NYC Deputy Mayor Banks: Smoke shops becoming prone to robberies with illegal firearms

Deputy Mayor of New York City for Public Safety Philip Banks III said those specific shops that sell illegal cannabis and exclusively with cash, make them prime targets for any robbers.

Katelynn Ulrich and Rob Taub

Apr 14, 2023, 11:39 PM

Updated 400 days ago

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Deputy Mayor of New York City for Public Safety Philip Banks III held a meeting Friday to discuss how smoke shops have become hot spots for robberies, with many involving illegal firearms.
He said those specific shops that sell illegal cannabis and exclusively with cash, make them prime targets for any robbers.
"One, if you're purchasing cannabis, it may be a little bit of an inconvenience, but follow the law and purchase it from one of the four legal cannabis shops and there are more to come,” Banks said. And two, please pass that information along."
NYC sheriff Anthony Miranda added that officers had been ramping up their efforts against those illegal smoke shops. He acknowledged the number of shops inspected in the first quarter of 2023 was 143, which was 100 more than at the same time last year.
Miranda noted that 46 arrests were also made, and the estimated value of illegal cannabis products seized was over $6 million.


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