Thousand Oaks | Tobacco Products Decoy Sting Operation

Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release 

On April 27, 2018, members of the Thousand Oaks Police Department’s Directed Enforcement Unit with the assistance of Ventura County Public Health conducted a tobacco product sting, using an underage decoy, in an attempt to purchase tobacco products at retail establishments in the city of Thousand Oaks. The goal of this operation was to limit access of tobacco products to underage person(s), and confirm the local businesses are operating within the law. Four cashiers were arrested and released on misdemeanor citations for selling tobacco to persons under the age of 21.

The underage decoy attempted to make purchases of tobacco products at 12 locations throughout the City that are commonly referred to as “smoke shops.” Cashiers at four of the establishments sold tobacco products to the underage decoy. The other eight turned the decoy away without selling any tobacco products.

In an ongoing effort to prevent access to certain products by teens, the Thousand Oaks Police Department’s Directed Enforcement Unit will continue to conduct periodic sting operations dealing with tobacco products to confirm retailers in the area are doing their part to prevent access of tobacco products to underage person(s).

All of the suspects that sold tobacco products to the underage decoy were arrested for Penal Code section 308(a)(1). The Thousand Oaks Police Department would like to thank the other eight businesses that did not sell tobacco products to the underage decoy.


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