Armed robbers target Brooklyn Heights smoke shops amid Downtown robbery spike

Armed robbers hit two Brooklyn Heights smoke shops last week in separate incidents.
Pexels/Alexander Grey

Two Brooklyn Heights smoke shops were targeted by armed robbers in separate incidents last week, police said.

On April 4, authorities say two men entered The Exotic Smoke Shop on Henry Street waving a knife at the cashier. They then hopped over the counter and removed $11,800 worth of assorted cannabis products. The store owner also reported that the men caused $1,000 in damage after they smashed several glass display cases during the robbery.

The next day, the owner of a smoke shop on Jay Street reported to police that three men came into his store at 10:30 a.m. that morning, flashing firearms hidden in their waistbands.

In the April 5 incident, one of the men allegedly guarded the store’s front door while the two other perps helped themselves to cannabis and hookah products with a combined value of $4,650.

Cops said they are reviewing the stores’ cameras to identify the men involved.

Reports of robbery are up a staggering 139% in Downtown Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct year-to-date. As of April 7 (when the most recent Police Department data is available), there were 67 robberies reported so far this year in the precinct, which encompasses Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and Vinegar Hill — up dramatically from the 28 reported during the same time in 2023.

This isn’t the first time local smoke shops have been targeted.

Last month, thieves made off with more than $600 worth of product from The Exotic Smoke Shop — one of several times the unlicensed weed shop was robbed. And on April 2, cops put out a release requesting the public’s help identifying the suspects they say brandished a firearm while looting a Prospect Heights smoke shop.

To date, there are just six legal adult-use cannabis dispensaries in Brooklyn, according to the Office of Cannabis Management.

The Exotic Smoke Shop could not be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick O’Neil