Minor Decoy Operation

Deputies from the Thousand Oaks Directed Enforcement Unit (DEU) have cited two clerks for selling tobacco products to minors on April 28, 2023. The actions were the result of a Minor Decoy operation in which minors under the direct supervision of department deputies attempted to purchase tobacco products from eight licensed businesses in Thousand Oaks.

Two businesses, Wendy Gas and Chevron Extra Mile Newbury Park sold tobacco products to a minor decoy. The clerks were contacted by deputies and issued citations. Clerks who sold to a minor face a minimum fine of $200. In addition, the California Department of Public Health may take administrative action against the license of the business where tobacco was sold to a minor. That may include a fine, suspension, or the permanent revocation of the license.

A Minor Decoy operation involves a person under the age of 20 years old who enters establishments and attempts to purchase tobacco. The minor decoy appears young, provides identification when asked, and makes no attempts to mislead the seller. The decoy is supervised by peace officers during the entire process.

Anyone who knows of establishments who sell tobacco products to minors can call the sheriff’s office at (805) 654-9511. People who call can remain anonymous.

Nature of Incident: Minor Decoy Operation
Location: City of Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: April 28, 2023
Unit(s) Responsible: Thousand Oaks Directed Enforcement Unit (DEU)
(S) 1 adult female and 1 adult male

Prepared by: Sergeant Jonathan James
Media Follow-Up Contact: SR. Deputy Jose Torres (805)947-8229
Approved by: Captain Dean Cook