CITY HEIGHTS, Calif. – A medical marijuana dispensary is robbed at gunpoint and the brazen crime is all caught on camera.
It happened in the 3600 block of University Avenue Thursday night. The dispensary part of the Natural Roots private club exclusively shared the video with Fox 5. In the video you can see a suspect unlocking and propping the door open. Seconds later, guns drawn thieves force their in and begin to empty the glass shelves. One gunman is seen terrorizing employees. One employee who didn’t want to be identified was held at gunpoint.
“They had weapons, they forced us to the ground,” said the employee. “They robbed us personally and the place. I got struck with a pistol and they also forced us to strip naked.”
San Diego Police have identified one of the suspects as Anthony Johnson. Samuel Yador with Green Guard Security was hired minutes after the robbery. He said Johnson has a notorious history with area dispensaries.
“A couple of the cooperatives we have worked at before, he has been identified before. He has been banned and or arrested,” said Yador.
Employees at the dispensary say Johnson is a member and a few weeks ago he was seen in the shop casing it out.
Two of the other suspects have yet to be identified. Yador said as US Attorney Laura Duffy continues to crack down on medical marijuana, these types of crimes are becoming more common causing people to switch over to online headshops like Smokewire.
“We see individuals try every other way to try and knock off these locations,” said Yador.
Mayor Bob Filner wants to re-open the door on legal dispensaries, by creating specific zoning ordinances. Yador said such an ordinance would help to set a security protocol.
“It would allow for individuals to be checked,” explained Yador. “It would help to create a stronger environment.”
“As long as it’s safe access for those people who have to travel to it,” said David. He is a board member of the Natural Roots Dispensary. David is also on a committee working on the mayor’s ordinance. He said establishing guidelines would provide safer access.
“It’s been proven with regulation and crime does go down,” said David.
“They took everything. Just everything,” said the unidentified employee.
As for the robbery at Natural Roots, about a month and a half of the supply was taken, but workers said that’s not the point.
“It just sucks people would come in and do that when we’re trying to help people,”
“Medicine can be replaced. We’re just very thankful no one was hurt and that’s what it boils down to,” said David.
The San Diego Police Department said Robbery is investigating the case. A photo of Anthony Johnson was released and detectives said it’s only a matter of time before he is located and arrested. If you have any information on other suspects involved in this crime, please contact the police.