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Colo. Pot Shop Cameras Foil Burglary Ring

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Southern Colorado lawmen say burglars were pillaging Archuleta County businesses until they hit Bill Delany’s medical marijuana dispensary, Good Earth Meds, in Pagosa Springs in late June, The Durango Herald reported.

Burglars were caught on Delany’s surveillance videotape as they made off with some marijuana-infused tinctures and edible products and gave police the break they needed in finding the men they believed responsible for stealing from 19 businesses in the county just north of the New Mexico state line, The Herald said.

Police arrested four suspects — Allan Vanness, 19; Fermin Y. Villareal Jr., 26; Dominique Swanson, 27; and Angelo Rodger Rivard, 23 — on June 30, and the men are scheduled to appear in court this week and early next month on charges of burglary abd theft, the paper reported.

Authorities credit the gang’s capture to the surveillance cameras Delany had to install to comply with tough new state rules for medical marijuana dispensaries, The Herald said.

But during the investigation Delany admitted breaking county rules for marijuana shops by leaving inventory unsecured after hours, and he was fined $250 on Tuesday by Archuleta County commissioners, who said the fine was kept small because Delany voluntarily reported the infraction and helped police catch the suspected burglary ring, according to The Herald.

Delany, who said he’d been distracted by the state’s July 1 deadline for bringing his business into compliance with tough new rules, told the paper he was happy that local and state regulators didn’t throw the book at him and said he was satisfied with the fine.

Delany said he began using medical marijuana when other treatments for his Crohn’s disease failed, and he opened his shop to help others with their medical needs, The Herald said.