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Cops bust teens for pilfering pot plants

Locations: News Published

John Colson

Sopris Sun Correspondent

Three Carbondale teenagers — one of whom is implicated in another crime — have been arrested and charged with felony burglary after they allegedly stole pot plants from a private, back-yard garden over a period of weeks earlier this summer.

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The three are to appear in court on Oct. 8 to learn exactly which formal charges they are facing, which likely will include underage possession of pot, according to Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey of the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office.

The identities of the three are being withheld because they are minors, according to Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling. All three, Schilling said, were arrested and released into the custody of their parents.

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The thefts of pot, from an in-town property on the south side of town, reportedly took place on four separate dates starting in July and ending last week. Schilling said the arrests took place after surveillance cameras, installed after the second theft, allegedly revealed the identities of the three teens, said to be between the ages of 14 and 17.

Schilling said that, “to the best of my recollection,” a total of eight plants have been taken from a small enclosure made of a wood frame covered with plastic sheeting, and that the surveillance video showed the three teens entering the structure and emerging with pot plants in hand.

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The three allegedly climbed over a “tall fence” surrounding the pot garden, in order to get to the structure.

One of the three teens, Schilling said, subsequently was implicated in the burglary of a store in downtown Carbondale, which took place earlier in the summer and involved other alleged perpetrators than the teens arrested for the pot thefts.

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Police believe the fourth theft of pot plants was done by a different person, or persons, and not the three teens who have been charged.

The cases will be tried in Garfield County District Court, Schilling said, “because of the value of the plants,” although an exact value has yet to be provided by the garden’s owner.

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