The city of Kennewick, tucked in the corner of southeastern Washington, has been rated by Forbes magazine as #2 in all the U.S. for job growth as recently as 2009. But an unsettling pair of home-invasion robberies the weekend before Christmas, both involving card-carrying medical marijuana patients, has cast a pall on the town that lies on the shores of the majestic Columbia River.
 

On December 16 three male suspects, one openly brandishing a handgun, barged into a Kennewick apartment and tied up three people inside, two occupants and one visitor. Along with cash and cell phones, the suspects also seized medicinal cannabis from the victims.

 

Less than 24 hours later another home invading robbery took place, this time the thieves absconding with a cell phone, laptop and 50-inch flat screen TV, in addition to some more medical marijuana. Only one occupant was home at the time, a female who was also tied up as the first victims were, and she also reported seeing a handgun being flashed by one of the suspects. While different vehicles were reported at the two crimes, that is a tactic often employed by criminals working in collusion.  

 

Kennewick PD still haven’t confirmed whether or not the two robberies are related, though detectives investigating the crimes said in each case, the victim(s) may have been selling marijuana. 

 

However, it’s also possible the crooks somehow gained access to their records from local dispensaries and/or physicians and targeted the victims. This further emphasizes the need for the strictest security measures to be utilized by dispensaries and medical offices for safeguarding patients’ personal info. 

 

Both victims are said to have had valid medi-pot recommendations from a health care provider, required to obtain medicinal cannabis in Washington. In reportage on the case, the amount of pot stolen is never specified, so it’s difficult to assess from our perspective whether or not the suspects could be seriously considered to be illegally dealing the medi-pot they legitimately obtained from dispensaries. For the time being, pot patients in eastern Washington should remain on alert for possible robberies targeting them because of their status as medical marijuana users, at least until these violent perps are apprehended. 

 

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