SPOKANE, Wash. - They struck at night and made off with dozens and dozens of full-grown marijuana plants. They wore horned masks and used power tools to cut the plants down, then the thieves loaded the six-foot-tall pot plants into a truck and drove off.
The owner of Starleaf in northeast Spokane said the thieves made off with one third of his outdoor plants and thinks he was specifically targeted.
It takes about 12 weeks of constant care to get a marijuana plant to grow six feet. In a matter of 30 minutes, a crew of about six men came in and chopped down 80 plants using machetes and Sawzalls.
The owner of Starleaf, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes the theft like a scene from a movie.
"We put a lot of work into it," the owner said about his marijuana grow. "Me and my crew we work hard out here."
Early Saturday morning, a group of men cut the fence and chopped down his marijuana plants. It's all captured on video.
"Like about six guys, they were all wearing masks and just went to town, hacking away," he said.
The six-foot plants have wrist-sized stalks and don't go easy, but with power tools and elbow grease, the crooks take down 80 plants.
"I'd be angry if it was like two or three plants, but this amount of plants just seems like it's unreal," he said.
In the video, one thief temporarily takes off his mask. Another leaves a tool at the crime scene. One guy has a unique walk. All hints to who committed this crime.
Even though these crooks used some sort of organization, they didn't know exactly what they were doing, because harvest is still quite a ways off.
"As far as being out on the street or anything like that, I don't think they're going to get much out of it," he said.
Starleaf is now on high alert. Someone even tried breaking back into the grow on Wednesday morning. The owner said the loss won't put him under, but it does hurt morale and the bottom line.
"A lot of money in fertilizer every day, you know to fertilize that many plants, so it's a big loss for us," he said.
If you have any information on who committed this crime, you're asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
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