Watch CBS News

Thieves break into smoke shop in Denver's Santa Fe Arts District: "It was the worst feeling I had ever felt"

Thieves break into Colorado smoke shop in Denver Santa Fe Arts District
Thieves break into Colorado smoke shop in Denver Santa Fe Arts District 02:26

Property crime continues to be a major concern in Denver. According to the city's overall crime dashboard, more than 6,000 property crimes were committed in 2023 with 774 of those being burglaries.

So far this year, nearly 500 have taken place in the Mile High City. Popular smoke shop "Positive Vibes" on 674 Santa Fe Drive was recently targeted. The shop has been on that block for only three months. Before their current location, the store was on South Broadway for six years.

"We are a high-end glass gallery and we are also for the people, we are for the community," said Madison Dillard, co-owner of the shop.


From unique glass pieces to community-driven glass shows Dillard's handmade creations at their Denver shop are as exquisite as they are expensive.

"This piece is about $5,500 and it comes with the case," added Dillard while showing CBS News Colorado reporter Jasmine Arenas his pieces. 

For that reason, shop owners made sure their shop was surrounded with security cameras, rails and locks.


"The worst part is we spent $30,000 on security and everything is barred up... we were waiting on that door and it should've been there a couple weeks ago," said Dillard. 

Through a lock on the main door, thieves were able to break into the shop over the weekend, hours before a community glass event. 

"It was the worst feeling I had ever felt," said Dillard. 

Still, the owners of the shop remained optimistic and held their event on Saturday. 

Surveillance video shows the moment thieves pulled up in scooters and broke into the shop. According to owners, the thieves left only to come back just 30 minutes later to take tens of thousands of dollars worth of products.


"It hurts a lot, it's pretty much everything we have," said Dillard. 

If there is any silver lining in this chaos, Dillard shares it is the heavy community support. 

The business posted a video on Instagram, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and support from the community.

"Honestly, if the community wasn't supporting us and donating all this glass for this next show, I don't know what we would be doing, the support is just overwhelming," said Dillard.

Dillard shares it is not easy to resell those items that were stolen. Each piece is unique and the community is a pretty tight-knit group. 

"If you try to sell, people are going to be like 'that is not yours, that's clearly Positive Vibes,''' said Dillard.

He adds that the loyalty runs deep in this community. 


"It is kind of like an unspoken thing in the heady community," said Dillard. 

Now, they're hoping the community will help find whoever broke in and stole the unique pieces.

Positive Vibes is offering a $2,000 in-store credit reward to those with information leading to an arrest.

Denver police did not share much information on the investigation on Sunday, but investigators are working on the case. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.