Lake City pot store repeatedly rammed in smash-and-grab burglary

SEATTLE — Early Tuesday morning, Herb(n) elements in Lake City was the latest business to fall victim to a smash-and-grab style break-in.

Our crew arrived at the scene in the hours after the 3:40 a.m. burglary and the marijuana shop’s operations manager shared surveillance video of the incident, which showed a Kia Forte repeatedly ramming the store.

At the storefront, pieces of the car used in the smash-and-grab littered the ground along with shattered glass and mangled window frames. A shutter system that was behind the door was also smashed through.

The suspects were able to get in and then left with bags of an unknown amount of merchandise. The damaged Kia was left behind and the burglars took off in a different car.

Police say the suspects have not been found.

“It was definitely a shock, especially to see that the car was still running and just stuck there,” a worker told us after she admitted that her sense of security at the shop was shaken by the incident. “It kind of reminds you that you are not — not ‘not safe’ — but not immune.”

The worker didn’t want to show her face or use her name when speaking to us since other workers say they’ve been stalked or threatened before.

Donny Peterson, who works at a business next door, arrived for work early Tuesday and saw all the damage left behind from the crime.

“Pretty messed up,” he said.

He said the business where he works has also been hit, as have other businesses in the area.

“Our shop got robbed a little bit ago, pretty much the same thing; busted out the locks somehow,” said Peterson.

Employees told us only merchandise was stolen, and that the ATM was left alone. Recent smash-and-grab break-ins at several businesses have often targeted ATMs.

A sign in front of Herb(n) Elements touts the store’s security, and the worker that spoke to us wonders if new security measures will be needed.

“We want Lake City to be safe, it’s notoriously not the safest part of Seattle and we’d like to keep it safe,” she said.

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