On Black Friday, Smoking Bandits Make Off With Vaporizers

IMG_4165Lauren Carol Smith The display cabinet in question.

On Black Friday, while the rest of the country shopped for legitimate deals and steals, a team of five individuals placed their own five-finger discount on four vaporizers at a St. Marks Place tattoo parlor and smoking accessories store.

Earlier today, while The Local spoke to Albert Dashevsky about the sign he recently installed over his shop, Smoking Tattoos, he let slip that on Friday, Nov. 25, the store was robbed of four vaporizers that he estimated were worth somewhere between $1,300 to $1,500 in total.

The police confirmed that around 9:20 p.m., five unknown individuals entered the store and made off with the vaporizers.

Mr. Dashevsky said the suspects helped themselves to four Iolite Wisprs. As The Times pointed out last month, the walkie-talkie-shaped devices, which retail for $269 and are usually marketed as aromatherapy tools, are an increasingly popular way of ingesting smokeless marijuana. Mr. Dashevsky said the suspects almost made off with two of the store’s Volcano vaporizers, which go for about $750 each.

The shop owner’s account goes like this: Around 9:16 p.m., two men entered the store at 18 St. Marks Place between Second and Third Avenues. Surveillance footage showed that a few minutes later, two more men stepped in while a woman waited outside. They surrounded a display cabinet, apparently waiting for the store’s sole attendant to open the cabinet as she sold a vaporizer to other customers. With the attendant distracted, the men signaled for the woman to come in. They grabbed the four vaporizers and fled.

A few minutes later, Mr. Dashevsky said, two of the men returned. While the attendant, who still hadn’t noticed the theft, was making a sale, they removed two Volcano vaporizers from the cabinet. This time, the attendant saw them and snatched the items back.

Mr. Dashevsky said that after the attendant placed the vaporizers behind the counter, the two men “bombarded her with questions. They told her, ‘Oh, two white kids just ran in and grabbed the Iolites.”  A representative for the police said that no description of the suspects was immediately available, but Mr. Dashevsky thought the group consisted of two black men, two Hispanic men, and a Hispanic woman. He believed they were in their early 20s.

According to Mr. Dashevsky, the attendant panicked after the two suspects informed her of the robbery.

“It’s funny,” he said, “because if they hadn’t told her about the Iolites, she probably wouldn’t have even noticed they were missing.”

While her back was turned once again, they made another attempt to snatch one of the Volcanos from behind the counter, but she prevented it. Mr. Dashevsky said they fled when they realized that she was reporting the robbery to him over the telephone.

Mr. Dashevsky said he would send The Local surveillance camera footage of the incident. The police said that an arrest had not yet been made.