CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Deputies are looking for whoever broke into two marijuana dispensaries in Cedar Springs early Saturday.
The break-ins happened “within minutes of each other” shortly after midnight, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department said.
The first one was at Meds Cafe on White Creek Avenue. When deputies arrived, they found its door broken. They knew there was another dispensary, Michiganja, not far away on Main Street, so they went to check it out.
“The alarm went off for the first dispensary, officers responded as we always do,” Kent County Undersheriff Chuck Dewitt said “However, because the officers are familiar with the area (and) know the establishment, they knew that the second dispensary was also a potential target.”
The first deputy to arrive at Michiganja saw someone run away from the shop, get in a car, and take off. Deputies say the suspect vehicle sped away without its lights on. Deputies gave chase, but the car soon vanished. Investigators believe the two break-ins are linked.
Owners of Michiganja released video and pictures showing three people kicking and breaking through the store’s security window. Owners say about $3,000 worth of inventory was taken for that shop.
“All they did was look in the window and that was literally their split decision to take a rock and attempt to bust in,” Jacqueline Lucas, vice president of Michiganja, said.
As of Tuesday, the store had already replaced its front door and security window. Lucas said it will install metal gates soon to deter future break-ins.
Authorities have not said exactly what was stolen from Meds Cafe and did not immediately provide a description of the suspects or their car. Anyone with information is asked to call deputies at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Grand Rapids police say that between Jan. 1 and June 13, there have been seven attempted break-ins at marijuana shops in the city, though no one made it inside in those cases. A spokesperson noted that shop owners have to submit security and crime prevention plans to get licenses, which helps them to work with police to prevent problems.
“I think (marijuana shops have) always been a concern,” the undersheriff said. “They obviously sell product that is in demand, no different than cellphones or cars or guns.”
On June 22, a break-in at Skymint Cannabis near Muskegon led to a police chase and then suspect search in the Marne area.