Suspects in Marijuana Ripoff Fled South on 101 and Across Hwy 20 Followed by Deputies

cannabis bud

[Stock photo by Kym Kemp]

About 2:45 p.m. yesterday, a permitted cannabis farmer in the Laytonville area discovered thieves in his garden. A subsequent chase by law enforcement included attempts to place spike strips, high rates of speed, and stolen marijuana being jettisoned from the suspects’ vehicle.

According to the farmer who wished to remain anonymous, “I had just been in my garden five minutes before…I had broke the cord to my scale so I decided to head to town…I saw there were people in my garden.” He said he stopped to confront them.

“There were three or four black males wearing hoodies with these biker style face wraps,” he explained. “One had a white hoodie with white fabric across his face with a skull print on it. One may have been a female.” He described seeing a white SUV (“2015 or newer”) with black rims and no license plate. (Law enforcement later added that it had a white sticker in the rear window.)

The farmer called law enforcement requesting assistance as the thieves fled with plants sticking out of their vehicle. “I chased them out onto 101 towards Willits,” the farmer said. “I called the police as I was still on my property.”

The farmer followed until he lost sight of them.

The deputies and officers with the California Highway Patrol caught sight of the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The suspects continued fleeing at a high rate of speed.

“Apparently they are throwing marijuana out the window,” said one officer just before 3 p.m. over the scanner as the suspect vehicle took the Willits Bypass.

A spike strip was ordered to be set up on Hwy 101 near the Hwy 20 exit but the suspect vehicle managed to get off 101 and onto Hwy 20. The driver continued to speed up to 100 miles per hour, according to officers’ reports over the scanner. Officers repeatedly lost sight of the vehicle.

The driver continued at speeds of up to 100 mph and traveled into Lake County where the suspect driver went through oncoming traffic in the construction zone at Blue Lakes, according to traffic over the scanner. The CHP and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office discontinued pursuit.

Meanwhile, the farmer reports when he examined his garden he found that the thieves appeared to have been unprepared for and uneducated about their task. They didn’t just top plants going for the more lucrative colas but, instead, they attempted to take the entire thing. The farmer explained. “They ripped a couple rootballs out.”

The few plants they got were small. The farmer said that as the thieves were fleeing, he could see they had at least one plant sticking out of the back of their vehicle. He said, “I thought, ‘Oh man, they took that one?'”

We’ve attempted to reach the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to gather more information but they have not yet responded.

The farmer told us that he was told by a friend who was on Hwy 20 that the suspect vehicle may have sideswiped a car and almost ran over the flagger in the construction zone on Hwy 20. However, that hasn’t been confirmed to us by a witness or official reports.




  • political moderate

    Great story this is what pot is all about. Wish this would happen more often with legalization. I did get a chuckle about the farmer reference Grower in my book.

    • Nothing to do with growing pot, everything to do with the kind of people we grow down here in the bay area. Barely 16% of the population overall, but responsible for >80% of violent crime, robberies, etc. (according to FBI statistics)

      • We get more rippoffs from white people than black by the way. But nice try at stoking racism.

        • Of course you do, there’s a lot more of them. Mendo has 0.6% blacks out of 87K people. To a lesser degree the same is true nationally, but as far as crime goes on a per capita basis … the difference is massive.

          There’s nothing racist about an objective look at the numbers.

          Besides, nobody’s saying race is a *causal* factor. It is proximate however, along with certain cultural norms .. including assumptions and attitudes about how you treat other people – maybe even some that are based on racist constructs.

          • Facts about racial statistics to a liberal are like sunlight to a vampire. You are 100% correct, however.

          • While what you say is somewhat true, it certainly is not complete. There is a great deal of contention about racial bias in convictions. Even if it was as simply as you imply, it is not productive to anything to say it. What are you planning to do about it? Preemptive strikes based on race? That is apparently the goal of some people about whites too, hanging all of them based on a racial interpretation of everything by ignoring or not knowing the history of one group and cherry picking the history of the other group as evidence.

