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Thieves smash into Bozeman dispensary, steal more than $20,000 worth of merchandise

Police, dispensary owner seeking tips on suspects
Posted at 2:25 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 16:25:30-05

Police in Bozeman are looking for four suspects who were caught on camera burglarizing a local marijuana dispensary.

Detectives say early Monday morning, four people smashed through the front door of the Collective Elevation dispensary on West Main.

Then they took off, waiting for police to leave before stealing about $20,000 in products.

Cameras caught their every move.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, really," says Bob Holstine, owner of the Grateful Shed, near the dispensary. "We don’t like thieves. Nobody does.”

Broken glass lingers on the sidewalk outside Collective Elevation after a group of four hoodie-wearing thieves smashed their way in — one after the other, after the other, after the other.

“Kids, you know, pulling evil stuff," Holstine says. "You can see by the way they act and everything about it.”

Holstine’s smoking supply store is right next door, with one business separating it from Collective Elevation.

Holstine says his thoughts on what happened are why he has bars on his door.

“We’ve had our break-ins, too, so we know what it’s like," Holstine says. "We feel for them.”

The video starts around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

Four people, who police say are aged between 16 and their mid-20’s, come in, carrying backpacks, bags and wearing face masks.

“They’re all wearing fairly distinctive clothing, especially take note to the shoes," says Det. Quinn Ellingson, Bozeman Police Department. “They go ahead and clear out a bunch of shelves of product and leave the same way they came in.”

At one point, one person grabs the store cell phone and uses it as a flashlight, swiping jars filled with marijuana and THC-related products.

One of them, unmasked, even stops, looking in the direction of one of the dispensary’s cameras.

According to dispensary staff, this quartet didn’t just come here once, but twice.

Taking a look at the surveillance video, they showed up the first time two hours before entering the building to use a stool to break through the front door window, then ran when alarms went off.

But then after police checked it out, they returned.

While police say they have leads, they still need your help.

“That kind of crime affects a lot of people," Ellingson says. "It affects the business owners. In this particular instance, it affects a lot of people who are patients, medically, for that business.”

“The only thing you can hope for is that they can still recover some of it," Holstine says. "Have fun sitting in jail because it will happen soon. Fact.”

Again -- between the owner and detectives -- they both say they are getting several leads from the community.

The store is offering a $1,000 dollar reward for a tip that could lead to a conviction.