Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Sept. 30, 2020

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2 Vancouver marijuana shops targeted by thieves in past week

Four teenagers face allegations in armed robbery on Saturday

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

Four teenagers face allegations in Clark County Juvenile Court in connection with the armed robbery of a Vancouver marijuana shop on Saturday.

The group of suspects include two 16-year-olds, a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old, court records show. Three of them went into the store, armed with a shotgun, while the 14-year-old and a female driver, who has not been charged, waited outside in a car, according to probable cause affidavits.

A Vancouver police officer was dispatched around 9:30 p.m. Saturday to a robbery in progress at High End Marketplace Dispensary, 1924 Broadway. An employee at the shop was standing outside, waving his hands at the approaching police vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The employee told the officer the shop had just been robbed by three men with a shotgun, and gave a description of the getaway vehicle.

The officer relayed the suspect information to patrol units in the area and went inside the shop to look over video surveillance, which showed three males wearing masks, gloves, black pants and with black hoodies pulled over their heads, according to the affidavit.

“The first person through the door was carrying a shotgun,” the responding officer wrote in the affidavit, noting the armed suspect was wearing shoes with a black and white checkered pattern.

While the officer was reviewing the footage, police had located and pulled over a car carrying the suspects in the case; there were five people in the car, which did not have license plates, according to the affidavit.

One of the 16-year-olds was wearing the same checkered shoes seen in the store’s security video, the affidavit said.

The teenagers were interviewed separately. The probable cause affidavit shows three of them gave similar accounts, while the 15-year-old did not offer up many details and told police he blacked out upon entering the shop until police pulled the group over.

The teens’ accounts indicate the 14-year-old took the shotgun allegedly used in the robbery from his father at his home Friday. The 16-year-olds had previously planned the robbery over social media, including where to obtain a gun; one of them told detectives that they “also discussed holding the employees as hostages,” the affidavit says.

After having met up, the female driver headed to the shop in Vancouver, where three of them put on black masks and entered the store, according to the affidavit. The armed 16-year-old said he demanded the employee open the register, from which he took some money before fleeing, according to the affidavit. The 14-year-old told police he saw his co-defendants exit the store with plastic bags of marijuana.

“They drove off to a neighborhood where they stopped for a short time and placed the clothing and marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. They began driving to a house in Salmon Creek until they were pulled over by police,” the affidavit says.

The four teens were arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault. The two 16-year-olds made first appearances Monday in Clark County Superior Court. Their bails were set at $100,000. However, court records show the cases have been moved to juvenile court.

All four teens appeared in juvenile court earlier this week. The two 16-year-olds have been ordered detained; court records show their parents either declined or were unable to take custody and look after them. The 14-year-old had his bail set at $5,000, and the 15-year-old was released to his father. Each of them has hearings scheduled for later this week or month.

3 males hit Main Street Marijuana

In addition to the robbery at High End, another nearby pot shop was burglarized in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Vancouver police were dispatched at 2:34 a.m. to Main Street Marijuana at 2314 Main St., for a silent alarm. Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said in an email that three males threw a cinder block through the glass door of the business, gained access and stole products.

Kapp noted that the police report says the owner has identified two of the suspects, and officers are following up on that information. Police were able to determine that the burglars were using a stolen vehicle during the break-in, and that’s also being followed up on, she said.

Main Street Marijuana owner Adam Hamide said he believes the same burglars broke into his store several months ago. It was the second time the downtown shop was broken into within a week, and the sixth break-in between his two shops this year.

Correction: The article incorrectly reported that the robbery at High End Marketplace Dispensary happened on Sunday. The robbery happened Saturday.