Three Winnipeg-based vape stores have suffered thousands of dollars of property damage and loss due to thefts that happened recently. Are vapers taking their passion one step too far, or something else lurks at the crime scene?
One shop down
Jeremy Loewen reported a break-in after someone broke through the glass at his vaping store located on Pembina Highway. Thieves managed to steal a substantial amount of vaporizers and vape juice. Additionally, the thieves broke another window of the same store the very next day and took thousand of dollars more worth of vaping equipment. This time they used their vehicle to enter the store!
Two shops down
Another vape store owner, Daniel Lofchick, reported a break-in four times in the last two weeks at two separate locations of his Cold Turkey stores. On June 26th, employees found broken glass after coming to the workplace. The owner said that someone tried to rob them again on June 28th. Moreover, Lofchick says that the thieves stole $5,000 worth of merchandise and that he saw some of the stolen products circling for reselling on the street.
Three shops down – will it ever stop?
The manager of Fat Panda, Jayson Sultel, also filed a complaint regarding breaking into their two stores on Wednesday night. Both times the thieves drove their car through the window. The estimated property damage for each store is $10,000.
Since June 2, there were six reports of breaking and entering vaping stores. Winnipeg Police is investigating the crimes.
The Colorado Case
Another break-in occurred on July 1st in Colorado Springs. Robbers smashed their way into the store and took more than a thousand dollars worth of vaping products, according to the owner of Teez Vapes. The thieves carefully chose the most expensive pieces of equipment.
The biggest concern of every vape shop owner is what will happen with the stolen merchandise. Vaping is not allowed for children younger than 18 or 21, but if the products find their way to the street, anyone can buy them without ID or age check-up.
Another important issue is the safety of workers. Given the recent events, we could not help but wonder—are we safe in our neighborhoods, and what makes vape shops so appealing to robbers?
It seems that the crime scenes are still in a cloud of vape. Could fellow vapers be behind this, or are these robbers just money-driven criminals?