Another attempted burglary of Santa Rosa dispensary leads to multi-agency pursuit on Highway 101
Four vehicles said to be involved in an attempted burglary of a Santa Rosa cannabis dispensary evaded multiple law enforcement agencies Monday morning after speeding along Highway 101 through the fog and darkness, authorities said.
If successful, it would have been at least the ninth burglary or armed robbery of a dispensary in Sonoma County since early December 2022.
At 3:18 a.m. Monday, a worker at a cannabis dispensary on Ferdinand Court near Colgan Avenue called the Santa Rosa Police Department after a vehicle rammed into the business’s gates, according to Sgt. Christopher Mahurin, a spokesperson for the department.
After taking down the gate, four vehicles — described as a black midsize SUV, two silver SUVs and a black Mercedes-Benz sedan — entered the dispensary’s parking lot, according to a news release Monday. The suspects emerged from their vehicles but an armed security guard ran out and drove them off before officers arrived.
A person not involved in the incident also called police after seeing four vehicles with their license plates covered exit Highway 101 at Bicentennial Way.
A few minutes later, a Santa Rosa police officer patrolling a different marijuana dispensary on Piner Road saw a group of vehicles matching the descriptions. Officers attempted to stop the vehicles, but they entered southbound Highway 101 at speeds reaching approximately 100 mph, according to the release.
One of the vehicles exited the freeway at Todd Road and sped off without their lights on. Officers lost sight of it due to the fog, Mahurin said.
Officers continued chasing the three other vehicles until they reached the Cotati Grade on Highway 101 where they, too, lost sight of the vehicles in the fog.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol resumed the pursuit as they headed toward Petaluma.
A Petaluma Police Department officer deployed a spike strip that disabled one of the vehicles. Its two occupants fled on foot into a nearby wooded area and were not located.
Officers discovered the abandoned vehicle had been leased and it was taken back to Santa Rosa police as evidence. They are investigating to find out any identifying information, Mahurin said.
CHP officers were later called to a vehicle blocking eastbound Interstate 580 that had been involved in the earlier pursuit. It had run out of gas on the freeway and its occupants were picked up by the driver of another involved vehicle, according to authorities.
Two weeks ago, law enforcement agencies met with local cannabis owners to discuss the string of break-ins, some which Santa Rosa police believe to be related.
It’s unclear whether the attempted burglary on Colgan Avenue is also connected, but there were similar behaviors, Mahurin said.
The case is being investigated by the department’s property crimes detectives.
“We do believe it is a trend for people to come out of county to commit these crimes, but (it’s) unknown if they are the same group of people,” Mahurin said.
Police asked anyone with information to contact the Santa Rosa Police Department at 707-528-5222.
You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8531 or email@example.com. On Twitter @alana_minkler.
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