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Backyard bandits on the hunt as Ontarians harvest cannabis plants

Oct 19, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Tips to avoid falling victim to sticky-fingered bandits include harvesting early when possible, installing security cameras, staying home to keep an eye on the grow and keeping plants off social media

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A couple of backyard bandits who were spotted on a home security system nabbing two plants from a home in Cambridge, Ont., are serving as a reminder to be on the lookout for opportunistic thieves during harvest season.

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Kerry Donnelly told Cambridge Today that she recently awoke to find her plants missing. Footage from her security system shows two individuals making off with the plants, but Donnelly said they also have video of three individuals “scoping the area.”

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  1. Responding officers managed to locate the 51-year-old, plant-wielding suspect, also from Chatham, a short distance away. /

    Ontario man nabbed for purloining pot plants

  2. FILE: Screen grab from a security camera shows a thief making off with cannabis plants. Windsor Star

    Ontario police see a spike in cannabis plants being stolen out of people’s backyards

  3. The stranger reduced the six-foot pot plants into a pair of lone branches in the soil

    Cannabis plants stolen out of man’s garden in Cambridge, Ont.

“For people to attend at the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of other people’s work is not only unsettling, it also makes me angry,” said Donnelly, who added she did not report the theft to police.

Speaking with Cambridge Today, however, a Waterloo Regional Police spokesperson said charges can be laid if stolen cannabis plants are reported, including theft over or under $5,000.

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A corporate communications officer with the St. Thomas Police Service told CTV London in 2020 that thefts usually spike around this time of year, as Canadians begin harvesting their grows.

To avoid falling victim to sticky-fingered bandits, they recommended harvesting early when possible, installing security cameras, staying home to keep an eye on the grow and keeping plants, especially very successful ones, off social media.

In 2020, one Ontario resident opted to chase down a potential cannabis thief rather than wait for the police to arrive.

The homeowner spotted a man trying to make off with the plant just after 9 p.m. on a Friday night. The person called the police, but then ran outside, tackled the would-be burglar and kept him detained until officers arrived.

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The man, 49, was later charged with theft and possession under $5,000.

Under the federal Cannabis Act, Canadians are legally allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence, though the provincial governments in both Quebec and Manitoba have barred home cultivation.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada began hearing a challenge to Quebec’s position, led by Janick Murray-Hall, who is arguing the provincial law is unconstitutional and contradicts the federal cannabis law. Currently, residents of Quebec who are caught growing cannabis at home could be fined between $250 and $750.

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