Grow-ops

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Recognizing an Indoor Marijuana Growing Operation


Indoor marijuana grow operations, although not new to Cowichan Valley, have been turning up with in all areas of the valley, even middle and upper class residential neighbourhoods.

The following maybe indications of a grow operation:

  • Evidence of tampering with the electric meter (damaged or broken seals) or the ground around it.
  • Homes made to look lived in by things like light timers, but very few people are seen going in and out of the home.
  • Late night or very short visits by people.
  • Strange smells or overpowering smells of fabric softener.
  • Water lines and/or electrical cords running to the basement or an outbuilding.
  • People bringing unusual items into the house, such as bags of soil, lots of plant roots, and potted plants.
  • People continually bringing items and/or taking items in garbage bags.
  • Windows that are always covered.
  • Residence or outbuilding has unusual amount of exhaust fan noise, or unusual number of roof vents.
  • Unusual build-up of ice or amount of steam coming from vents in the house in cold weather.
  • A house rooftop with no snow on it, when roofs of surrounding houses are snow covered.
  • High condensation around windows.
  • People entering and exiting the residence only through the garage, keeping the garage door closed.
  • New neighbours never taking furniture or groceries into the house.
  • Purchase of very expensive heat lamps for unexplained reasons.
  • Unexplained and unseasonably high utility bills.
  • Property with excessive security such as guard dogs, “keep out” signs, high fences, heavy chains and locks on gates.


If someone believes he or she has discovered an illegal drug lab or the site of an abandoned lab, or grow operation, immediately contact police at 250-748-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-665-8477.

Do not enter the area of the suspected lab or grow op.

Anyone who inadvertently enters a lab or grow op should back out immediately without disturbing the cooking process, chemicals or equipment.


Note for Landlords...

Landlords may notice that tenants insist on paying their rent in cash, and, while having no known source of income, they have expensive cars, cell phones, pagers, etc.

These same tenants will be reluctant to allow landlords to inspect their rented property. They will make arrangements to meet landlords away from the property to pay their rent and/or to discuss any problems.

Landlords should have a detailed rental agreement and ensure that the individual(s) renting their premises are those living there. References should be mandatory and followed up.


Tips and training for owners and managers of rental properties are available from the RCMP Crime Prevention Section and Community Policing.

For more information, call 701-9146



Contact Us

Duncan/North Cowichan Community Policing & Crime Prevention Office
#3 - 149 Canada Avenue
Duncan BC V9L 1T4
Phone: 250-701-9145
Fax: 250-701-9147
Manager: 250-701-9146

Cowichan Bay Community Police & Crime Prevention Office
1721 E Cowichan Bay Road
Cowichan Bay BC
VOR 1N0
Phone: 250-701-0961
Fax: 250-701-9160

Chemainus Community Police & Crime Prevention Office
9847 Willow Street
Chemainus BC VOR 1K0
Phone: 250-246-4382
Fax: 250-246-9174

Send us an email

About Warmland Cops

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