Cops get wrong address, find 30 cannabis plants
A three-week manhunt for a wanted burglar landed Christchurch police an unexpected cannabis haul when they busted the wrong house.
Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Hill said a dedicated team had been searching for Jeremy Raymond Whall, 33, for three weeks before armed police knocked on the door of a flat in Sherborne St, St Albans, about 7.30am on Monday.
Instead of Whall, they found his neighbour - and 30 cannabis plants.
"Unfortunately for the neighbour, it was evident on the door being opened. It stunk of it," Hill said.
That man was arrested and charged with cultivating cannabis. "That was bad luck for him," Hill said.
Officers had turned their attentions next door when Whall turned up.
Whall, who had an active warrant out for his arrest, was taken into custody without incident.
Police searched the property and allegedly found a second stolen car with equipment for the production of methamphetamine in the boot. This included glassware, distillers, beakers and heating equipment.
Whall, 33, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday to face a raft of charges, including: one of possession of equipment for the production of methamphetamine; five of unlawfully taking a vehicle; two of receiving stolen cars; and one each of failing to stop for police, burglary, unlawful possession of a sawn-off shotgun and unlawful possession of shotgun cartridges.
Hill said police had identified the two flats as possible locations for Whall through a process of elimination. The neighbour's arrest was an added bonus.
"It was a good day for us," Hill said.
Whall made no plea in court and was remanded in custody to April 9.
Hill said a co-accused was arrested about a month ago and was also before the courts.