Police uprooted about 1,500 marijuana plants from three homes in a Riverside neighborhood on Wednesday, authorities said.
Three men were arrested in connection with the bust, which took place at three houses in the Orangecrest neighborhood, Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback said in a written statement.
Two of the involved homes were in the 19000 block of San Luis Rey Lane and the third was in the 19000 block of Krameria Avenue, police said.
Officers first went to the neighborhood in response to complaints about two homes, which neighbors suspected were being used to grow marijuana, according to Railsback.
The neighbors’ suspicions proved founded, as police quickly discovered two homes that were “solely being used to illegally cultivate marijuana,” the officer said.
Further investigation led police to find the third grow house, officials said.
In addition to about 1,500 pot plants, Railsback said police also found some methamphetamine, along with various chemicals and fertilizers used to grow the marijuana.
The homes’ electrical systems had been altered to allow them to tap directly into the power grid, authorities said.
“Detectives also discovered the locations were stealing electricity from the city,” Railsback said.
Police arrested Xiaoquan Liu, 55, of Rosemead and Xiao Liu, 49, of Florida at one of the homes, officials said. They were booked on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation.
As the search was ongoing at the Krameria Avenue grow house, 43-year-old Chaoquing Ni of La Puente pulled up in a car, saw the detectives and tried to speed away, Railsback said.
“Detectives were attempting to catch up to this suspect as he drove away at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the car and crashed into the front of a residence on Paso Robles Drive,” he said. “(Ni) suspect was eventually taken into custody at the dead end of San Juan Capistrano Court.”
Ni was booked on suspicion of legally cultivating marijuana, theft of utilities and hit-and-run, according to police.
California and city law allow for the the cultivation of “not more than six” marijuana plants at a private residence at one time, police added.