On the night of Saturday, February 22, a cannabis store manager in Everett, WA, proved that a single can of bear spray is also capable of routing a trio of armed robbers.
It started as a normal Saturday night. After a long shift, manager Chris Vincent went about his usual pre-closing routine at Marijuana Club 99 around 10:53 p.m. when three masked men burst through the doors. One of them, brandishing a handgun, demanded that Vincent open the register.
This wasn’t Club 99’s first robbery. Eight days earlier, on February 6, three men armed with a handgun ran into the store, ordered the employees to the floor, and left with thousands of dollars in cash and products.
Since then, Vincent has worn a panic button while working. (The button alerts law enforcement that a crime or emergency is in progress.) Marijuana Club 99 employees also keep a canister of Frontiersman bear spray near the register to defend themselves against disgruntled customers or potential thieves.
The tripped button seemed to cause the trio to reconsider and flee. But they quickly regrouped and returned to the store.
‘Your standard mace is gonna immobilize a person, but the bear spray lasts days and days and days after.’
Chris Vincent, Manager, Marijuana Club 99
Inside, Vincent waited by the register. When the two nearest thieves had their backs turned, he reached for the canister. “I grabbed my bear spray that was underneath my register and attacked the first guy that was on my right behind me, chased him down the right side of the building and came back around,” the manager told Leafly. “The guy that had the gun was coming towards me and I got him with the last little bit of the can. And they all just scrambled for the front doors.”