Carbondale pot shop hit by robbers |

Carbondale pot shop hit by robbers

Ryan Summerlin
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Garfield County deputies examine a Ford Mustang west of Carbondale on Monday. The car apparently was abandoned after a marijuana store robbery in Carbondale.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

Armed robbers hit a Carbondale marijuana shop just as it was opening Monday morning.

Late in the afternoon, police were questioning suspects but had made no formal arrests, Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said.

Schilling said two robbers walked through the front door of Sweet Leaf Pioneer marijuana shop on Village Road at about 10 a.m. and one showed a gun to employees. No customers were in the shop at the time, the chief said.

The pair fled in a red Ford Mustang with “an undisclosed amount of cash,” according to a statement from Carbondale police.

Authorities alerted law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for a stolen red Mustang.

Schilling said the robbers also took items besides cash, but he wouldn’t disclose what they were, saying that releasing that information would harm the ongoing investigation.

Police got calls that the Mustang was spotted on Garfield County Road 109, then on County Road 108. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Glenwood Springs Police Department joined the hunt.

Officers found the Mustang ditched on CR 108 west of Carbondale a bit past the Pitkin County line. The statement said police believed the robbers switched vehicles.

Schilling wouldn’t say whether the Mustang was, in fact, stolen, again citing the risk of harming the investigation.

Later on Monday morning, officers stopped a green Honda on CR 125 and CR 117 with four people inside, two of whom matched the description of the robbers.

Schilling said police were questioning suspects detained when they stopped the Honda.

Marijuana shops are all-cash businesses because their product is illegal under federal law, scaring banks and credit card companies away from handling money from drug sales.

The stores are required by Colorado regulators to have video-surveillance equipment.

Robberies of shops in the region have been rare. Aspen’s Stash was robbed July 28 by a man armed with a hammer.

Hayden May, 21, is charged in that case with, among other things, aggravated robbery of a controlled substance while armed with a deadly weapon. If he’s convicted of that count, he faces a minimum prison term of 16 years and a maximum of 48 years.

May also is charged with felony theft, which mandates a prison term of one to three years upon conviction, as well as a harassment charge, which calls for a term of as long as six months. He also was expected to face a charge of aggravated motor vehicle theft, The Aspen Times reported in August.

After fleeing the store, authorities said, May stole a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe from a former employer and apparently headed east on Interstate 70. He was arrested in St. Louis after a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph, ending with May’s vehicle colliding head on with a police car, according to St. Louis police.

In Missouri, he was charged with felony assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, felony resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

The Post Independent will update this story as information becomes available. Will Grandbois contributed to this report.