Surveillance camera footage released Thursday appears to show a man throwing a rock at a Palm Springs medical marijuana dispensary, and then seconds later another man throwing an object on fire inside.
Palm Springs police hope the still photos will spur tips from the public to find who tried to burn down the Collective Apothecary Prescription Service, or C.A.P.S., last week.
The arson attempt at C.A.P.S. took place in the early morning hours of June 14, at 4050 Airport Center Drive.
An officer investigating a burglary alarm there found a small fire on the lobby floor and quickly put it out with a fire extinguisher, according to police.
Someone broke the dispensary's glass front door and threw in an incendiary device in an unsuccessful attempt to burn the business, police say. No significant damage was caused, and the suspects were gone by the time police arrived.
The man who appears to have just thrown something on fire into the C.A.P.S. storefront is dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and light clothing.
Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff declined to say what kind of incendiary device was used because he said it could jeopardize the department's investigation.
The other man wears darker clothing and appears to be trying to break into the marijuana dispensary using a rock.
Scores of applicants have competed fiercely in recent years to score one of just four medical marijuana dispensary permits in Palm Springs, the only valley city to license such facilities.
In April, C.A.P.S. was awarded Palm Springs' third license for a dispensary, despite having operated against the city's wishes for years in a shopping plaza. The city filed suit in 2009 to shut C.A.P.S. down, but opted not to pursue that after granting the permit.
Previous applicants had been disqualified because they didn't close when asked by the city. Meanwhile, rogue dispensaries have sprouted across Palm Springs in violation of the city's ordinance, irking operators of the permitted dispensaries.
Asked whether police suspect someone linked to another dispensary could be behind the attempt to burn down C.A.P.S., Kovaleff said, “We're looking at all possible angles, and that sure is one of them.”
C.A.P.S. employees declined to comment Thursday, saying police asked them not to discuss the case because the investigation is ongoing.
Police ask anyone who can identify the suspects or knows more about the incident to call Palm Springs police Detective Marcus Litch at (760) 323-8140.
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