Cops Walk In Open Door, Find Big Ol’ Grow (Updated) – July 7, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eye Staff Report

Det. Bob Martinez hauls out a lighting canopy. Submitted photo

WESTWOOD – On Wednesday, July 6 at about 2:45 p.m., the Arcata Police Department received a report from a utility worker that he had heard the sound of breaking glass and noticed a broken window on a residence at 1186 block of Hilfiker Drive.

Upon officers arrival, they discovered the front door to the residence ajar. Suspecting a burglary had occurred, the officers checked the interior of the residence in a search for the intruder. During the check the officers found a large-scale marijuana cultivation operation inside the home.

Based on the officers’ observations, the residence was sealed and a search warrant obtained for the residence. “This wasn’t something we planned,” said Det. Sgt. Todd Dokkweiler.

Dokweiler said nine grow lights in the 1,000- to 1,500-watt range were in use. Nearly 450 growing marijuana plants, two pounds of processed marijuana, one pound of concentrated cannabis and nearly an ounce of psilocybin mushrooms were seized.

A typical grow house bust scene, except that this one was unplanned. Submitted photo

Also located was evidence of commercial sales, including packaging materials and records. Dokweiler said these will be used in the follow-up investigation.

No one was home at the residence at the time the warrant was served and no arrests were made. Nor has the resident stepped forward to identify him or herself.

Dokweiler said it didn’t look like the burglar had succeeded in stealing anything. “I don’t think it got that far,” he said.

Would-be ripper-offers sometimes push on a window to try and slide it open, but it breaks. “He was probably scared off,” Dokweiler said.

The house is owned by Vithalbhai A. and Latika V. Patel of Lake Oswego, Ore.

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