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Armed Kidnappers Target Cannabis Shop Run by Anti-Violence Leader

Written by Michael BarbaPublished Mar. 14, 2023 • 3:30pm
Cannabis dispensary Stiiizy Flagship Store in Los Angeles displays its wares. | Tasia Wells/Getty Images

Armed burglars went as far as to kidnap a worker from a San Francisco dispensary less than a month after a politically connected anti-violence advocate made it the newest addition to a statewide cannabis retail chain.

The Feb. 26 burglary at Stiiizy, a South of Market venture by United Playaz founder Rudy Corpuz Jr., happened the same weekend the brand’s store in Benicia saw its second theft in a month.

Police say the crimes reflect an uptick in burglaries at cannabis dispensaries. Two nights earlier, another dispensary was struck in Lower Pacific Heights.

Corpuz is best known in San Francisco for hosting gun buybacks promoted by local luminaries as prominent as Mayor London Breed and state Sen. Scott Wiener.

Rudy Corpuz Jr. | Benjamin Fanjoy for The Standard

On the night of the SoMa burglary, police say the Stiiizy worker was closing up shop when two men held him at gunpoint and forced him into a vehicle. The kidnappers then drove the victim to Oakland—for reasons still unclear—before making the round trip back to San Francisco. 

When they returned to the store, about five people made the victim open the front door as well as “locked areas” inside, police said.

Police declined to say what was stolen, citing an open investigation.

SFPD Assistant Chief David Lazar said at a recent Police Commission hearing that the incident was not a one-off.

“Once in a while, we start to see a trend where they are breaking in, they’re getting in one way or another,” he said.

Corpuz and others at Stiiizy declined to comment.

Michael Barba can be reached at

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