West Vancouver police have busted a drug lab operating out of a home in the tony British Properties neighbourhood.
Around 4:30 a.m. Monday, a fire broke out in a home on the 1300 block of Crestwell Road. West Vancouver police arrived to assist West Vancouver Fire & Rescue members secure the scene and evacuate neighbours.
While, there, they discovered evidence of a possible clandestine drug lab inside the home. Officers came back with a warrant and confirmed home was being used to produce drugs, although they can’t yet say what the scale of the lab was.
The RCMP Clandestine Lab Team has been called in to help safely dismantle the operation
Exactly what was being produced there, Goodmurphy could not say.
“We're still working that out. Often these are associated to things like methamphetamine production or other synthetic drugs. We are still on scene trying to gather all the evidence,” he said.
Police arrested a suspect at the home, a 56-year-old Mission resident. They have since been released pending a future court appearance.
“They didn't suffer any injuries, which was lucky in this case,” Goodmuprhy said.
Substances collected from home will be sent to a government lab to be properly identified and will go in a report to the Crown before charges can be sworn.
Police are grateful to the West Vancouver firefighters who got the blaze out before it spread or hurt anyone, he added.
Goodmurphy said anyone who sees suspicious activity happening on a property in their neighbourhood – things like people keeping odd hours, late night deliveries and pick-ups – should report it to their local police.
“These clandestine labs can be found, frankly, anywhere. They do this typically in rental houses. They keep a low profile. Typically, people are coming and going late at night so I don't think that any community is really immune to these types of operations,” he said. “In this case, we're just extremely lucky that nobody was injured. A lot of the substances they're using and the working conditions that they're working in are extremely volatile.”
The Crestwell home is no longer any threat to the public, Goodmurphy said.
At this point, Goodmurphy said they are not seeking any other suspects but they are asking for any information the public may have about the lab. Tips cane be called in to investigators at 604-925-7300 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit solvecrime.ca.