            There is only one possible successful tactic- forgo the racism and attack the deed equally for all. It is self balancing.

    • I’m a farmer. I raise poultry commercially as well as cannabis on my farm. I’ve paid my fees and my dues to farm and sell both cannabis and poultry.

    • Ya WOW! You wish more people would get ripped off. Get a life. Nothing moderate about saying stupid things like that.

    • Nobody cares about “your book.”

  • Please tell me (and only me) precisely where this marijuana was thrown out of the vehicle.

  • I like stars too!

    Good lord! Once again, Marijuana is ripped off by be-hoodied black dudes, and then the entire public is endangered whilst they flee.

    Pot should be free. Please plant lots and lots of public weed, so that everyone can get some.

    When the money is gone from pot, so will the harm be over.

    • tobacco is about $23 per pound of the cheap stuff (retail)

    • California wants to tax household water but you think pot should be free? I’m not going to say that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but I’m not going to say it isn’t….

  • thick blue line of criminal corruption

    Placing the general public at risk to catch a few garden criminals seems rather idiotic. CHP popo be watching to much Baker and Poncherello. Popo chasing petty thieves driving at 100MPH. For what? Some popo facebook page pic fodder.

    Just watch, next week the same CHP dudes will be on an abatement mission to the same farm with a CHP CHiPpEr.

  • They should’ve sent a plane or helicopter to follow the suspect’s .
    I can’t believe they don’t have a helicopter for these types of emergencies.

    • They likely figured it wasn’t worth sending up the Helo, for a few (small) plants ripped off by a few idiots!!!

      • I wouldn’t worry so much about the plants they ripped off but rather catching the caliber of persons these are causing mayhem, especially with a vehicle. It is Not Cool to endanger other drivers as they were driving as it is reported.
        Hwy 20 is not made for someone being that much of a jerk behind the wheel.

      • political moderate

        Well…. When the marijuana ownership disagreement becomes dangerous, high speed chase on 101 launch the helo. Besides the chase why would this even make the news? If beer were stolen from a store would there be the same response? No but is the almighty allure of marijuana. Would it have been noted that beer cans were hanging out window? No. Marijuana. Do people do strawberry or corn farm rip offs? No.

        • Yes the difference is obvious to anyone with a brain.
          Stealing beer from a store is shoplifting, a misdemeanor.
          Trespassing on privare property and stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, whether it’s beer, marijuana or bananas is folony trespass and burglary.
          But nice try making a valid point. [edit]

          • political moderate

            You are correct, but that assumes that decent folks recognize pot as a true and legitimate agricultural product. Which I do not sir. You choose to grow dope that invites crime. Deal with it. Law enforcement shouldn’t even bother responding.

    • Hi,
      They have a helicopter and it takes time to get the pilot to the chopper and then the chopper to the location. So they have to decide if it is going to be worth it. Will the chopper get to the area before the vehicle is gone? CHP the entire crew, work very hard to keep us safe on the highways as possible.
      Have a great day!

  • Who cares if scum get ripped off. All they do is feed addicts. Why even report this? Cops should be busting criminals on the streets, not chasing Oaktown boyz from lowlife garden plots.

    The drug culture is so seventies. Nov. 6th will make that plain to these stoner POS’s.

    • Maybe we should go back to alcohol prohibition. And why not prohibit tobacco products, too. Surely it would open up all sorts of new jobs for bootleggers and still operators.

      • YEP!!… put the profit back in growing pot.. reenacting prohibition will put dollars back in the underworlds pockets again..

        sheesh what rubes growing pot has ALWAYS been farming.. now its a legal crop ..

        get over it

      • Alcohol kills quite a few people.

        Chicken or the egg.

    • Yeah, when we get the Senate AND the house back its going to be showtime. Wooooot!

      • political moderate

        Whoa there, political moderate says the senate is not gonna happen and the house is still up for grabs. Course still have the big man at the top too for 6 more years.


    • All I can say is wow really??? Whoever you are stormy you are Not educated marijuana is a medicine…. also It hashelped my daughter with her epilepsy so keep your lips zipped if you know nothing… Dam red necks anyway….

