December 20th, 2010, Halifax, Nova Scotia…The RCMP Marihuana Grow Operations Team assisted by Halifax Drugs and Halifax District RCMP executed a 487 Criminal Code warrant for Theft of Electricity, around noon on December 17th, at a property on Lakefront Drive in Lake Echo.
Officers searched the bungalow where illegal electrical tampering was found as an electrical by-pass created a very hazardous situation. Hazardous electrical situations can often be the result of grow operations; officers seized close to 500 marihuana plants, five pounds of dried marihuana and grow equipment.
A 45 year-old male was arrested at the scene for Theft of Power and will be facing charges. The male was released on a promise to appear and will appear in court at a later date.
From the outside the house appeared to be normal, but once inside it was apparent the entire house was used to produce marihuana says Sgt. Dan MacGilivray Unit Commander of the Marihuana Grow Operations Enforcement Team. The house was very unsafe it posed a health and safety hazard to the people inside the home and the neighbours who live close by.
The RCMP is actively investigating indoor Marihuana Grow Operations because they pose a significant risk to community health and safety. There are number of indicators the public can look for if they suspect there is a marihuana grow operation in their community, some include:
People rarely home or people coming and going for brief periods of time;
Windows are kept closed and covered with dark plastic or newspaper;
Sounds of construction or electrical humming from equipment;
Guard dogs on the property;
Strange odours coming from the house;
Condensation forms on windows due to high humidity levels inside;
Lack of snow on the roof in winter;
People access the residence only through the garage;
Unusual garbage: little or no garbage or unusual items(e.g. pots and soil, fertilizer containers, wiring, PVC piping);
Hydro meter is often tampered with or bypassed;
Grow operations may use other props to deflect suspicion. Some of these include: outdoor and/or indoor lights, radio and/or TV on for 24 hours, flyers left in mailbox or on the front steps, children's toys & bikes outside without children living at the residence, realty signs posted.
The RCMP encourage members of the community to be vigilant and look for these signs, says MacGilivray.
If you believe you have located a marihuana grow operation, please contact any RCMP Detachment, local police or Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by a Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash award from $50 – $2000.