December break-in at Aspen cannabis shop under investigation
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary at the Stash recreational cannabis store, where a man apparently climbed up a construction ladder to break into the dispensary through its second-floor window.
The incident happened Dec. 17 and came up at last week’s meeting of the Local Licensing Authority, which approved the dispensary’s application to relocate from the Aspen Business Center to Durant Avenue in a commercial center next to City Market.
Stash co-owner Garrett Patrick said that the number of edible marijuana products swiped added up to about $1,200 in retail value. No cash or other products were taken, he said.
“I don’t want this to happen again,” Patrick said Tuesday, the last day Stash will operate out of the business center. It is slated to reopen Saturday at its new location. “I want to be crystal clear that I want to catch this guy.”
The state requires that cannabis shops have security systems, which Stash does. But after the break-in, Patrick said he made a significant investment into an upgraded system.
The incident happened at approximately midnight, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said. DiSalvo said deputies responded to the scene after the store’s alarm system activated.
“There is a video of the person in and out looking around,” said DiSalvo, adding the crime is considered felony burglary. “And the alarms were activated.”
Patrick said a construction ladder was left at the scene. He said he believed that one person acted alone.
“He was just desperate, and you could see him looking around and grabbing whatever he could and he threw it into a bag,” Patrick said of the video’s content. “He didn’t know what he was doing, and he couldn’t get in our registers.”
Much of the store’s inventory is secured in safes, but the edible marijuana products taken were not, Patrick said.
DiSalvo said break-ins at cannabis dispensaries are rare in Pitkin County. The last time one happened was in 2014 at a medical dispensary in Holland Hills, but nothing was taken, the sheriff said.
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Organizers turned to the same strategy that marijuana activists used to decriminalize pot possession in 2005: “We’re talking about not putting people in jail.”