KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Business break-ins are on the rise, and police say the COVID-19 pandemic could be the cause.
On Sunday, FOX4 introduced you to Tanner McKenzie, a 22-year -old entrepreneur whose CBD business was ransacked by thieves.
Local police said CBD and marijuana businesses are at greater risk of being targeted due to their coveted merchandise. McKenzie, who owns Green Mission KC, has experienced it firsthand.
“We’re a target. A lot of people think of us as an easy way to get money,” he said.
A green cross on a business usually means that it sells medical or recreational marijuana. However, Green Mission KC doesn’t. None of their products contain THC. McKenzie said they put a green cross on their sign just to “test out a new logo.”
It’s a move Kansas City police said may have caused the break-in.
“If it’s stored at a business and it’s a single location, then that would probably make it an attractive target for someone wanting an easy theft of either CBD or marijuana or any of those,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina with the Kansas City Police Department.
Plus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are operating remotely. Police said that’s also created an opportunity for thieves to break in.
“Either businesses that are temporarily closed or not being staffed during the daytime or night time. Because of the pandemic, people are working from remote locations,” Becchina said. “That’s kind of a theory that we have. But for sure just across the board we have seen an increase in non-residential burglaries of businesses this whole year.”
Green Mission KC lost $15,000 in merchandise and damages due to the break-in. McKenzie is asking the community to help keep his business alive.
“I’ve never asked anybody for help, but this has been such a significant loss, I am asking for the community to step forward and help us get back on our feet,” he said.
He’s set up a Gofundme for the business. The goal is to raise $5,000.