Feb 162011

Quick thinking by a store employee foiled a robbery Tuesday afternoon at a central Fresno medical marijuana dispensary.

Fresno County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Curtice said one man was arrested and another remained at large, Eddie Jimenez reports in the Fresno Bee.

According to Curtice, the men entered the Central Valley Collective on West Shaw Avenue across from Fig Garden Village shortly after 2 p.m., saying they were new customers.

Inside, one of the men showed a handgun to two employees and demanded all of the collective’s marijuana. After being told the marijuana was in another part of the store, the men went through a doorway. An employee then shut and locked the door to prevent them from re-entering the collective.

The men tried briefly to re-enter before fleeing.

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A deputy, assisted by an off-duty deputy who heard the robbery call while training with her K-9 at Woodward Park, caught one of the men behind businesses along Shaw, Curtice said. The dog located a handgun in bushes.

No one was hurt and no marijuana was taken, Curtice said.

Medical marijuana has created growing concerns among county law enforcement officials, who contend that the operations attract crime and create problems for neighborhoods. Sheriff Margaret Mims has said the county is dealing with an increase in marijuana-related crime.

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