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Police: Berlin man caught trying to steal pot plants from dispensary

 Matthew Demar
Matthew Demar (WCAX)
Published: Sep. 17, 2018 at 3:36 PM EDT
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A Berlin man faces charges after allegedly breaking into a Montpelier medical marijuana dispensary.

A red building just off of Route 2 in Montpelier is home to Vermont Patients Alliance Marijuana Dispensary. You wouldn't know it unless you were close enough to smell it or read the index card on the door. But it became a crime scene, not once and not twice.

"This is the third burglary of that facility this year," Montpelier Police Capt. Neil Martel said.

Martel says early Monday morning, an officer spotted a man riding his bike who looked like a suspect in a previous break-in at the dispensary. That man was later identified as Matthew Demar, 39, of Berlin

"He matched the description and he knew the suspect traveled on the bicycle from a crime scene of a previous event," said Martel.

The officer parked around the block and said he watched Demar break into the dispensary. According to police, they heard the glass door break and saw Demar enter the building.

"They could hear inside things were being broken, things were being smashed, loud noises like things were being smashed," Martel said.

After a brief struggle, Demar was arrested but not before causing about $1,000 in damage, including uprooting eight marijuana plants. Demar is charged with burglary, unlawful mischief and possession of burglary tools.

WCAX News reached out to Vermont Patients Alliance Marijuana Dispensary; we had not yet heard back when this story was published. But what's clear is that the dispensary is armed with cameras.

"The building is alarmed, there are certain requirements that these dispensaries are required to have by law. This building is compliant with those," said Martel.

Martel says he doesn't think the dispensary is a target for what's inside despite now having multiple break-ins.

"To say that we are overly concerned because we have a dispensary here, I don’t think is accurate," Martel said.