Burglaries At Denver Marijuana Shops Slow, But Industry Still Worried

COLORADO:  Even with the start of legal recreational marijuana sales 5½ months ago, burglaries and robberies at all pot businesses in Denver are on pace for their lowest total in three years, according to figures from the city’s Department of Safety.

Through the end of May, there had been 53 burglaries and one robbery at the city’s more than 700 licensed marijuana stores and cultivation facilities — putting the city on pace for about 130 burglaries and robberies by year’s end. In 2013, there were 147 burglaries and four robberies, according to Safety Department data, and in 2012, there were 170 burglaries and three robberies.

The dip comes despite police and industry fears that marijuana businesses — many of which keep large amounts of cash on hand because they don’t have access to banking services — remain alluring targets for crime.

“This situation could be a lot worse,” said Michael Elliott, the executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. “But it’s still a lot of burglaries, whether it’s more or less than it was last year.”

Four Charged After California Marijuana Dispensary Owner Kidnapped, Penis Severed While Tortured

CALIFORNIA: Four people are accused of torturing a California marijuana dispensary owner with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis in an attempt to force him to reveal where he had buried piles of cash in the desert.

The defendants mistakenly believed the victim was hiding money and left him for dead on the side of the road, Orange County authorities said in announcing the case Friday. [Read more…]