Four weeks, two marijuana store robberies

Authorities exploring links

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Port Angeles Police Department are coordinating their investigations into recent robberies at two marijuana stores, they said Wednesday.

Officials from the two agencies said the robberies on Saturday at Muffy’s Pot shop east of Port Angeles and on Dec. 17 at Floyd’s Cannabis two miles west on the same road — U.S. Highway 101 — and in the city had elements in common.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” that they were conducted by the same people, said Brian King, sheriff’s office chief criminal deputy.

“We haven’t drawn that conclusion yet. That’s why we are cooperating, because of the similarities.”

He and Jason Viada, deputy Port Angeles police chief, said their agencies may release surveillance videos or photos this week to aid in their pursuit of the robbers, depending on the progress of their investigations.

King said the robbery Saturday at Muffy’s at 3134 E. Highway 101 in the Port Angeles urban growth area began with the entry of more than four intruders, believed to be male, at about 11:25 p.m. Saturday carrying handguns. They were wearing dark clothing with their features hidden by COVID-19-type masks and their heads covered.

He said they threatened the female worker — the lone person in the store — to get on the floor before they took marijuana and about $1,500 from the cash register.

“As of yesterday, the store was continuing to do an inventory, so we don’t have more accurate numbers as far as quantifies of marijuana and what exactly was taken,” King said.

“They were in the store for about 60 seconds. It was quick.”

The owner of Muffy’s could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

King said the number of people involved in both incidents was similar — saying at least four robbed Muffy’s, while Port Angeles police have said five robbed Floyd’s.

King said there are other conclusions and similarities that he could not discuss because they are known only to those involved in the robbery, and disclosing them would compromise the investigation.

“We have a lot of work to do as it relates to things like that,” he said.

“We are in the process of conducting a canvas of the area. A lot of the businesses in that area have surveillance, and we’d like to know more about what was going on outside.”

Both businesses had in-store surveillance, King and Viada said.

Viada said the city is coordinating its investigation of the Floyd’s robbery with the county detective assigned to the Muffy’s case.

He said the robbers were hooded and masked but were not wearing dark clothing and would not be more specific.

They were carrying handguns, entering the store at 11:33 p.m., in the same time frame as the Muffy’s robbery.

“There are obvious similarities,” Viada said, adding “it is certainly possible” the two incidents are connected.

“It is two distinct investigations because we’ve got two separate events and two separate locations, but they are going to end up being closely coordinated.”

Police are following up on technological leads, including surveillance video, Viada added.

He would not comment on the amount of money that was stolen.

It was taken from one of at least two safes.

A regional manager of Floyd’s — which has stores in Pullman, Shelton and Sedro Woolley — said one of the robbers hit the closing manager with a gun after he said he could not open a safe, bruising him.

Two bud tenders also were in the store at the time.

No customers were present.

Floyd’s closes at 11:45 p.m. Muffy’s closes at midnight.

Clallam County had the 14th highest sales among the state’s 39 counties in Washington in fiscal year 2021 at $17.2 million, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board at www.lcb.wa.gov. It has marijuana stores in Port Angeles, Sequim and Forks, according to a map on the website.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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