$5K worth of controversial herb with opiate-like effects stolen

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Roswell police said they're investigating the theft of a large amount of a controversial herbal supplement from a store.

Police told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik they got a call from the manager at the Smoke 911 store about the theft of a large amount of a powerful herbal supplement called kratom.

Kratom is a controversial tree leaf that has opiate-like effects for those who consume it.

Some use it to treat depression, anxiety or chronic pain.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has looked into banning it nationwide, but it's currently legal.

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Petchink caught up with Andrew Ranciato, who was heading into Smoke 911 in Roswell on Monday.

He was surprised to hear of the large theft police said happened here over the last month.

"You shouldn't be stealing it if they're trying to help you out, you know?" Ranciato said.

Police said someone was pilfering packets of kratom.

"About $5,000 worth,” Lisa Holland, with the Roswell Police Department, said. “Manager reported that over a period of time, since April, he'd discovered that a large amount of supplements was missing from inside the store."

Police said they're concerned about where the stolen supplements might end up.

"Any type of vitamin or supplement, you do need to have adult supervision with these items and you definitely want to protect these items to not get into the wrong hands,” Holland said. "Anybody could get ahold of it and it could have ill effects on anybody."

Ranciato agreed, and is hopeful that whoever took the kratom isn't giving it to children.

"I don't think kids should be doing it anyways,” Ranciato said. “Like it says, 18 and older."

Roswell police ask anyone with information on this case to give them a call.