SOUTH PHILADELPHIA. The bushy, four-foot plants obscured the police officers’ faces yesterday as they carried out some 20 pots of fully mature marijuana that had been growing for months inside a South Philadelphia rowhouse.
The illegal operation was undone by three alleged burglars who were caught inside the house shortly before 11 a.m. in the 2000 block of South Bouvier Street surrounded by the illegal plants when officers arrived.
A neighbor called police after seeing the men enter the house through a second-story window. The owners of the house were not immediately identified by police. The alleged burglars were also not identified last night, but were being held by narcotics detectives.
Besides 20 plants, officers also found several heat lamps warming about eight of the pots. Five 30-gallon bags of marijuana and two 30-gallon bags of fertilizer were also inside the house, police said.
After stumbling upon the $10,000-plus cache, officers called in the bomb squad and hazardous materials unit to determine if the house was safe to enter, police said. Within an hour, the hazmat team found the house safe and narcotics detectives received a search warrant.
All the plants were lined up outside the home just north of Snyder Avenue at about 2 p.m. and eventually trucked away.
Brian X. McCrone