      • I do believe it’s medicine….for about 1% of the people that consume it.

        Everybody else is just gettin’ high

        • political moderate

          Spot the f*#k on

          • Everyone is tring to feel better.

            • Now there’s an intelligent answer. Shit is upside down and backwards. I think we can all stop for a few and say things are definitely much more acute these days. Many people working longer for less, just tryin to feed their families with non polluted food. Mean wages not keeping up with the rising cost of the business of living in the USA. So do you actually believe the world is entitled to live on our social welfare system?
              If you are open borders. Why not just make room on your property for some foreign born nationals and then see what it takes out of yer pocket book to take care of them. If you think the government should be paying for these people. Just double our taxes on April 15, and see if you still like the idea of unchecked immigration.

    • I guess its okay to call the victim of this crime “scum”?!?
      I feel sorry for the people who have to have you in their lives.

    • Legal farmers aren’t scum. That’s hella rude. This person paid a lot of money and went to a lot of effort to be a LEGAL business. He did not deserve this, these people are dangerous and violent and need to be caught. By the way, you should educate yourself, your ignorance is showing. Cannabis is not an addictive substance.

  • According to the 2000 census there are all of 500 black residents in Mendocino County. Anecdotally my experience is that camping and visiting the great outdoors are not popular recreational endeavors among members of the urban black culture where I live (Oakland +/-).

    So everybody is free to draw their own conclusions but if I bump into a handful of black dudes in hoodies on a dirt road up north, I’m expecting the worst.

  • thick blue line of criminal corruption

    A few punks ripping off some late season weed is an emergency! Shit dude why don’t we just arm them with rocket propelled grenades to catch shoplifters. What if they had crashed or caused these punks to crash into an innocent party. Some of these cops seem to have have zero sense when it comes to knowing when to back off.

  • Cops know who they are, now they watch what they do and who they do it with, and rope in the whole gang. Good riddance to rippers.

  • Permitted pot farms and this will all go away, what a joke. Come on Jeff Sessions, clean California up of all these so called medical and recreational drug addicts.

    • So Called Medically…….. WTF
      There are a lot of people including children who use cannabis as a medicine to help with pain and relaxing there body of all the muscle spasms and sickness that they have and live with everyday! This helps with releasing a lot of the symptoms to some serious illnesses. I know for fact! Cancer is one that it helps with with a lot of the symptoms.

    • You have receptor sites, too. Maybe just blocked with glyphosate and fluoride and gmo, but trust me, they are there. Try looking at your connection with the natural world. Interesting to think that we are all made up of the same material. It’s just how we choose to express it.

      Check out Alan watts.

  • the persistent thick blue line of criminal corruption

    The popo should be liable for any injuries caused by chasing the suspects. Its just a simple weed ripoff, not like anyone got hurt until they started chasing the suspects. This is what happens when you have an insecure grow scene.

    • political moderate

      I disagree. The grower should be responsible. Enticing crime to neighborhoods with marihuana production. But the real crime is the seasonal stench. A real boon for the tourist industry.

  • Anybody else hearing “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” while they read this?

  • No surprise here. Just because you have a permit doesn’t mean you can plant in plain view. Most of the permitted gardens are right out in the open. Easy access ,over confident growers. Expect more of this, The county supervisors don’t understand why neighbors object, to huge grows right next door. Hello….. this is why.

    • Marijuana is a drug. With drugs there’s money. With money there is crime.

    • I know of at least one supervisor who supports (protects?) a huge grow in a residential neighborhood – last year, there was an attempted armed robbery at said grow – idiot owner did not call LE or inform his neighbors, putting everyone in jeopardy! When asked why he didn’t call the cops, the owner said “but I called Rex!” – did I say idiot?

  • real grows have surveillance cameras, if your off the grid you def need a game cam or two or ten

  • lmao… what do you think that weed is worth? Maybe 1500$

    Fucking scum scallywags

  • It’s story after story like this that creates the racism that exists in this community. Same thing happened to friend of mine recently. She was tied up and held at gunpoint by black city thugs that were robbing the landowner. There is no right for people to complain about white folks being racist, if the shoe fits….

