Jun 4, 2012 12:45 AM by Jacqui Heinrich

MMJ burglaries escalate

With more thieves targeting local medical marijuana shops, criminals are coming up with creative ways to gain accses to these highly secured facilities- sometimes even using vehicles to smash through building walls. Their bold moves are putting shop owners on edge.

Intense security systems and heavy safes keep most of these burglars from getting away with much, but it's the fact that they're leaving empty-handed that worries business owners. Many shops have tons of cash on hand, since banks can't accept 'drug money' without risking its seizure by federal authorities.

"We have seen an increase since they're not being allowed to have a bank which is key. They're being turned into targets," says Mark Slaugh of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council of local MMJ shops.

Store owners worry that heavy-handed burglaries after dark will escalate into daytime armed robberies, when workers are there to open safes. They're hoping their vulnerable state will merit special attention from law enforcement.



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