San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Press Release

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 / 9:30 a.m.
INCIDENT: Indoor Marijuana Grow & Theft of Utilities
LOCATION: 18255 Lakeview Drive, Spring Valley Lake
SUSPECT(S): Unidentified at this time

Summary

The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division – Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served a search warrant at the above residence and found an indoor marijuana grow. Over 500 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, were found inside the residence. The grow operation used advanced lighting, air conditioning, fans, exhaust blowers and an air-filtering system to control the climate inside the residence as well as the odor of marijuana coming from it. As investigators made entry into the residence, an unidentified suspect fled from them through the rear door. Investigators searched the immediate area but did not locate the suspect.

Investigators also learned the suspect was stealing electricity at the location to facilitate the grow operation. Personnel from Southern California Edison (SCE) assisted in the electrical theft investigation. Suspects who grow marijuana illicitly will commonly bypass the electrical meter installed by the electric company. This is done because of the high amount of electricity needed to support the marijuana growing equipment. The high usage may alert the utility company or law enforcement to the marijuana grow. Additionally, the suspects do not get charged for the high amount of electricity being used.
The extreme measures taken to avoid being caught not only risks the lives of the suspects but also endangers the public living in close proximity of the residence. An electrical short caused by the unpermitted electrical wiring most likely would have resulted in an explosion or fire in the residential community causing possible injuries to bystanders near the residence. SCE will complete their investigation and send their report to the sheriff’s department. Meanwhile, the electrical power to the residence will be disconnected so the faulty wiring and electrical bypass can be removed and repaired. The theft of electricity at this location is estimated to be in excess of several thousand dollars. The address of the residence will be sent to the Land Use Services – Code Enforcement Division so a case can be opened to ensure the residence is safe to occupy.

MET is continuing the investigation and attempting to identify the suspect who fled from the investigators. They will also attempt to locate the property owner. Once the suspect(s) are identified the criminal case will be sent to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

To view photos click on: www.nixle.us/9MPNB

Refer: Sheriff’s Public Affairs
DR #: 651700280
Phone No. (909)387-3700
John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department
Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division
655 E. Third Street
San Bernardino, California 92415-0061
Telephone: (909) 387-3700