Crimes at medical marijuana dispensaries raise security concerns - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Crimes at medical marijuana dispensaries raise security concerns

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There's new information about a violent robbery that occurred at a medical marijuana business Thursday night and it's raising concerns about what type of security these businesses have to keep them and the community safe.

Six men entered Top Shelf Med, a medical marijuana co-op near Southern and College in Tempe.  They confronted a worker inside.  One of them hit the employee, then shot and wounded him.  The attackers got away.

Top Shelf has been under investigation -- raided by federal agents last year because they say it is operating outside Arizona's medical marijuana law.

And it's violence like what happened Thursday night that opponents of medical marijuana have been warning about from the start.

Arizona's law requires dispensaries to have security, but is that enough?

Tom Vigilante, President of Centralized Vision, says those are always going to be targets.

Centralized Vision is a round-the-clock security monitoring service with a monitor watching every moment, ready to report any activity.

Vigilante says marijuana dispensaries are just too tempting for crooks.

"They are a cash rich environment, not to mention a lot of environments with marijuana," he said.

And while no one can totally prevent someone from attempting to rob a dispensary, advanced security systems can help catch them.

"The bad guys aren't going to hold up their social security number.  They aren't going to tell us who they are," said Vigilante.  "The goal is to get them in the moment, so it doesn't even get that far..panic button might come into play to where if a person feels threatened, a person can press a button that can be monitored or received on our end with an operator, combined with video live feed and our ability to look in real time.  You have a powerful solution to capturing would be offenders, suspects, thieves in those type of environments."

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