More Than 2,500 Marijuana Plants Grown Using Stolen Electricity Seized from 2 Rancho Cucamonga Homes: Sheriff

An officer looks at marijuana plants grown at a home in Rancho Cucamonga in a photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 16, 2019.

An officer looks at marijuana plants grown at a home in Rancho Cucamonga in a photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 16, 2019.

Officers seized more than 2,500 marijuana plants from two homes in Rancho Cucamonga Wednesday, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s department and Rancho Cucamonga police deputies served a search warrant at a home in the 13900 block of San Dimas Lane and another on the 6900 block of Canusa Street.

About 1,320 marijuana plants were found inside the first home and 1,240 in the second, the sheriff’s department said.

Suspects in both homes allegedly bypassed the electrical meter installed by the electrical company, Southern California Edison. In doing so, several thousands of dollars worth of electricity were stolen, according to the sheriff’s department.

Authorities say the practice is common in illegal marijuana growing operations because of the high cost of electricity needed to operate the equipment.

Marijuana plants found at a home in Rancho Cucamonga seen in a photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Jan. 16, 2019.

Marijuana plants found at a home in Rancho Cucamonga seen in a photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on Jan. 16, 2019.

Both homes used advanced lighting, air conditioning, fans, exhaust blowers and air filtering systems to control the climate and the marijuana odor, according to a news release.

Tampering with the electrical wiring could be dangerous, and the operation would have “likely resulted in an explosion or fire,” the sheriff’s department said.

The power was disconnected for both homes and they were “red tagged” as unsafe to occupy.

Although recreational marijuana has been legalized in California, it is illegal to grow more than six marijuana plants at a residence in Rancho Cucamonga.

The suspects had not obtained the required license from the city to run a business or from the State of California to cultivate cannabis, the news release said.

Authorities have not identified the suspects in the investigation.

The case is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division Marijuana Enforcement Team, in cooperation with deputies from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.

Anyone with information is urged to call 909-387-8400 or email NARC-MET@sbcsd.org. To leave an anonymous tip, call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-27463 or leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at http://www.wetip.com.

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