With the arrival of the e-cigarette and millions of dedicated vape shops, a new form of burglary has begun to appear. As the cases multiply, the industry has been forced to question how to better prevent vape shop robberies.
In addition to the money stolen from the speciality shops, various products related to e-cigarettes (especially e-liquids) have become a lucrative option for thieves that can easily find buyers on the black market. Minors are the primary targets, since they do not have legal access to vaping products.
For example, burglars recently robbed the Hidden Vapes store of $30,000 worth of merchandise and cash.
Another example recently occurred in Fresno: the Satyr Vapor store was broken into three times in just six weeks. These robberies have forced authorities and vape stores to think of new ways to combat the scourge.
Prevention methods are currently in development
It is clear that vigilance is no longer sufficient in preventing the rise of the vape store robbery phenomenon. This is the opinion of David VanBuren, a vape store manager in Anderson, where an alarm successfully scared off potential burglars. The former smoker is saddened by the current dangers in the vaping market, because e-cigarettes helped him quit tobacco after over 30 years of smoking. He has encouraged his colleagues to be better prepared for potential dangers.
One of them, Beau Maxon, manager of the Park City Vapor Company, was recently robbed of $10,000 worth of merchandise. Although he had not invested in an alarm system, the county’s video surveillance system was able to help. Maxon is hoping to use the video evidence to help apprehend the suspect. He is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest.
As with any new market, the vaping industry is now in the crosshairs of criminals. The reason is not surprising, as it represents a potentially major source of revenue for the black market.