Pubdate: 12 Apr 2002 Source: Elmira Independent (CN ON) Copyright: 2002 Elmira Independent Contact: http://www.elmiraindependent.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1930 Author: Andy Campbell SHARP-EYED CITIZENS PLAYED BIG PART Two Arrested In Connection With Linwood Home-Grow Operation About $761,000 worth of marijuana and $32,000 worth of growing equipment was seized when police raided a home-grow operation at 60 Adelaide St. in Linwood last week. Shortly after 2pm on April 4, the regional police drug unit, along with the RCMP, executed a search warrant at the residence. A total of 761 plants were found. This was the second such operation to be raided in Wellesley township, and virtually identical to the one found at 114 Lawrence St. on Mar. 22. According to Jeff Wilker, a neighbour, people had known for some time that something was going on inside the house. He became aware of it in late January. "Nobody ever moved in, nobody was ever around, and the windows were all shut - stuff that didn't really jive with what other people do when they move in," said Wilker. "One of the neighbours went over and tried to talk to them, and they couldn't speak a word of English." * * * HEAT SHOWED ON THERMAL CAMERA Linwood district fire chief Lester Greig, out of curiosity, decided to view the house through the Wellesley fire department's thermal imaging camera, which was on loan to Linwood at the time. He saw a substantial amount of heat radiating from the basement walls and the roof vents. "It was like there were skylights on the roof, that's how much heat there was," he said, noting that none of the surrounding houses were giving off heat in this manner. Mayor Doug Bergman, who attended both the raid in Wellesley and the one in Linwood, said that it was comforting to hear that police had been informed by a number of residents. "It's good to know that the people in Wellesley township are looking out for one another," he said, likening the situation to an unofficial Neighbourhood Watch program. Bergman was, however, disappointed at the time it takes to raid a home-grow operation, once police are aware of its presence. He does not blame the police for this, but rather the system they must work within. "We've got our police buried in paperwork," he said. "They know the marijuana is there, but it's obtaining the warrant that is taking too long." * * * EQUIPMENT NEEDED Bergman also said that there is a need to properly equip hydro workers to deal with something that is becoming a regular occurrence in rural areas. He has urged the hydro commission to purchase proper safety equipment, including masks and coveralls, as well as tap meters and diversion meters to assist in detecting hydro theft. It is estimated that between the home grow in Linwood and the one in Wellesley, nearly $30,000 worth of hydro was stolen. Two people have been arrested in connection with the Linwood home grow. Police executed a warrant at 6 Brybeck Crescent, in Kitchener, where they seized $12,000 in cash and a small quantity of marijuana. A 19-year-old man, Yong Chi Chan, was released on a promise to appear for possession of marijuana. At last report, Meuy Chan Phueh, a 43-year-old woman, was facing charges of theft of hydro, production of marijuana, possession of marijuana for purposes of trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime. She was held for a bail hearing. * * *BREAK-IN Police returned to 60 Adelaide on the morning of Apr. 6, when neighbours reported that a back door appeared to be ajar. Further investigation suggested that entry had been gained by breaking a basement window, but nothing appeared to be missing.