Kelowna RCMP say a man and woman robbed a cannabis store this past weekend.
At 10:45 p.m. on November 7, 2021 a man and woman entered a cannabis store on Lawrence Avenue in Kelowna and demanded money from an employee, says an RCMP press release.
“The pair threatened the employee with a firearm and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and store merchandise, says Cpl. Tammy Lobb. Kelowna RCMP and Police Dog Services searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects. No one was physically injured during the incident. Police are releasing images of the suspects in hopes that the public can aid in identifying them”, adds Cpl. Tammy Lobb.
Flora Cannabis is the only location on Lawrence Ave in Kelowna that is listed in the BC government’s maps of approved retailers.
RCMP describe the male suspect as a tall white man with a muscular build. He was wearing a dark grey Under Armour hoodie with black overalls, black gloves, and a half-face mask with a skull design.
The female suspect is described as a white woman of average height, small build, wearing an orange or faded red Lululemon hoodie with light blue jeans. She had shoulder-length frizzy red hair and black-framed glasses. She was wearing black gloves and a light coloured half-face mask.
Investigators believe this was a targeted robbery and encourage other cannabis stores to be vigilant in their security measures and to report any suspicious activity to their local RCMP detachment.
The investigation is ongoing and is being led by the Kelowna RCMP General Investigative Services – Robbery Unit. Anyone with any information or who may have witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Robbery Unit at 250-762-3300 or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net.
This is not the first robbery of a cannabis store in Canada. In October, a cannabis store in Toronto was burgled, with numerous cannabis products stolen prompting Toronto Police to put out an alert. In September, an Alberta cannabis store was robbed.
In December, 2020 and Jan 2021, two Calgary area cannabis retailers were robbed. In both instances, an individual threatened staff and made off with cash and product.
In June of this year, another cannabis store in Calgary was robbed at gunpoint by four men, and in February a man allegedly assaulted an employee and robbed a BC Cannabis Store in Oliver, BC.
Robberies of cannabis stores are not limited to legal retailers. In BC in early 2020, a masked man robbed an unlicensed cannabis store in Abbotsford. In 2016 a Vancouver cannabis dispensary was robbed at gunpoint, as well.
In May 2015, thieves broke into the same store by crashing a van through its front window. Another unlicensed dispensary in Vancouver was robbed in 2019.
Feature image of the two suspects, provided by Kelowna RCMP