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Suspects Identified In Standoff At San Francisco Pot Grow

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Police at the scene of a hostage standoff at a marijuana growing operation at a warehouse on the 2100 block of Jennings Ave., March 6, 2013. (CBS)

Police at the scene of a hostage standoff at a marijuana growing operation at a warehouse on the 2100 block of Jennings Ave., March 6, 2013. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco police on Thursday identified four men who were arrested after allegedly trying to rob a marijuana growing operation in the city’s Bayview District on Wednesday.

The standoff began around 3:50 a.m. in the 2100 block of Jennings Street, where suspects wearing ski masks tried to rob the facility, which was apparently permitted by the city and contained about 1,000 marijuana plants, police spokesman Sgt. Mike Andraychak said.

Three suspects, Damien Thomas, 33, Joseph Nathaniel Hall, 30, and Daniel Contreras, 40, then fled on foot but were arrested about two blocks away, Andraychak said.

A fourth suspect, 22-year-old William Frederick Carter, remained inside with employees there for several hours while police surrounded the building and closed off nearby streets.

Around 8:30 a.m., officers led four people believed to be facility employees out of the building, and the standoff continued until about 10 a.m. when Carter finally surrendered to tactical officers accompanied by a K-9 unit, Andraychak said.

Evidence recovered at the scene included multiple ski masks and two handguns, police said.

The four suspects, all San Francisco residents, were booked into jail on suspicion of burglary, robbery, false imprisonment, kidnapping and conspiracy.

Thomas will face additional charges of possessing stolen property, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, while Carter is facing firearm and probation violations and Hall is accused of resisting a police officer.

No one was injured during the robbery or standoff, which included the Police Department’s SWAT team, crisis negotiators, firefighters, medical responders and forced the San Francisco Municipal Railway 54-Felton bus line to be rerouted.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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