Just days after an Upper East Side smoke shop was robbed at gunpoint during its grand opening, another one of the neighborhood’s unlicensed marijuana dispensaries was targeted in a strong-arm robbery Monday night, police say.
Investigators say a crew of five men stormed the store just labeled ‘Smoke Shop’ located at 1661 First Avenue, between East 86th and 87th Streets, around 11:00 pm Monday night on a mission to steal. One of the suspects went right behind the counter and grabbed the clerk, holding the worker while his accomplices ransacked the store’s shelves.
ALSO READ | Man & Woman Violently Assaulted in Front of UES Deli: NYPD
Police did not specify which products were stolen, however, Upper East Site has previously confirmed that this particular smoke shop is one of the estimated 1,400 businesses across New York City peddling marijuana products without the proper license.
In addition to stealing the merchandise, cops say the five men also swiped cash from the register and even stole the clerk’s cell phone before taking off.
ALSO READ | Kings Pharmacy To Close After 20 Years Serving the Upper East Side
An ambulance was called to the scene of the crime to treat the clerk, though, he did not have any obvious visible injuries. Police were seen interviewing him about the ordeal that unfolded inside the store.
Last Friday night, the Valley Vibes smoke shop on East 96th Street was robbed at gunpoint by a group of five men who police say made off with $7,000 in products from the store. At this point, it is not clear whether the two crimes are related.
If you saw anything or have any information that can help police with either investigation, you’re asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477.
For updates around the clock, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook