Three people were shot early Sunday morning in an attempted robbery at an indoor illicit cultivation facility in San Leandro, Calif.
Officers responded after 4 a.m. to the reported robbery located at 2000 Adams Ave., the San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) said in a news release Sept. 11.
Officers discovered there was a shootout between the facility workers and the burglary suspects, which left the site manager and one suspect in critical condition, and a facility security guard in stable condition.
Matthew Barajas, criminal investigations division commander and lieutenant with the SLPD, confirmed with Cannabis Business Times Sept. 12 that the cultivation facility did not have a license to operate, as law enforcement was still investigating the grow’s legal status at the time of the release.
Barajas says the facility housed roughly 7,000 to 8,000 illicit cannabis plants in various growth stages and that the SLPD believes the suspects may have been attempting to take “processed, manicured cannabis, which was strewn all over the inside of the business complex.”
He adds that law enforcement will investigate who oversees the facility and that there may be a link between the grow owners and the East Coast.
According to the release, officers located “a U-Haul van fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed. The U-Haul failed to yield to officers, and a vehicle pursuit into the City of Oakland commenced,” which led to a roughly 20-minute chase.
During the chase, the suspects switched vehicles and jumped into a silver Jeep, but while switching vehicles, police caught one suspect on foot.
Officers continued to follow the Jeep for “several more minutes” but it was eventually suspended. Two more suspects, who police described as “two younger-aged Hispanic males dressed in dark clothing,” fled the scene on foot and have not yet been captured. Police recovered the Jeep and U-Haul as evidence, according to the release.
Barajas said discovering an illicit cannabis grow in San Leandro is not uncommon.
“[Illicit grows] are everywhere,” he says. “So, this is not unique to see a grow shootout at an unlicensed and unpermitted marijuana grow. It’s definitely a regional problem. Only because of the position I worked in, in my time here, I’ve come across hundreds in the city of San Leandro. But it’s in every city in the East Bay, for sure.”
He also noted an attempted robbery that led to a shooting at Silverstreak (formerly Blüm) cannabis dispensary in San Leandro in early January.
“As officers responded to the call, a neighboring business employee also called to report a burglary in progress. The witness said several suspects were running from the business with masks on,” according to a news release.
As officers arrived at the scene, they attempted to detain a suspect wearing a mask but were unsuccessful when he fled the scene in car with two other suspects. According to the release, the suspect retrieved a handgun, and an SLPD officer fired. Two people were shot and hospitalize with non-life-threatening injuries.
Silverstreak dispensary is now permanently closed.
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