Pubdate: Sun, 02 Jan 2005
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Dan Palmer, Edmonton Sun
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


A group of teen break-and-enter suspects turned to cops for help after
the owners of the home - where police later busted a $50,000 marijuana
grow operation - allegedly beat one of them. "They felt safer with the
police," southern Alberta RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Oncescu said
yesterday. "It's a unique set of circumstances where these young
people allegedly committed a crime and got caught by the homeowner."

Ponoka RCMP said they began investigating the bizarre chain of events
around 3 a.m. Friday when six youths, around 17 to 18, contacted officers.

Three of the teens wanted to turn themselves in for breaking into a
home a day earlier in the Ponoka area, 100 km south of Edmonton.

Three others in the group told officers they were just associates of
the others and didn't actually participate in the break-in, said RCMP.

"It soon became clear that the rationale behind this late-night visit
to the detachment - and the reason that the break and enter was never
reported to police - was that they had broken into a home with a
flourishing marijuana grow-op," said Ponoka RCMP. "Therein they
liberated a quantity of the plants for a quick sale. Their problem,
and ultimately their reason for seeking out the police, was that the
homeowners had discovered their identities."

RCMP said the homeowners and some of their friends tracked one of the
six youths to his home.

"They allegedly broke in and beat him with bats, fists and boots. The
youth alleged at one point the female homeowner grabbed onto his
testicles and ordered one of the others to fetch her a knife," said
Ponoka RCMP Const. Douglas Ennis in a release. "Fortunately, for all
involved, but particularly fortunate for the youth, the incident ended

RCMP got a search warrant for the home involved in the alleged
break-in and uncovered a marijuana grow operation. They seized about
15 pounds of marijuana worth roughly $49,000.

A Ponoka County man faces charges of production and possession for the
purpose of trafficking, as well as possession of stolen property. His
wife faces similar charges.

Charges are also pending against some of the complainants. Police
continue to investigate.
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