Identifying and Reporting a suspected drug house or Grow Operation
Potential Danger to public health and safety with Drug houses
- Fire The use of enormous amounts of electricity combined with illegal tampering with electrical system can lead to fires. The hazard often extends to neighbouring buildings.
- Health: The high humidity and temperatures necessary for a grow room lead to the formation of damaging mold and fungus. This situation poses serious health risks to the residents.
- Electrocution: Electrical bypasses and rewiring performed by unqualified individuals results in dangerous electrical hazards.
- Poisonous gas and chemicals: The chemicals used in the production of marihuana are left to circulate inside the residence. These sometimes mix with air that has been re-vented from the furnace and/or water heater.
- Violence: The occupants of a marihuana grow operation are more susceptible to extortion and home invasion. These operations are targeted by criminals who commit home invasions to steal the crop ("grow rips"). The presence of a grow operation increases the threat of violence to the neighbourhood.
- Booby traps: Since marihuana grow operations are targets for
grow rips, booby traps are sometimes used to injure or kill unsuspecting visitors or ‘first responders’.
- Children at risk: Children who live in or visit a marihuana grow operation home are subject to physical dangers and the many health and safety hazards listed above.
The police bust an average of 3-4 grow-ops a week in neighbourhoods across British Columbia.
Common signs of a Marihuana Grow Operation
- Rental buildings (residential and commercial) are often used so criminals avoid damage to their own property.
- Residents may only be in the home occasionally for short periods of time.
- People access the residence only through the garage.
- Unusual visitor behaviour ranging from no visitors to frequent visitors for short periods.
- Windows covered with dark plastic or newspaper.
- Condensation forms on windows due to high humidity levels inside. This may also result in lack of snow on the roof in winter.
- Skunk-like odour of growing marihuana can occasionally be detected outside.
- Unusual garbage: little or no garbage or unusual items(e.g. pots and soil, fertilizer containers, wiring, PVC piping).
- Electrical equipment inside creates humming sounds.
- Hydro meter is often tampered with or bypassed.
- Grow operations may use other
propsto 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.
- A "Beware of Dog/Guard Dog" sign may be used to deter trespassing, protect against theft and avoid detection by police.
To report a Suspected Grow Ops or Clandestine Labs
Call our non-emergency number at 604-463-6251 or Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477
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