Help ID destructive, axe-wielding cannabis business burglars

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They are in and out in seconds: Thieves targeting cannabis businesses in Pierce County — and they come prepared — armed with an axe. But, these aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, as you’ll see in the video.

They’re targeting ‘mom and pop’ shops just trying to be good members of the community and Puyallup Police hope you can help shut them down.

“He hits it first and it doesn’t fall. I think he freaks out,” said Puyallup Police Det. Mike Lusk, as he watches video of thieves chopping away at the security glass at Chief Cottonmouth, a glass pipe shop in Puyallup. “Two, three, four, five and then the axe gets stuck. This is classic World`s Dumbest Criminals type of stuff,” adds Det. Lusk.

It took 23 blows with the firefighter-style pick axe to open a hole big enough to climb into Darren Lowe’s business. “They really had to whack on the windows to get in here. I mean it was not easy,” said Lowe.

His security company woke him about 3am on Monday, when the thieves set off the motion sensors. “They`re running around. They check the display cases, they went behind the counter. I think they just realize that this isn`t what they thought it was going to be,” said Det. Lusk.

The glass display cases were all locked up. Too bad they left the axe outside. "I think they got a couple pipes and a box of Swishers. Hardly justifies the actions that they took,” said Lowe.

As they race out, this is where you get the best look at the face of one of the suspects wearing red or pink tennis shoes. “Hopefully someone out there`s going to recognize at least one, if not all three and go, `I know who did that," said Det. Lusk.

Less than two hours later, the thieves showed up -- axe in hand -- at the back door to Mary Mart on 6th Ave. in Tacoma, as one suspect starts chopping away at the door to the marijuana business. The others wait anxiously behind him, including the suspect in the red or pink tennis shoes who comes around to help. A few more whacks and the door opens. This time, there are  four suspects who race inside. "They came in through this door and then sort of spread out and went throughout the shop,” said Mary Mart owner, Damien McDivitt, as we watches the video of the crooks in action. “Got into the back areas and just quick as they could, loaded up some garbage bags and some plastic bins and hot-tailed it right out the back door again."

The thieves were in and out in 90 seconds.

“A record breaking weekend. Tons of rad, positive energy and then coming back to this on a Monday,” said McDivitt.

Watching the video is upsetting for McDivitt, who says the same crooks have targeted other cannabis businesses as well. “We hope that they're taught a lesson and everybody else can know it's not ok, it's not alright to steal from your community." He's planning to upgrade the security on his doors, just as Lowe works to replace the glass at Chief Cottonmouth, in case these axe-wielding thieves return. "They can't be going around breaking into a law abiding citizen's places of business. It's not right,” said Lowe.

If you can identify any of these suspects for Puyallup and Tacoma Police, or tell them where to find this group of thieves, call Crime Stoppers, or use the P3 Tips App on your phone.

There's a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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