PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man clad in a Halloween mask held two employees at gunpoint Tuesday night as he robbed Craft Cannabis in Vancouver, the shop’s owner told KOIN 6 News.
General Manager Chris Olen said the man entered the dispensary around 10:45 pm while two of his employees were closing.
“They were just doing their normal closing duties when what they thought was a customer walked through the door,” Olen said. “He came in and abruptly walked up to them with a sawed-off shotgun and pointed it directly in their face.”
The suspect was described as a middle-aged, slender, white man with white hair. Olen said that he ordered the employees on the ground and locked the door before demanding the money and quickly fleeing.
Although the incident only lasted about three minutes and no one was injured, Olen said the experience was extremely upsetting for the employees involved.
“They both were pretty shaken up,” said Olen “It’s a traumatizing event any time you have a gun pointed in your face. It’s really uncomfortable and it’s really scary. You never know what’s going to happen next.”
“The employees were unharmed and that’s our main concern,” he added.
According to Olen, his concern for his staff’s safety goes beyond this single incident. He told KOIN 6 News until the industry can gain standard banking and other safeguards, cannabis employees will continue to be at risk.
“The fact that we don’t have banking privileges like any other business really makes us an easier target for criminals, knowing that we handle more cash,” Olen said. “For the safety of everybody in this industry we really would like to see some changes to protect us.”
In the meantime, Craft Cannabis staff told KOIN 6 they are committed to getting the man off the streets who robbed their Vancouver store.
The company is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction. Tips can be sent to email@example.com.