San Benito cannabis business burglarized

Security guard fires shot at Purple Cross Rx

CANNABIS CULTIVATORS Cultivation and manufacturing for cannabis will begin in earnest this fall in preparation for legalization of the plant in January.

An estimated $500,000 worth of cannabis was allegedly stolen from a San Benito County canna-business in two incidents late last month, one of which resulted in shots fired by a security guard, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, November 21 at approximately 3:41pm, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Purple Cross Rx at 1980 Bolsa Road, regarding a prior burglary. Upon arrival, the deputy met with the owner, Scott McPhail, who advised that between the time-frame, Friday, Nov. 17 and Monday, Nov. 20, Purple Cross was burglarized.

McPhail stated that 250 pounds of marijuana plant trimmings and 300 pounds of processed marijuana were taken from his property.

McPhail estimated the trimmings and processed marijuana taken amounted to $500,000 worth of product. McPhail told the officer he believed there may have been two separate events that had taken place. He explained that in the event involving the 300 pounds of processed marijuana, the product was taken from a “hidden/secured” room. That was determined to be a possible embezzlement or civil matter.

The second event that occurred during the Friday, Nov. 17 to Monday, Nov. 20 timeframe involved marijuana plants being “topped,” where the top of the plants were cut off. Approximately 250 pounds of marijuana tops had been taken from McPhail’s secured greenhouse. This was determined to be a burglary that was separate from the embezzlement.

In each of these events there were no signs of forced entry. Also, the camera system power had been disabled during the same time.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, at approximately 1:45am, deputies responded back to Purple Cross Rx on the report of an attempted burglary and “shots fired” by a security guard. Upon arrival, the deputies contacted the security guard who told them he had interrupted a burglary. The guard was alerted by guard dogs barking on the property. He located two subjects inside a greenhouse who were in hooded sweatshirts, masks and sunglasses. One of the males had a white “bag” in his hand while the other had what appeared to be a knife. As the guard was ordering the males out of the greenhouse, the one with the alleged knife took an aggressive stance and moved toward the guard. The guard fired one shot and the subjects turned and ran away. It is unknown whether or not the subject was hit. There was no blood evidence located at or near the property.

Deputies located a white pillow case with marijuana tops and a large metal spike next to the point where the two subjects fled over the fence and into the adjacent field.

Anybody with information on this, or any other SBCSO case, is urged to call the Sheriff tip-line at (831) 636-4084 or the Investigations Division at (831) 636-4080.

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