Marijuana farm’s ex-manager leads 10 masked men in armed robbery, authorities say

A close-up of hands squeezing the buds of a marijuana plant
A squad of armed men stole a “large amount of cannabis” from a legal Northern California marijuana farm this week, Humboldt County authorities said. Above, plants at another farm in the county.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The former manager of a Northern California marijuana farm has been arrested after allegedly returning to his old workplace with a squad of armed men and stealing a large amount of the farm’s product, authorities said.

A victim at the farm said that Thomas Vernon Harwood Jr., the former manager, arrived unannounced Monday afternoon with 10 other masked men at the farm in Miranda, a small town in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle cannabis-growing region, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

A vertical close head-and-shoulders frame of a man with full facial hair.
Thomas Vernon Harwood Jr. was arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a Humboldt County cannabis growing facility he used to manage, authorities said.
(Humboldt County Correctional Facility)

Harwood assaulted the victim, then forced the victim into a car on the property, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The men stole a “large amount of cannabis,” according to authorities.

The victim escaped in the car and met sheriff’s deputies down the road, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Harwood was arrested near the cannabis growing facility shortly after the robbery. The other thieves fled the scene in a white Ford pickup truck with concealed license plates, victims told the Sheriff’s Office. They were wearing body armor and were possibly armed, victims told authorities.


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Harwood was booked into county jail and charged with robbery, burglary, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Robberies at marijuana farms in Humboldt County and other Northern California areas are not uncommon, though they are known especially for happening at illegal grows.