Marijuana Burglaries Increase During Pot Harvest Season, Medical - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Marijuana Burglaries Increase During Pot Harvest Season, Medical Marijuana Growers Worried

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FINLEY, WA - Some medical marijuana growers in our area are not getting much sleep lately.

Especially after another marijuana burglary early Thursday morning. 

The latest marijuana burglary happened just before 6 a.m. Thursday morning in the area of highway 397 and East Finley Road.

Benton County Sheriff's Deputies said a medical marijuana grower shot at a suspect as he ran from the property.

NBC Right Now found out this may happen more often this time of year because it is prime marijuana harvest season and medical growers are worried. 

"If you don't have sophisticated cameras, alarm systems, (are)friends with your neighbors, you have no defense because all you can do is sit out and sleep or go without any sleep and babysit," medical marijuana grower, Gary said. 

Gary only wants us to use his first name. He said he has not been getting much sleep, after thieves last week stole several of his medical marijuana plants, he wants to protect what is left of what he has been growing over the last 5 months. 

"I've had couple friends say that they pitch a tent and sit out for two and a half to three weeks all night next to their plants," Gary said. 

But the most recent marijuana burglary Thursday morning, ended in gunshots and K9 units searching the area, after a neighbor saw several people run through his backyard escaping gun fire from the marijuana grower..

Deputies said he is a medical supplier and had 41 plants in his outdoor operation, which is within the legal limit.

Tri-Cities Metro Drug Task Force commander Trevor White said marijuana harvest season can be dangerous for all parties involved, the criminals and the growers, and both could get in trouble.

"We see it as a safety issue and people need to remember that it's a property crime, protecting your plants does not necessarily allow you to use force against another directly, you got to be pretty cautious on both end," Cmdr. White said, adding They have seen an increase in reports of stolen marijuana plants from medical growers recently.

They do advise people to call police and not take matters into their own hands because they could end up with problems of their own.