Police are searching for three armed men who dressed as law enforcement officers to steal medical marijuana plants from a licensed grower in the small central Maine town of Winterport.
Wearing outfits bearing a 'sheriff' insignia, American flag patches and tactical vests with the 'SWAT' logo, which real police said were widely sold online, normally to buyers seeking Halloween costumes, the three men stormed the grower's backyard garden on Sunday and were caught on surveillance video.
The trio was captured on video frantically fleeing with an armful of mature marijuana plants.
The owner of the plants confronted them, but no shots were fired, and no one was injured, according to police reports.
Two of the men are clearly identifiable in the video, but police say they have yet to track down the suspects in the nearly 48 hours since the heist.
"It was pretty brazen, that's for sure," said police spokesman Steve McCausland, who said Tuesday police were still chasing down various leads.
Maine is one of 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize medicinal use of marijuana to treat certain debilitating or chronic diseases.
Portland, Maine’s largest city, last year voted to stop punishing adults for possessing small quantities of recreational marijuana.
Several other southern Maine towns, including South Portland, York and Lewiston are poised to vote on similar ordinances in November.
(Editing by Scott Malone; Editing by James Dalgleish)