DRUGS valued at £330,000 were seized by police after its ‘eye in the sky’ spotted a cannabis factory in Hillfields, Coventry, that was ‘lit up like a lighthouse’.
The helicopter was on the lookout for a car which failed to stop when its thermal imaging cameras picked up the heat source from a disused shop.
Heat sources like that often indicate cannabis factories as they require lots of heat and light to grow.
Information was passed to the St Michael’s city centre team the suspicions were confirmed when a warrant was carried out at the property at the junction of Harnall Lane East and Jesmond Road.
A total of 337 cannabis plants were seized from the property along with electrical equipment and an extensive hydroponics system used to water the crop.
PC Antony Coy from the city centre team said: “It was a professional set up.
“Offenders were stealing mains electricity to power the cannabis farm – and had even tarmacked the pavement which they’d dug up to wire directly into the street supply.
“The building had a reinforced steel door which we forced open and there was also an escape hatch in the bathroom leading to an adjacent flat.”
Two machetes were also recovered from the site.
Police described it as a ‘big recovery’ and a ‘significant blow to the organised criminals who would have invested a lot of time and money into setting up the drugs factory.
The shop and flat were empty at the time of the raids and enquiries are continuing.
Anyone with any information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.