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Ontario man wielding knife enters pot shop, demands products, flees on foot and gets arrested

Nov 4, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

21-year-old from Sarnia faces two robbery charges

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A 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the armed robbery of a Sessions Cannabis store in Sarnia, Ont. in broad daylight earlier this week.

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At about 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 2, the Sarnia Police Service reports the lone male, wielding a knife, entered the pot shop, demanded products from the clerk and then fled on foot. There were no injuries.

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The police statement does not specify what products were taken or their estimated value.

  1. Officers “were attending the first and second scenes to gather information when police received a third break-in report.” /

    RCMP arrests one man, two youths in wake of string of pot shop break-and-enters

  2. FILE: A Cookies dispensary in Michigan. /

    Burglars drove a car through the window of a Cookies dispensary in Missouri

  3. The thief broke into the shop in Courtice, Ont. at around 3 a.m. after throwing a rock through the storefront window. /

    Ontario police call for public’s help in identifying bud burglar

Police quickly responded and their search led to them identifying a person matching the description less than a half-hour later at 9:55 a.m. Further investigation resulted in the man’s arrest and the discovery of the stolen items and knife.

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The man, who was taken into custody without incident, has been charged with robbery with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Police photo of knife recovered from accused robber. /
Police photo of knife recovered from accused robber. / Photo by Sarnia Police Service

The accused was released by the courts and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Dec. 8.

Citing the Criminal Code of Canada, Kruse Law reports a weapon “can be anything that is intended to be used to threaten or intimidate someone, or to cause injury or death to a person.”

Lawyer Celine Dostaler notes “the court will look at what words and gestures were used by the accused, or what actions were taken that would lead the victim to reasonably believe physical injury could be imminent.” If the weapon involved was a knife or some other object, “there is a possibility to lower the charge to something like theft.”

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Robbery could potentially result in life in prison

Everyone who commits robbery is liable to imprisonment for life, while a conviction for theft carries a maximum of imprisonment for two years or less, according to the Criminal Law Team.

Three years ago in Sarnia, another pot shop was robbed, this time allegedly at gunpoint. A “large quantity” of cannabis and some cash was taken from the dispensary, with reports indicating as many as three people fled the scene in a stolen pickup truck. Two people were later arrested in connection with the theft.

Sarnia, of course, is not alone in having cannabis retail, whether licensed or not, targeted by thieves.

Pot shops thefts happening all over

Just last week, thieves who hit Zips Cannabis in Tacoma, Wash. Managed to use a vehicle to ram the front door of the pot shop, resulting in them gaining entry and escaping with stolen products in under a minute.

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This past April, a security guard for an unlicensed cannabis dispensary near Oliver, B.C. witnessed the premises being robbed by armed suspects before they also stole his vehicle during an early-morning burglary.

In June 2021 in Massachusetts, a 51-year-old man was charged with armed robbery after allegedly using a BB gun to rob a legal cannabis dispensary.

Here at home, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis struck down regulations this summer that had required cannabis dispensaries to cover their windows, preventing store interiors from being visible from outside.

Following the latest incident in Sarnia, the local police advised that if a person is the victim of a robbery, it’s best to co-operate and “to the best of your ability, gather the best description you are able to and once the suspect leaves the building, immediately lock the doors and call 911.”

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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