Clearwater medical marijuana burglaries may be tied to four others

Clearwater police are releasing new information in the burglaries of two medical marijuana dispensaries from early Friday morning. 

A pair of Trulieve locations were ransacked by thieves within an hour of each other.  Police say the suspects used brute force to break in through a “fortified window.” 

“They were in and out in six minutes so they knew what they were doing,” said Lt. Michael Walek. 

The first store targeted was the Trulieve on Bayway Boulevard, followed by the U.S. 19 store.  A boarded-up window could be seen Monday at the U.S. 19 location. 

“They were destined to get in there, without going into great of them, they spent a considerable amount of time to get in there, because they wanted to get in there,” Lt. Walek said. 

Now, police tell FOX 13 the same trio -- two who go in, one who stays in a getaway car -- may be involved in at least four other Trulieve burglaries across the state over the last 45 days.  That includes cases in Lakeland, Vero Beach, and near the Villages, all using the same M.O.

“I just think it’s ridiculous,” said Justin Ezyk, one of the many Trulieve patients whose medicine was stolen by the suspects. 

”Just trying to take advantage of the system and it’s no good and they need to catch them as soon as possible,” he added. 

Police say they have stepped up patrols around the Trulieve dispensaries in Clearwater.