Suspects are still at-large after C.R.A.F.T. Cannabis in Oakland in California was robbed at gunpoint and about $100,000 in product was stolen. Making things worse, eyewitnesses say it took hours for police to arrive at the scene—once everything was taken and the damage had already been done.
In the early hours of August 6, officers responded to reports of a burglary near the 2500 block of Willow Street in Oakland. Police say that around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, three vehicles and three unknown individuals parked on the 2400 block of Willow Street, then broke into the business and cut the power.
KTVU Fox 2 reports that Alan Sorrentino, owner of C.R.A.F.T. (Citizens Research Alliance for Therapeutics) Cannabis was notified by his alarm company of the burglary early Saturday morning. The Oakland police were called multiple times. So Sorrentino checked out the situation but was forced to leave when a suspect pointed a gun at him. He continued to watch them from afar, looting the building, via surveillance camera.
“Like about 2:50 a.m. they cut the power to the whole building,” Sorrentino, owner of Craft Cannabis in Oakland, told KTVU Fox 2.
According to Sorrentino, the intruders appeared to execute an elaborate plan in steps.
“Unfortunately they were able to get away with all of our inventory basically, so we’ve had to shut down,” Sorrentino said. Police were able to identify some of the vehicles from surveillance video.
“A white Toyota pickup truck, a small black sedan, possibly a Mazda or Toyota. Then there were a couple of other vehicles involved once they had made it into the vault area to help them unload,” said Sorrentino.
Over the course of the next few hours, the suspects busted walls, broke door locks, and broke stair steps. Oakland police say they got to the location about 7:30 a.m. and explained they were unable to respond immediately because they simply didn’t have any officers available at the time.
C.R.A.F.T. Cannabis won numerous awards with offerings such as Dimepiece, winning High Times’ 2019 Bay Area Cannabis Cup 1st Place for Indica Flower, or perhaps the 2016 NorCal Medical Cannabis Cup First Place for CBD Flower.
C.R.A.F.T., as a processor, and Keepers of the Craft Gardens, as cultivators, boast Clean Green Certification since 2012.
No arrests have been made in this incident. Anyone that has information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Oakland Police Department’s Burglary Unit at (510) 238-3951.
Crime Waves in Oakland Dispensaries
It’s just the latest in a recent wave of crime. A man was shot at the Oakanna dispensary last February. Oakanna dispensary owner Joshua Chase was shot in the foot after a group of burglars tripped an alarm in the early morning hours at his relatively new retail facility.
The cannabis delivery industry in the area has also been hit hard.
Cannabis dispensaries a target? One reason in particular is due to the lack of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would protect dispensaries from carrying large amounts of cash.
Politico reported that the crime spree in Oakland—and the West Coast as a whole—caused enough commotion to trigger support for banking reform on Capitol Hill with bills such as the SAFE Banking Act.
Access to banking services could solve many of those problems and make dispensaries safer for the people who work in them.