Marijuana burglary suspect arrested at strip mall in San Jose

A man accused of robbing a medical marijuana dispensary at a strip mall in San Jose was arrested on Tuesday.
January 21, 2014 12:18:15 PM PST
San Jose police have arrested a burglary suspect at a strip mall on Hillsdale and Camden Avenues.

A massive search for the burglary suspect ended in a tiny elevator shaft.

Police were called after a security alarm went off just after 2:15 a.m. Officers spotted the suspect on the roof. Police believe the burglar was targeting the medical marijuana dispensary in the strip mall.

Police say the man tried to escape with marijuana and other items from the dispensary.

It wasn't easy and it took several hours after the first call, but in the end they found him inside a nearby dance studio.

"We discussed it. Who's the guy walking on the roof?" Hans Schmitt said.

Schmitt owns Dance Boulevard, a popular hangout in the Cambrian neighborhood in San Jose for people looking to move their feet.

On Tuesday morning, a man was looking to get down from the roof of the strip mall.

Officers spotted him after burglarizing Haze, a collective medical marijuana dispensary, but he didn't give up right away.

"He came in through there," Schmitt said.

Police used a fire truck's ladder to get to the roof and started a slow search from business to business until their police dog led them to the suspect.

The burglar ended up hiding in Dance Boulevard's elevator shaft.

He was arrested about three hours after the search began, but Schmitt knew something was suspicious on Monday.

"Yesterday my neighbor and I noticed that there was a man on the roof, casing the roof top. We couldn't figure out if he was a worker or if he was here under bad pretenses and now we know," Schmitt said.

Police say they found a lot of marijuana bags on the rooftop of the mall and other paraphernalia that may have been left behind by the burglar. The items were all returned to the dispensary.

It's value?

"It's hard to say. It's all on a donation basis," a police officer said.

The real cost of this burglary and police search will be the repairs needed for this elevator.

This is another example of the ups and downs of being a business owner next to a popular target for burglars.

"Last time I checked on those controllers. They cost me a 100 grand to get them replaced, so we'll have to get the company out and get the quote but hopefully it's cheaper than 100 grand," Schmitt said.

The suspect's name has not been released. He was taken to the Santa Clara County Jail and booked for burglary.

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