Vaping News

Vape Stores Become Targets for Criminals

As the vaping market booms so does the opportunity for criminals

Share on:
The growth in the vaping market has brought rich rewards for many entrepreneurs who sank their own cash into ventures. Brick and mortar stores have proliferated but the development has come at a price as vape shops increasingly become targets for burglars.

Back in September, we reported how a store in Blackpool had been targeted. It followed on the heels of three other incidents – four in total in the space of five days. Attempts were made on a shop on Corporation Street. Thieves successfully broke into the store twice through a skylight but the third attempt was thwarted as the owners had installed security metal bars. A Church Street location didn’t have any protection and criminals made off with products after smashing a window.

Lancashire Constabulary advised: “If you have skylight windows, it would be worthwhile investing in metal bars to protect your business premises.  Go online or visit your local locksmith, or a shop specialising in crime prevention items, to get advice as soon as possible.”

American teens in Sanford took about £3,000 worth of merchandise from E-Cigs & Vapor Store and caused around £1,000 in damages. They could have succeeded in obtaining a larger haul had they not been interrupted by police officers. The attraction is clear as mods can retail from thirty to over a hundred pounds each, are relatively small so are easy to carry and a very difficult to identify when being sold on.

Churnmag state that vaping products are “a prime target for money-hungry burglars looking to make a quick buck at pawnshops.” They reported how Perfect Alternatives in Aurora had its door smashed in and expensive mods were taken along with the cash registers.

“You can tell by the video footage that they knew what they were looking for,” said the shop’s manager. “They went straight for my good stuff of course. The video revealed ... they had hoods covering their faces so their identity is still unknown. The footage shows them taking around 24 ecigs and hundreds of vials of e-liquid. The total loss reached almost $10,000 in merchandise.”

And the story continues this week at the eCig n' Vape store in Renton, Washington. A group of young men stole thousands of dollars-worth of equipment even though it took them over an hour to notice and disable the security camera. “Glass all over the floor. Cases were smashed. The whole place looked like a bomb went off," said Paige Anderson, the manager. “Four suspects used a cinder block [breezeblock] to break through the glass front door.” They were then recorded using more breezeblocks to break the display cases in order to access the expensive vaping gear. In total, they made off with the best part of £15,000’s worth of equipment – and the toilet rolls in the bathroom!

Are you a shop owner? Have you had to make a large investment in security? Or do you know of similar events happening in your region?

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today