Centretown marijuana dispensary robbery 6th in Ottawa this fall, police say
Workers held up by robbers carrying knives and guns, police say
Police are searching for suspects after a robbery Friday morning at a Centretown marijuana dispensary —the sixth Ottawa dispensary to be targeted by robbers in the last three months.
Officers were called to a business in the 500 block of Gladstone Avenue at around 11:05 a.m., the Ottawa Police Service said in a statement.
Sgt. Greg Wilson confirmed on the scene that the robbery happened at the Sylk Medy Dispensary and Wellness Center.
Witnesses at a nearby business told CBC News that at around 11 a.m., they heard a woman screaming at the top of her lungs, followed by two men wearing hoods running from the dispensary.
The men jumped over a fence behind the barber shop across the street, said the witnesses, who did not want to give their names out of concerns for their safety.
'Tranquil, safe and comfortable'
According to its website, Sylk Medy offers "alternative treatment modalities beyond marijuana" as well as a "tranquil, safe, and comfortable location" for medical marijuana users.
The shop opened a few weeks ago and has already upset some nearby business owners.
"I don't think it is a great idea to put something like that right where families and businesses are located," said Suzer Filius, who runs Fil's Furniture across the street.
Filius said he saw emergency crews race to the scene of the robbery.
"There was lots of police cars. About four or five. That's the first time we've seen so many police cars in one place," Filius said. "So everyone was curious to see what was going on."
Fouad Catan, who runs the PC Room computer store next door, said he's scared and wants police to shut down the marijuana dispensary altogether.
Someone is going to get hurt- Fouad Catan, owner of the PC Room
"Right now, nobody [has gotten] hurt yet, but it's going to happen. Someone's going to get hurt," Catan said.
Wilson was at the scene and said police didn't yet know what had been stolen from the dispensary. No one was injured, he added.
"The investigation is in its infancy," said Wilson. "The robbery unit will be following up."
5 other marijuana dispensaries robbed
Ottawa police have confirmed to CBC News that this fall, robbers have allegedly threatened — and in some cases assaulted — workers at a handful of marijuana dispensaries with knives and guns:
- On Sept. 6, police were called to WeeMedical Dispensary at 358 Rideau St. after two men allegedly assaulted a worker and demanded drugs and cash. The men said they had a gun, according to police.
- On Oct. 23, officers responded to a robbery at CannaGreen on St. Joseph Blvd. involving two men. One was carrying a gun and the other a knife, police said.
- On Oct. 26., three men with a handgun allegedly robbed the Ottawa Cannabis Dispensary on Laperriere Avenue.
- On Oct 27, four men with one hand gun allegedly held up a dispensary at 2400 Bank Street.
- On Nov. 5, three men allegedly robbed a dispensary at 100 Iber Road while a fourth suspect waited outside. A gun was seen during the robbery, police said.
Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has said that Ottawa's remaining marijuana dispensaries are "on notice" after nine people were arrested last week at raids at seven shops across the city.