One month in business, and Bethel’s first marijuana store has been broken into and stolen from. ALASKAbuds was burglarized on Monday, Feb. 17 around 12:30 a.m. The store manager reports that no marijuana or cash was taken.
ALASKAbuds manager Matthew Jackson arrived at the store around 1 a.m. Police were there by then and the burglars had fled the scene.
“I am absolutely not surprised,” Jackson said. “It’s going to happen sooner or later. I mean, better sooner than later, I guess.”
Jackson says that the store’s camera footage caught the whole incident, which began with a sledgehammer busting down the door.
“They used a sledgehammer to break that outside window on the entryway, and then they used the same sledgehammer just to bash in the doorknobs and the deadbolt,” Jackson said. He described a pair of individuals who were wearing sweatshirts and face masks.
“I’ve never seen them in here before. I think they were minors,” Jackson said. “Because of the way they looked around and everything. Anybody that’s been in here knows where all the marijuana is sold from."
Jackson says that the burglars smashed some of the glass display cases and stole packs of hemp leaves, which are used to roll blunts or large joints, but that’s all they got.
“A couple bucks worth of rolling papers,” Jackson said.
The reason the thieves didn’t walk away with any cash or marijuana is because Jackson locks both of those up in two large safes.
“You need a plasma cutter to open those safes,” Jackson said.
Plus, Jackson leaves the register and the ATM open at night.
“So nobody destroys it thinking there might be money in there,” Jackson said.
The store’s alarm system notified Bethel police at 12:39 a.m., and Acting Police Chief Amy Davis said that an officer responded to the scene within five minutes. Still, that wasn’t quick enough to catch the culprits. Jackson says that the intruders must have known about the security system.
“They were in the building for maybe less than a minute altogether,” Jackson said. “From when they broke the front door to when they left the front door.”
Jackson says that there’s one silver lining to the burglary.
“It was a good test that all the systems were working and the policies in place are adequate,” Jackson said.
The suspects who broke into ALASKAbuds are still at large. If you have any idea who they are, please notify the Bethel Police Department.