Not-So-HighTimes: London Rental Wrecked by Weed Growers

weed growers wreck apartmentIt was a simple plan: Two fake renters (or should we call them "plants"?) lease a house and the real tenants turn it into a cannabis factory.

The owner thought he was renting his home to two young women. Instead, his house and garage was being used to grow over 200 marijuana plants worth thousands.

The Workingham Timesreports that the "420"-friendly crew totally wrecked the house. So not cool!

It happened southeast of London in the sleepy town of Wokingham, Berkshire three weeks ago. The unlucky homeowner, Bryan McCrorie, 50, is probably still trying to fathom the £10,000 (just over $15,000) worth of damages his home suffered from removed floorboards, holes in the roof, dismantled fixtures, and general spliff-driven ruckus and upheaval.

You gotta see to believe....Pot growers destroy houseBathroom destroyed growing cannabis

Worse? His insurance isn't covering it. McCrorie told The Workingham Times, "If it was criminal damage or squatters they would have paid." That's a cold splash of bong water to the face.

The two female renters? They never lived there, it turns out. This must have been the old bait-and-switch trick. (Or is that "bake" and switch?) Regardless, the whole "good renter" thing blew up like a meth-lab trailer in Mr. McCrorie's face. He's been renting his house since 2006.

What's unusual is how the house was busted in the first place.

The bake house was discovered when community members read a description of typical cannabis-growing houses in the local paper. Noticing how the suspicious activity at Mr. McCrorie's house seemingly matched, they called police into the normally quiet cul-de-sac. ("Weed all about it," trumpets the Wokingham Times.)

One person was arrested.

According to police officer Craig Woolnough, there are certain signs if you suspect your neighbor is growing or dealing drugs. They include:
  • a strong smell.
  • a regular buzzing noise (which could indicate the presence of fans or heaters).
  • curtains or blinds that are constantly drawn.
  • windows which are warm to touch.
  • people coming and going at all hours.

What about pizza delivery? Laughter? Disproportionate amounts of brownies baked? Warning signs, people, warning signs!

Woolnough issues another caution to landlords: "You should also monitor electricity usage at the property as drug cultivation requires high levels of power."

This only serves as a reminder that growing the greenery isn't so green after all.
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