An Initiative by the
Government of Alberta

A grow op not only damages the host home, but the community it's set up in.  Learn to spot the signs of a grow op.

No community is immune from grow ops. They’re more widespread than most people realize, but together we can find them – and get rid of them.

A grow op not only damages the host home, but the community it’s set up in. Learn to spot the signs of a grow op and get it out of your neighbourhood.

Click the red markers to learn about each sign of a grow op.

Get Started

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US
BUILD SAFER COMMUNITIES IN ALBERTA

If there's a suspicious property in your neighbourhood, do not investigate it yourself or approach the occupants. Please call your local police or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-8477.

Exit
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter
Enhanced Security

Cameras, Floodlights, excess fencing

Enhanced Security

Marijuana grow ops often have enhanced security to detect investigation by police or to deter break-ins by other criminals. Security measures may include high fences, flood lights, locks on doors, bars on windows, security cameras, and "beware of dog" signs.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Piled Garbage

Soil and fertilizer, PVC piping, chemicals

Piled Garbage

Garbage may be stockpiled on the property due to irregular disposal. Garbage may contain some or all of the following items: soil, pots, fertilizer and/or chemical containers, wiring, PVC piping or other construction material.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Untidy Property

The property may be untidy inside and outside.

Untidy Property

The property may be untidy inside and outside. For example, the interior may look messy, yards may not be maintained through the seasons, there may be uncollected mail or piles of newspapers and flyers by the door.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Odd Smell

Skunk-like or Excessive smell "maskers"

Odd Smell

The smell of marijuana (a strong skunk-like odour) may occasionally be detected around the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Visible Water or Electrical Cords

Water and/or electrical cords may be visible

Visible Water or Electrical Cords

Water and/or electrical cords may be visible running to or from the basement or outbuilding where marijuana is grown.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Power Surges

There may be localized power surges and/or brown-outs

Power Surges

There may be localized power surges and/or brown-outs in the neighborhood where a grow operation is present due to the high levels of power required to maintain these operations.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Meter Tampering

Hydro or electrical meters are often tampered with

Meter Tampering

Hydro or electrical meters are often tampered with or bypassed, allowing the grow operator to steal the water or electricity required to maintain the marijuana grow op.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Window Condensation

Condensation on windows due to humidity

Window Condensation

There may be condensation on the windows due to high humidity levels in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Unusual Lighting

Bright lights may be seen from the windows

Unusual Lighting

Bright lights may be seen from some or all of the windows, which may turn on/off at the same time, or may be left on continuously.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Exterior Stains

Signs of sweating/staining on the siding of the home.

Exterior Stains

There may be signs of sweating, staining, condensation or "wet spots" on the siding, stucco, or foundations of the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Improvised Vents

May have vents in the roof, windows or unusual locations

Improvised Vents

Marijuana grow operations may have vents in the roof, windows or unusual locations in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Winter Melting

During winter, a marijuana grow operation may not have any snow on its roof.

Winter Melting

During winter, a marijuana grow operation may not have any snow on its roof, or there may be extensive melting/steam rising around the roof vents compared to other homes in the area. There may also be icicles hanging from vents, eaves or chimney stacks. This is caused by excessive heat from lighting used to grow the plants.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Distracter Props

Props may be used to deter suspicion

Distracter Props

Props may be used to deter suspicion and give the impression that the home is lived in. For example, a radio or TV may be left on.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Minimal Furniture

There is minimal furniture in the home.

Minimal Furniture

There is minimal furniture in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Humming Sounds

Humming sounds may be heard from fans or generators.

Humming Sounds

Humming sounds may be heard from loud fans, generators or modified venting systems.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Fertilizer and Pesticides

Fertilizer & pesticide containers around the property.

Fertilizer and Pesticides

Fertilizer and pesticide containers can be found in and around the property.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Mould

There may be a buildup of toxic mould on the walls & ceilings.

Mould

There may be a buildup of toxic mould on the walls, ceilings, and in the attic as a result of high humidity levels in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Booby Traps

Grow operators may use "booby traps" to deter entry to the home

Booby Traps

Marijuana grow operators may use "booby traps" to deter entry to the home by thieves and rival criminals, and to injure police officers and first responders.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Weapons and Drugs

There may be weapons or other illegal drugs in the home.

Weapons and Drugs

There may be weapons or other illegal drugs in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Occupants

"Crop-sitters" may be hired to live in or visit the home

Occupants

"Crop-sitters" may be hired to live in or visit the home to maintain the grow operation. These individuals may be connected with organized crime.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Improvised Electrical Systems

Custom electrical systems may be installed

Improvised Electrical Systems

Custom electrical systems may be installed to provide the power needed to maintain the grow operation. This can create a significant fire hazard in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Holes in Foundation

Used to bypass electricity or water meters

Holes in Foundation

Holes may be drilled in the walls or foundation of the home to bypass electricity or water meters.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Concealed Entry

May drive directly into the garage and immediately close the overhead door

Concealed Entry

Occupants may drive directly into the garage and immediately close the overhead door in order to hide their activities.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Criminal Activity

Increase in break & enters, property damage, & assaults.

Criminal Activity

There may be increased criminal activity in or around the home such as break and enters, property damage and assaults/violence as a result of crop theft.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Unusual Activity

Occupants may come & go at odd hours or only arrive for short periods of time.

Unusual Activity

Occupants or visitors may come and go at odd hours, may be at the home for short periods of time, or may rarely be seen. Visitors may drive expensive or suspicious vehicles.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Window Coverings

Windows may be covered or blacked out.

Window Coverings

Windows may be covered, blacked out or never opened to conceal marijuana grow operation activities in the home.

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter
Have you spotted a grow op?

If there's a suspicious property in your neighbourhood, do not investigate it yourself or approach the occupants. Please call your local police or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-8477.

For more information please visit
http://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/safe/growop/Pages/default.aspx

Share on Facebook Share to Twitter

Photos courtesy of the Calgary Police Service and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)

Help

This illustration highlights common signs of grow ops and may help you to spot them in your community.

  • Click or tap on each of the red icons to get more information on the specific sign.
  • Click the “x” at the top right of the pop-up box or click “close this tip” to return to the house. Tips marked with a red icon have not been opened, and tips marked with a green icon have already been viewed on this computer
  • You can explore the exterior or interior of the house by using the “Exterior / Interior” switch at the bottom right of the site.
  • Click the “exit” link at the bottom right of the site to return to the Alberta Safe Communities site for more information
  • You can share a link to this tool on through facebook or twitter (please note that you must already have a facebook or twitter account in order to share).

Have you spotted a grow op?

If there's a suspicious property in your neighbourhood, do not investigate it yourself or approach the occupants. Please call your local police or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-8477.