Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 2015
Source: Simcoe Reformer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Sun Media
Page: A2


Illegal crop lurks in numerous locales

Police are seeking the public's help in controlling the production of
illegal marijuana in Norfolk County.

The 2015 growing season is underway and it promises to be a good one
for illegal producers of marijuana. Norfolk OPP advise the public to
be cautious and to report suspicious activity associated with
marijuana production to the authorities.

"Typically, these illicit crops are located in swamps, cornfields,
wooded areas, along rivers and on rural rental properties obscured
from view," Const. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk OPP said in a news
release. "Marijuana plants are bright green in colour and can grow
between three and five feet tall and give off a distinctive strong,
pungent musty odour."

Certain suspicious behaviours may be a sign that an illegal grow-op is
underway in your neighbourhood. These include:

* Abandoned vehicles parked in secluded areas.

* People walking in remote areas for no apparent reason.

* Bags of fertilizer, planting trays or chemicals located in remote

* Walking paths in wooded areas, swamps and in the area of corn

* Recent posting of "No trespassing" signs.

Police warn that areas where marijuana is illegally produced are
potentially dangerous.

"Should you inadvertently come across one or more of these plants,
there are some safety risks to be wary of," Sanchuk says. "There is
the potential for the presence of weapons and ammunition near grow-op
sites and booby traps set up to protect the criminal's illegal crop.
As well, there are many environmental risks associated with marijuana
grow-ops as they often involve the use of unregulated,
environmentally-damaging products."

The Norfolk OPP offer the following tips to members of the public who
happen upon an illegal grow operation:

* Call police or Crime Stoppers as soon as possible. Do not attempt to
dispose of plants yourself.

* Avoid touching plants as they may contain a toxic chemical

* Illegal grow operations may be booby-trapped. If you inadvertently
find yourself in an illegal grow zone, back out the way you came.

* Alert your children to safe procedures should they happen upon an
illegal grow operation.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity can do so by contacting
the Norfolk OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or by calling Crime Stoppers of
Haldimand, Norfolk & Tillsonburg at 1-800-222-8477.
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