Police officers uncovered a huge £200,000 drugs farm at a house in Sunderland.
Northumbria Police officers went to a home on Railway Terrace North in New Herrington shortly after 4am on Monday after a member of the public reported they thought a burglary was taking place.
The eagle-eyed witness spotted a group of men attempting to barge their way into the home but the group left a short time later empty-handed.
That prompted police to carry out a search of the area, and upon entering the home, they found a man fast asleep on the settee.
Officers also found a cannabis farm inside worth an estimated £200,000.
More than 200 plants at various stages of growth were seized and it transpired that the electricity had also been by-passed.
A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug and he remains in police custody.
Sergeant Steve Passey, of Northumbria Police, said: “It’s safe to say the suspect was a little surprised when he was awoken by our officers and swiftly escorted into a custody cell.
“But this was an important discovery of a drugs farm worth a significant amount of money – with plants found growing in various rooms of the property.
“Not only was this an illicit operation, but it was a highly dangerous one too. The set-up was an amateur one and could so easily have resulted in a fire that threatened the lives of not only the occupants, but families living in neighbouring properties too.
“Nobody wants to live next to a potential death trap, and that’s why it’s absolutely crucial that people report this kind of criminality to us.
“Thankfully, the swift actions of the member of the public who saw something suspicious and rightly reported it has helped us dismantle this farm and keep the drugs out of the hands of the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Anyone who suspects drug-related criminality in their area is asked to contact the police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling 101.
Alternatively, you can pass on information through independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.
In an emergency or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.