital staff reported treating a shooting victim. The man was suspected of robbing the illegal dispensary.
On Thursday night, deputies surrounded the concrete building. The reluctance of staff to cooperate delayed deputies in searching the dispensary for any injured victims and beginning an investigation, Murashige said in the statement.
Once they determined that everyone was safe, deputies learned that at least two men had forced their way into the dispensary and ordered workers to the floor. The robbers took marijuana products and left, dropping some cannabis items in the parking lot before driving away.
Authorities broadcast over police radios that four suspects, with the guard’s gun, left in a red car, possibly a Dodge Charger.
On June 6, High Society marijuana dispensary on