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Thieves use power tools, sledgehammers to steal pot plants from grow facility

A still image from a security camera clearly shows one of the suspected thieves who broke into a state licensed recreational marijuana growing facility outside Boring.

Deputies are searching for at least three men who broke into a state licensed recreational marijuana growing facility early Tuesday morning using sledgehammers and power tools.

The theft occurred around 2 a.m. at a marijuana growing community outside of Boring.

The landlord, who asked us to use only his first name, Brad, said the men drove a dual-wheeled truck on a private road on an adjacent property. He said the men cut barbed wire fencing and used power tools and sledgehammers to smash through walls.

"They brought a lot of power tools and cut right through the steel," Brad told KATU. "They came into the back walls of the buildings to avoid the primary cameras."

Brad says he believes the operation was planned.

"They knew where to go, they knew where to drive in, they knew where to access our property without being seen," Brad said. "They thought if they could cut a hole in the back of the buildings that they could get in and out without being seen or heard."

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has stringent security measures to prevent crime at these facilities.

Sites must have security cameras installed inside and out, in every room and at each doorway. The cameras' data must be store on- and off-site. In addition, facilities must be physically secured and doors must be reinforced by steel.

Brad says the facility meets and exceeds all of OLCC's requirements.

"It's frustrating," he said. "We're not big players. We're just small people who own small businesses trying to make it work."

The suspects successfully entered six buildings, smashing or disturbing security cameras as they moved.

Brad said they damaged most of them except one that was tucked away in a corner. The room's light was accidentally left on, which captured a clear image of one of the suspects.

Another camera caught two men opening and closing doors, and walking through a hallway with headlamps.

A tenant at the site saw the men and yelled, which spooked the suspects.

Clackamas County deputies responded with a K-9 unit, but they came up empty handed.

Now, the local growers are asking for the community's help in identifying the suspects.

If you would like to provide information regarding suspected criminal activity, call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 503-723-4949 or fill out the e-mail form. Tips can be anonymous. Please refer to case number 17-27035.

Brad estimates the damage to the buildings to be upward of $50,000, and much more for the stolen and lost product.

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