Pubdate: Fri, 07 Oct 2016
Source: Barrie Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016, Barrie Examiner
Author: Ian McInroy
Page: A1


If you spot some pot, make the call.

But provincial police are asking callers to exercise

Area residents are being asked to report any outdoor marijuana
grow-ops they may happen to come across in their travels.

"Marijuana harvesting season is approaching and the OPP would like the
assistance of the public in reporting suspicious activity," said
Nottawasaga OPP Acting Sgt. Paul Nancekivell. "Usually outdoor
marijuana is kept outdoors as long as possible to maximize the yield.
The harvesting usually begins after the first frost of the year, as
most plants will not typically survive a second frost." If you are out
hiking in remote areas, watch out for the telltale signs of an outdoor
marijuana grow operation, he added.

Unfortunately, some of those signs may not be so obvious to

"A lot of times, we're finding that people are stumbling on to it,"
Nancekivell said. "We're cautioning people that some of these growers
are setting booby traps and trip hazards that can set off small
explosives and things like that.

"Sadly, they take their crops very seriously and they don't care about
people's safety," he added. "If someone does find the marijuana, we
want them to exit from the area the same way they came in and contact
police immediately."

Nancekivell said outdoor pot growers typically use farmers' fields,
abandoned farms or rural properties that are seasonal and don't get a
lot of use.

"That's where we're mainly finding them. A lot of times it's hidden in
corn fields in the centre of a crop where they think we can't see it,"
he said. "We use our helicopters and do flyovers and a lot of times
we're able to find it from the air. We actively search every year for
it and do our best to eliminate it."

He said the biggest challenge for police in nailing the nefarious weed
growers is to get people involved.

"We need the public's help. These people who are growing it are
basically organized crime and they're using the money to further their
crime," Nancekivell said. "It has a fairly strong pungent smell to it.
Once you smell it you'll never forget it.

"It's getting more prevalent but there's also more people finding them
(the grow-ops) and doing the right thing and contacting us," he added.
"We need residents to phone in if they see any suspicious vehicles in
their neighbourhood that don't belong there."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888310-1122
or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS or submit their information
online at .
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