    • You’re contradicting your own point. I think you’re talking about “ruralist” or maybe it would be “urbanist,” not “racist.” If you’ve got a local black person everyone has known for three decades who has never been a ripoff, he or she is just a person. If it’s some opportunistic stranger from down south, you nail them for their race. But that’s not it. It’s urban poor and ambitious people, that’s the problem with these incidents.
      What would you expect with all the media coverage about all the weed farms here, the lax law enforcement, non-existent sentencing, etc.? The only thing they have to be afraid of is some psycho, ruthless, armed growers protecting their crops… so they come armed, too. It all makes sense.

  • They should have smoked another pack of blunts and planned it some more.

  • On the way to economic failure.

    Thought prop 69 and permits were going to be the end of crime in nor Permits are the crime!!!!! Good job extortionist government you have solved northern Californias problems. How long till we can elect new Supervisors???? Counting the minutes for extortion Estelle,and rip off rex

  • “I thought, oh man they took that one” – this was such a great read and this guy has a sense of humor. Sorry this happened to you brother

  • Remember when we never called the cops? That would be considered a lame move. You would deal with your own problem. Not make it everybody else’s? I know- it seems like a long time ago! Now …just call the cops, right? They’re our friends! Lame…

    • We’ll have to disagree here.

    • That’s what the fuck they get paid for: stopping violent criminals and thieves, not generating revenue for handing out speeding tickets and confiscating peoples shit with no due process. If you can’t call them for actual crime, why have them?

    • It’s always good to have a paper trail Incase the next time they don’t just enter your garden and you’re forced to protect yourself to the max

  • reno 911 episode.

  • There were 2 great things about this article for me: the humor on one side and the neo-nazis outing themselves on the other side. Neo Nazi’s be warned: the original Nazis killed the communists 1st, then Jews, Roma -gypsies, homosexuals (are you cheering yet?) ..and then the retarded and disabled Germans. Got any autistic or Downs, disabled children/adults in your family? If this country becomes the 4th Reich (historians say Trump administration is following the playbook carefully) then know your devotion to Trump’s racism will not save that family member.

    • Do you remember the german scientists who claimed during Nuremberg that they were merely following the US, citing the Indiana sterilization law passed in 1907, and other states that forced sterlized people they claimed were unfit to reproduce. When you blame nazis, and Germany, you fail to see the real undercurrents that manipulate y/our thought process. We’ve been programed from day 1 to repeat and regurgitate and not think critically.

      We’ve been living under fascism for along time. If you are still stuck playing political football, rooting for the team that best massages your pressure points, just think about the football owners, corporations, and media execs who make a great deal of money on the game. We’ve got much to learn about this 3d chessboard.

      Break the chains of the left right paradigm and see the show for what it is.

  • How could the law enforcement people NOT have managed to stop them on the Willits 2 lane bypass? Sheer incompetence.

  • Maybe the the convoy task force could have done some real work and caught some real criminals . The Leo s are busy ripping people off them selves . These criminals learned how to steal from the law. They figured it was ok because the cops are doing it . To protect themselves and serve them selves is the LEO motto.

  • If you can’t trim um then then you my as well rob um. We’ve bred this strain of trimagrants and we reap what we sew. So here’s to weed solving everyone’s problems.

  • Best idea ever? A chipper mounted chopper! Boom! Done! Winning!

  • This rip off occurred at one of the big grows completely visible from HWY 101 south of Laytonville. These big growers think because they have a permit they are bullet proof . The Mendocino County ordinance states grows cannot be seen from publicly traveled roads. But no enforcement. I have 4 large grows totally visible from the roads within 3000 feet including this one. County has permitted a public nuisance many times over. Stupidity all around.

  • And can y’all quit with your blanket racism, please. this isn’t dixie..although reading the comments on here, sure feels like we live in Alabama in the 50’s.

  • When all is said and done, this would be a far better place if there were zero non – Europeans.

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