The neighborhood in this northwest Patterson was full of more than a dozen Turlock Irrigation District workers busy piecing back together the neighborhood’s electrical infrastructure. At least that many Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies were busy piecing together evidence after they’d executed search warrants on the two pot houses –104 and 149 Noble Park Circle— in the unassuming row of homes.
According to one TID worker, who did not wish to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, the two houses had been pulling 80 amps of electricity each, enough for at least 15 homes and the grid eventually failed, knocking out electricity to at least 20 residences in the circle. The average home uses four to 10 amps, he said. The drug cultivators had bypassed the main electrical systems and used separate boxes to draw the electricity needed to run the indoor lamps that encouraged the growth of the weed.
“In 28 years of working in the electrical business I’ve never seen this much damage from one of these,” the unidentified TID worker in a hardhat said. “I got called out here for the block being out of power and only two houses didn’t complain about the power.”
The worker said he pulled the electrical panel on the outside of one of the homes to investigate the peculiar electrical behavior of the local grid and it reeked of pot.
Over 190 plants in various stages of growth were taken out of a house at 149 Noble Park Circle, Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputies said.
Patterson Police Sgt. Paul Yotsuya said the two houses might be connected.
“Generally when they’re this close together they’re related,” he said.
The houses weren’t lived in, as the bedrooms were all filled with elaborate lamp and ventilation systems to hide the smell of the plants.
The house at 104 actually had a living room with furniture and a television with a German shepherd dog left abandoned in the back of the house. A Stanislaus County Animal Control officer whisked away the poor abandoned pooch with an otherwise friendly demeanor.
Police are running down leads and investigating the incident to find suspects, but no one was caught or arrested Wednesday.
• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or email@example.com.