CHICAGO — Weed was stolen from an amnesty box at Midway Airport, apparently by a traveler who reached in, grabbed it and left the airport.
The large blue boxes are meant to be safe spots where travelers can permanently give up their weed or other drugs before boarding a flight. They were installed shortly after Illinois legalized cannabis on Jan. 1 since traveling with the drug remains illegal.
A man left marijuana in one of the boxes on Wednesday, according to NBC5, but when police returned later to empty the box the weed was gone.
Police said the theft happened at 6:03 p.m. Wednesday: A man reached into one of the temporary amnesty boxes and removed “an unknown object” from inside.
Police think the man had just gotten off a flight and left the airport after the theft, according to NBC5. The station reported officials weren’t sure how the man accessed the box since it was supposed to be locked.
There are 12 temporary boxes at Midway and O’Hare airports, but they’ll soon be replaced with permanent boxes.
“Tampering with them, or attempting to remove anything placed inside, is a crime, and detectives are investigating this matter,” said Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. “In the meantime, new, permanent theft prevention boxes are expected to replace the temporary ones in the coming weeks, making them more secure and preventing anyone from further accessing materials dropped inside.”
Photos of the boxes were shared widely on social media after they were installed earlier this month. Many poked fun at them, questioning who would leave behind their drugs while traveling.
“A waste of metal,” comedian Hannibal Buress commented on Instagram.
“TSA tip jar,” another person joked.
At the time, police said officers will inventory the boxes, file reports on the items found inside and then dispose of the drugs.