Franklin smoke shop hit twice by thieves in one month

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Thieves rob Franklin smoke shop for second time in a month

Thieves rob Franklin smoke shop for second time in a month


FRANKLIN – It was a Sunday morning in early February when a group of juveniles broke through the window of the Moonlight Smoke Shop and started ransacking the shelves and cleaning out the register. 

Then, on Sunday, March 10, it happened again. A hit on a Sunday at 7 a.m., just like the first one. The thieves broke in the same window that had just been replaced and stole similar products. 

Hardik Patel is a co-owner of the shop. He said the shop sustained about $18,000 in losses and damages.

CBS Boston

Hardik Patel is a co-owner of the shop that sells vapes, pipes and other smoking products to customers over the age of 21. The shop is celebrating its one year in business next month. 

“It’s like our first shop, and we work really hard for this to get the name up in the town,” Patel said. “I didn’t expect we were going to get hit this early.” 

Patel said he has seen reports of similar smoke shops being robbed in other communities. In December, WBZ-TV spoke with the owner of a smoke shop in Woburn that was targeted. Around the same time, police in Framingham put out the word that two shops there had been burglarized. 

“They know how long it takes for the cops to get here, so they are in and out in a couple minutes. Not minutes, like seconds – like 40 or 50 seconds,” Patel said. “I don’t think they care if they are seen by other people.” 

Franklin police told WBZ-TV three juveniles were charged in the February burglaries at Patel’s shop. The March 10 incident is under investigation. In all, Patel reports more than $18,000 in losses and damages. Money he was hoping to use to expand his business and hire more employees.

Patel admitted it has been a lot of work to start and run a business. He said he’s put a lot of equity into this shop and hopes someone driving down busy Central Street saw something Sunday morning that could be useful to police. 

“We were just starting to pick up in February and then this happened to us,” said Patel. “It’s kind of discouraging.” 

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