It’s a very bad day for one cannabis courier and the Southern California weed businesses he was working for.
Multiple assailants stole $145,000 in cash from the courier’s van when he briefly left it unattended outside a Santa Ana gas station.
Earlier in the day, the courier had collected cash from cannabis businesses in Santa Ana and Los Angeles.
As a result of federal laws, many banks still avoid doing business with the marijuana industry. Hence, even in weed-legal states like California, marijuana still remains a largely cash business.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said that it’s common to get reports of burglaries at pot shops in the area, but that this is the first case he knows of a courier van being robbed.
Bertagna told theAssociated Pressthat the incident seemed to be pre-planned.
“It’s quite apparent they knew what they were doing and how they were going to do it,” he said.
“[The courier] could have been followed from L.A. Do they know his routine? There are a lot of open questions. It appears they were looking for an opportunity, and they did it in a matter of seconds.”
Santa Ana police have yet to identify the thieves, but they have released footage of them to the public, asking for assistance in their apprehension.
The footage shows the thief smashing the passenger window of the courier van, grabbing two satchels of cash, and fleeing the scene in a Nissan Pathfinder.
Authorities said they do not believe that the courier was involved in the crime.
Photo vai Flickr/401(K) 2012