Suspect arrested in Garden Grove marijuana dispensary robbery; 2nd suspect sought

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Thursday, March 24, 2016
Edward Hightower, 27, of Long Beach, is shown in a mugshot.
Edward Hightower, 27, of Long Beach, is shown in a mugshot.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- Garden Grove police officers arrested a man suspected of armed robbery of a marijuana dispensary Tuesday. A second suspect is still on the loose.

Around 10:33 a.m. Sunday, authorities were dispatched to the marijuana dispensary, the Organic House, in the 9800 block of Garden Grove Boulevard on reports of an armed robbery.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found three employees had been robbed at gunpoint. Two male suspects had entered the dispensary and stolen a large quantity of marijuana, cash, a security guard's gun and all three of the employees' cellphones.

The two suspects entered the business and one was armed with an UZI type of handgun, authorities said. The pair quickly disarmed the security guard, forced him to the ground and then forced two female employees to the ground at gunpoint.

One of the suspects watched over the three victims while the other placed an undisclosed amount of marijuana and cash into a duffle bag. The two fled the store, driving away in a newer model black four-door Toyota Camry with chrome rims.

Detectives investigating the case followed several leads and then arrested Edward Hightower, 27, of Long Beach, on Tuesday. He was on parole for robbery, police said.

Hightower was arrested in Paramount and found in possession of the stolen handgun taken from the dispensary security guard. Another stolen handgun was recovered at his Long Beach apartment, police said. He was booked into Orange County Jail.

The Garden Grove Police Department is asking for the public's help to identify and find the second suspect involved in the robbery. He is described as an African American in his late 20s to early 30s, with a heavy build.

Anyone with more information was asked to call the GGPD Detective John Casaccia at (714) 741-5840. Callers can remain anonymous.