Pubdate: Mon, 13 Feb 2006
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Times Colonist
Author: Rob Shaw, Times Colonist


Victoria police are investigating what may have been a crystal meth
lab operating in a house beside a daycare and children's park in James

A cleaning crew, which was tidying up the house after tenants had
recently left, became concerned when they found "obnoxious fumes and
drug paraphernalia," said Const. Peter Lane.

When officers searched the dark red house in the 100 block of Montreal
Street Saturday, they found chemicals such as muriatic acid, said
Lane. Muriatic acid is a commonly used ingredient in the creation of
crystal meth.

"It probably was a meth lab at one point," Lane said of the

Next door to the red building, in the quiet neighbourhood, is a white
house with the sign "Infant Day & Care." The red house is also two
houses away from a children's playground and public park.

"It's scary, we have two kids... and it's just next door to a
daycare," said a neighbour across the street who identified himself as
Morton. He, his wife, and children aged six and two, saw a moving
truck outside the house Friday and at least two young white men
appeared to be moving out.

But neither Morton nor Phyllis Serota, who also lives across the
street, said they had ever suspected the red house was a meth lab.

The building's owners live in California, and the young men, whom
Serota described as in their 20s, had moved in around last summer, she
said. The men were much more noisy than previous tenants, who had been
a close part of the neighbourhood, said Serota, who has lived in the
neighbourhood for 23 years.

The chemical reactions that create crystal meth have been known to
produce noticeable odours. But Serota said, "I never smelt a thing and
I have a really good nose."

Serota's partner is a graphic designer currently producing police Meth
Watch signs, she said.

Neighbours reported seeing a white van and workers with masks enter
the house Sunday. But Lane said the police file does not indicate if a
hazardous materials team was actually sent to the building.

The file is open and the police investigation will continue, said
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