“We don’t close on Christmas Eve, we don’t close on Christmas Day; why would we close when we got robbed?” owner Casey Lee joked.
Lee, who was tied up and left in a bathroom during the robbery, said he was relying on humor to cope.
“I am trying to keep my chin up,” he said, obviously still shaken.
According to Lee:
Two employees left Lacey Cross shortly before 7:20 p.m. through a back door that otherwise is locked. Lee was about to leave when he was confronted by two men who had a firearm.
One was about 25 years old with freckles, 6 feet tall and 165 pounds, wearing a black jacket or hooded sweatshirt.
The second was between 19 and 21 years old, 5 feet, 11 inches and about 165 pounds, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and a blue bandanna.
Lee thinks the men had watched the business for some time. The men pointed the firearm at his chest, he said.
“They said, ‘You know what we want,’” Lee said.
The men pushed Lee back into his store, demanding he go to the safe.
“I was shuffling the safe and put the wrong combination a couple of times, which made them upset,” Lee said.
Eventually, Lee was able to get the safe to open and was taken to the bathroom, where he waited for 10 minutes while the men took money and marijuana, he said.
The men came back, tied Lee’s hands and told him to stay in the bathroom for the next half-hour or he would be shot.
“They kept mumbling things like, ‘We are supposed to shoot you right now’ and ‘We are supposed to kill you right now,’” Lee said.
Lee waited a few moments and put his ear to the door to check whether he could hear the men. Confident they had gone, he left the bathroom and called police.
The men had fled on foot to the east with an undisclosed amount of money and marijuana, as well as Lee’s car keys and wallet, said Lt. Phil Comstock.
Officers conducted a search using a police dog but were unable to find the suspects, Comstock said.
The department is attempting to create a composite sketch of the suspects.
“Growing up in this town, I call it small-town syndrome,” Lee said. “A resident for 37 years, on top of never hearing stuff like this, to be a part of it sucks.”
Lacey Cross has been burglarized before, but only while employees were away, Lee said.
A window was boarded up and turned into a wall after someone tried breaking through, and another burglar tried to break through the front door, he said.
Lee said he will put security cameras back up in the store.
“The cameras are my fault,” Lee said. “The cameras were taken out when we were raided and never put back up.”
The business was one of five local dispensaries shut down in November 2011 during raids by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.