Pot clinics report two more burglaries
Ricci Graham, STAFF WRITER
In what is becoming a common occurrence, the Alameda County Sheriff's Department is investigating burglaries of two medical marijuana clinics in unincorporated communities near Hayward. The first robbery, which occurred at The Compassionate Collective at 21222 Mission Blvd., was reported about 1 a.m. Friday, Lt. Dale Amaral, spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, said on Monday.
The second, Amaral said, happened about 4 a.m. Sunday at The Natural Source at 16360 Foothill Blvd.
In Sunday's burglary of The Compassionate Collective, Amaral said three unidentified suspects smashed through the front door to get inside the clinic.
The suspects then broke through the sheet rock to gain entry to the back area before making off with about $15,000 in cash.
"Why they had this amount of cash inside is beyond me," Amaral said. "The places have video cameras on, but they don't seem to care."
Also taken during the robbery, Amaral said, were a laptop computer, marijuana cookies, tools, three San Francisco 49ers throwback jerseys and two cash registers.
Amaral said the bandits also stole clothing and sweatshirts featuring the club's logo.
In the burglary of The Compassionate Collective, an unknown suspect broke through a skylight and dropped into a small room where the marijuana is packaged for sale.
"He made his way through the business and found plastic trays filled with marijuana," said Amaral, who was unable to provide an estimate of the club's losses. The two burglaries are the latest in a series of incidents that have been reported at area pot clubs in the past six months.
In a move that sheriff's officials hope will result in a reduction of crime at area clubs, the Alameda County Supervisors are poised to reduce the number of clubs that do business in unincorporated areas from six to three.
When board members meet in Oakland today, they will be asked to revise an ordinance, which originally was approved in June, that would give three dispensaries in Ashland and Cherryland one more opportunity to apply for one of the operating permits. The other three clubs from the same communities submitted applications in August.
Clinics that do not apply or qualify for one of the three prized permits will be forced to shut down, although legal challenges could delay any closings.
Supervisors also have spent part of the past year trying to develop regulatory guidelines for the clinics. Currently, the county has no such controls in place.
Karen Holzmeister contributed to this report.