CRIME BLOTTER

Pot shop owner victim of sixth smash-and-grab robbery

Mar 19, 2024, 7:01 AM | Updated: 7:07 am

A vehicle was used to shatter through a storefront of a cannabis shop in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood in a smash-and-grab robbery —  a familiar occurrence for this business and the industry at large in Washington.

At approximately 3:45 a.m., burglars used a black Hyundai to ram through Cannazone Seattle on First Avenue South. With the exterior completely destroyed, the damage was so severe that the shop’s interior will also require substantial repairs.

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Seattle police (SPD) believe there were as many as five suspects who made off with roughly $15,000 worth of items inside the store.

Juliette Jreige, the owner of Cannazone Cannabis, told KIRO Newsradio this is the fifth store of hers that’s been hit with a robbery for a total of six attempted break-ins.

“We’ve had many drive-ins,” Jreige said. “Sometimes they just break the window, sometimes they steal a car and break in with a Kia. That seems to be the car of choice.”

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This is the second smash-and-grab robbery attempt with a vehicle at this specific location in the past six months. Last October, suspects used a vehicle to try to smash through the front of the pot shop, but failed to break into the building, eventually abandoning the stolen white KIA at the scene.

“(I) immediately panic,” Jreige said when she receives a call around 3 a.m. “It always happens around 3 a.m. Between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. every single time. So when I get a call at that time, I know it’s my store getting broken into.”

A bill was proposed in the Washington State Legislature that, if passed, would impose an extra year of jail time for people convicted of robbing a cannabis store under certain conditions, but failed to move forward during the latest legislative session in Olympia.

Contributing: Kate Stone, KIRO Newsradio

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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