The LAPD apprehended a man after a car chase resulted in crates of weed tumbling onto the streets.
In yet another case of life imitating art, Los Angeles police officers responded to a reported burglary and shooting inside at a cannabis grow operation located at the 900 block of Venice Boulevard on Tuesday, May 3.
Police arrived at the scene around 3:30 a.m., according to LAPD officer Lomeli. However, there wasn’t any evidence of an assault. Officers were then made aware of the suspect driving a stolen box truck, according to KTLA 5.
After refusing to yield to the officers, the suspect continued to evade authorities while traveling through South LA’s Historic South-Central neighborhoods with the stolen truck’s lift gate open. Reportedly, crates of weed fell from the speeding truck as cops pursued the alleged culprit.
A preliminary investigation shows that a business was burglarized along Venice Boulevard before the chase began, Lomeli said. No further details were immediately available.
No word yet on whether the cannabis that reportedly fell from the truck was stolen schwag or “fire buds” and authorities have yet to release the suspect’s identity.
Because federal law still treats cannabis as an illegal substance, most financial institutions are reluctant to work alongside the legal cannabis market in fear of punishment from the government. This problem, which is very unique to our industry, has led many cannabis companies and dispensaries to do business largely in cash. As a result, xtown.LA reported that, “Burglary and robberies account for 71% of all cannabis related crimes in the first two months of this calendar year”, according to Capt. Lillian Carranza from the Los Angeles Police Department’s gang and narcotics unit.
In fact, since the pandemic started, the cannabis industry has experienced a crime wave of coordinated burglaries and robberies. Late last year, San Francisco officials halted city taxes on pot shops and grows to offset the robberies' negative impacts. The crime wave isn't just affecting the west coast, either: It's reached as far east as Maine ... which is about as eastward as it gets in the US.
For now, it appears that operating a cash-based business around cannabis makes for an extremely tempting target, especially in the wild west.