Colorado Springs Police confirmed concerning trend in smoke shop burglaries by teens

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 05, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — RPRZNT Smoke Shop is back open now with 24-hour security cameras and armed staff.

This comes after a smash-and-grab burglary a week ago.

"We're here to fight, you know, if this is what we have to do to protect our business, so be it," said one of the shop owners, Tyler Pomeroy.

Colorado Springs Police reported 14 smash-and-grab burglaries among smoke shops within the last six months.

"The spike in this now, it's unbelievable because there's no other shops getting hit besides vape shops right now," said Pomeroy.

Police spokesperson, Caitlin Ford, said they suspect a group of teenagers are behind the majority of these crimes.

"We do find them and do make an arrest, we often can't hold them, it's usually a serve and release crime, which means they're served a summons to be in court and they're sent back home, so they're free to go commit those crimes again," said Ford.

"It makes us feel extremely vulnerable," said Pomeroy.

Pomeroy believes teens have been targeting vape shops ever since the legal age to buy nicotine increased to 21.

"You tell kids that they can't buy something at 18 now, they're going to get it one way or another," said Pomeroy.

Ford recommends business owners get a free crime prevention assessment with an officer.

"We thought we took every precaution to protect our business, but we never planned a Kia Aole ramming in our shop, it's not something you go to bed thinking is ever going to happen.'

RPRZNT is having a food truck fundraiser from 1 to 8 p.m. on June 6th. Half the proceeds are going toward renovations for a grand opening next month.

Pomeroy said they've spent around $35,000 in repairs so far.


Survivors react to Club Q shooter court sentencing

Resilient and strong, two words one Club Q survivor used to describe Colorado Springs and the LGBTQ+ community.

Survivor reacts to Club Q shooter court sentencing

News Tips
What should KOAA5 cover? Is there a story, topic, or issue we should revisit? Have a story you believe should make the light of day? Let our newsroom know with the contact form below.


Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.