Gwinnett County

Vape shop owners in Gwinnett County frustrated over repeated break-ins

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett business owners are frustrated with people repeatedly trying to break into their vape stores.

Channel 2′s Matt Johnson stood outside a vape shop in Sugar Hill, where a sign out front says you have to be 21 to enter.

But the owners think that teens who can’t get in legally are finding ways to cause thousands of dollars of damage to break inside.

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A hammer was all a couple of young thieves needed to break into yet another vape shop in Gwinnett County.

They shattered display cases, stole vaping products and even smashed the security console on the wall, police said.

Michael Peterson is one of the owners at Great Vape in Sugar Hill. He said last Saturday’s break-in cost over $3,000 in damages.

“It’s not fair. It really hurts, these kids just coming out at night and robbing us,” said Peterson.

He believes the thieves were teens who may have been turned away from the store because of their ages.


Selling to anyone under 21 is illegal in Georgia.

“It probably goes right onto the market to other teens and kids who are not able to come into our shops,” said Peterson.

Gwinnett County police have reports for at least a dozen vape shop burglaries since March.

At Grape Vape, surveillance video shows two more people unsuccessfully trying to break in just four days later.

“We were able to get an upgrade on the glass. It’s shatterproof so you cant get through without really putting some work into it,” said Peterson.

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The new glass is one step Peterson says he and other owners are taking while police look for whoever is behind the rise in thefts.

“I hope these kids understand you’re going to get caught,” said Peterson.

Police haven’t said if all the case are connected, but they’re still looking for any information that could help with arrests.