Cannabis farm is found in search for thief

Police and scenes of crime officers at the Hutton Avenue properties.
Police and scenes of crime officers at the Hutton Avenue properties.

COPS sniffed out cannabis worth about £50,000 after looking for a scrap metal thief.

Hartlepool Police officers were called to Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, in the early hours of the morning after neighbours reported somebody stealing scrap.

But when police arrived they are believed to have smelled signs of the class B drug and followed their noses to a house in the street.

The property was raided and found what has been described as a “moderate-scale cannabis farm” inside a property with more than 200 plants at different stages of maturity.

Officers also discovered the semi-detached house had access to the property next door from the inside and believe it had been converted for the purpose of the drugs farm. A team of scenes of crime officers then started forensic investigations.

A man in his mid-20s from Merseyside has been arrested in connection with the cultivation of cannabis. A second man, a 19-year-old from Hartlepool, was arrested on suspicion of the scrap theft.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “We were called to reports of suspicious activity in Hutton Avenue at around 12.15am yesterday.

“One 19-year-old local man was detained on suspicion of stealing lead from a house in Hutton Avenue.

“On closer examination of the house we discovered what is believed to be a cannabis farm on a moderate scale and for onward supply.

“It also appeared to have been converted for the purpose of growing cannabis, and access can be gained from the inside to both the adjoining properties.

“We have also arrested a man in his mid-20s from the Merseyside area in connection with the cultivation of cannabis.”