Crime & Courts

$150,000 worth of marijuana stolen from Anchorage cannabis grow

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: December 20, 2017
  • Published December 20, 2017
Stills from surveillance footage of four suspects at Danish Gardens, a marijuana cultivator that was burglarized early Tuesday morning. (Danish Gardens)
Stills from surveillance footage of four suspects at Danish Gardens, a marijuana cultivator that was burglarized early Tuesday morning. (Danish Gardens)
Stills from surveillance footage of four suspects at Danish Gardens, a marijuana cultivator that was burglarized early Tuesday morning. (Danish Gardens)

Four people broke into a cannabis cultivator's grow in South Anchorage earlier this week, stealing $150,000 worth of marijuana, the owner said Wednesday.

Dane Wyrick, owner of Danish Gardens on Cinnabar Loop Road, said the business was burglarized just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Surveillance video shows what appear to be three men and a woman breaking into the business, Wyrick said.

The group spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get into the building. They used a sledgehammer to try to break locks off the gates, Wyrick said.

Marijuana was stolen from cultivation business Danish Gardens early Dec. 19, 2017. Packaged product was taken from a room used for storage and drying. (Marc Lester/ ADN)

Eventually, they smashed through bulletproof glass on the side of the building. "They took five hits to get through," Wyrick said.

After that, "they went straight upstairs," Wyrick said. "This is a 20,000-square-foot building, so they definitely knew exactly where they were going and exactly what they were doing."

The group went into a room used to dry marijuana. They took around 36 pounds of marijuana and "ran out the door," Wyrick said.

The four suspects were not Danish Garden employees, but Wyrick believes that an employee coordinated the burglary, given the suspects' knowledge of the inside of the building.

The Anchorage Police Department confirmed it responded to the burglary at 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, spokeswoman Renee Oistad wrote in an email.

"Unknown suspect(s) forced entry into an exterior glass door and subsequently stole a significant amount of the business's product," Oistad wrote.

The burglary renewed calls by businesses to remove sensitive information from the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office's website.

Detailed operating plans of all marijuana businesses that have gone before the Marijuana Control Board are public information, readily available online – "including where all of our alarms and every one of our cameras are," Wyrick said.

Businesses have previously asked the board to take the information off the state website. Wyrick said the company is "demanding, we are no longer casually asking," that the business plans be taken down.

"The board would need to consider the Public Records Act if they re-evaluate this issue," Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office director Erika McConnell wrote in an email.

"The theft is under the jurisdiction of the Anchorage Police Department and we will support them/work with them in whatever manner is needed," McConnell wrote.

Marijuana cultivation business Danish Gardens, on Cinnabar Loop, was the victim of a break-in early Dec. 19, 2017. (Marc Lester/ ADN)