.Watsonville Pot Shop Robbed

Police still investigating, no arrests made so far

This story was updated May 30 at 2:00 p.m.

In the wake of a May 25 burglary at his Watsonville cannabis dispensary, Bryce Berryessa installed several new features designed to deter similar crimes from occurring again.

According to Watsonville Police Department, 12 armed suspects used an SUV to ram and break open the dispensary’s door at around 4am Saturday. In a matter of minutes, the suspects stole thousands of dollars of marijuana products and a safe from another nearby business, said police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido.

The Hook dispensary at 11 Hangar Way also has a state-of-the-art security system that uses artificial intelligence, which alerted him before the burglary even began, Berryessa said. 

That system was triggered when more than one person came onto the property.

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“I was actually on the phone with 911 a full two minutes before the assailants actually got to 11 Hangar Way,” he said. “Our remote monitoring and alarm systems worked really well and alerted us in enough time that they were able to actually engage these guys.”

After the thieves were done, they sped away in a BMW, a Porsche, a Mercedes Benz and a Jeep, beginning a chase north on Highway 1 by WPD, California Highway Patrol, Scotts Valley Police Department and other agencies over Highway 17 and into Hayward. A spike strip placed near Mount Hermon was unsuccessful, and no arrests were made.

Berryessa said that one of the suspects’ vehicles was recovered.

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the police department,” he said. “Hopefully they can bring these guys to justice.”


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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
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