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LA pot clinic robbery caught on tape; suspects sought

August 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A takeover robbery at a pot clinic in Los Angeles was caught on security cameras. But even without the images, the LAPD says they can identify the gunman.

Witnesses told detectives the suspect is 25-year-old Cornell White, a medical marijuana patient at the clinic on West Olympic Boulevard.

In the video, investigators say White is with two alleged accomplices looting the very business where he has been a regular customer. In fact, he showed his medical marijuana ID card to the armed guard in order to get inside.

Investigators say he directed his cohorts on where to find the money and gather the marijuana. Then outside on Albany Street, a running gun battle broke out. A security guard who was chasing the men was shot in the leg. A round from the guard may have also hit another man, whose name was called out in a moment of panic.

"Somebody from the car hailed to him and said, 'Come on Mike get in the car,'" said LAPD Det. Ross Nemeroff.

The trio dropped the marijuana in the chase but got away with thousands of dollars in the July 17 heist. The search for the suspects comes as the mayor has just signed off on a ban of marijuana clinics across the city.

Residents and the LAPD complain the businesses are a magnet for crime, but the ban disappoints medical marijuana patients.

"I hope they think of something, I mean I hope they really think of something, because people really do need these places open," said Brian Schollaert, a medical marijuana patient.

But police say the robbery illustrates the danger the clinics present. In the video, a man in a red shirt is seen diving for cover. He was an innocent bystander to the robbery, nearly caught in the crossfire.

Since the robbery, the owner of the clinic has hired two security guards to man the door instead of one.

Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call the LAPD at 1-877-LAPD-24-7.


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