HESPERIA – Three were arrested after burglarizing a home in order to steal marijuana grow equipment that was abandoned inside on Wednesday. At around 1:30 p.m. deputies from the Hesperia station responded to 10679 9th Avenue in the City of Hesperia for the report of a residential burglary in progress. When they arrived they located the three suspects, 33-year-old Hesperia resident, Jon Simpson, 36-year-old transient Carrissa Rae Chandler, and 40-year-old transient Stephen Travis Stoddard.
All three were detained without incident. Upon investigation, deputies learned the Simpson lived next door to the home. The deputies searched the location for any additional suspects, but none were found. While searching, deputies located an abandoned indoor marijuana grow inside of the home. There were no live marijuana plants located, but there were several pieces of growing equipment inside. The Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) arrived to assist in the investigation.
Search warrants of both homes were served at the locations. “Investigators determined the indoor marijuana grow was harvested and abandoned several weeks ago,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials said in the news release. “The occupants of the residence had not been seen since.” Authorities believe that the suspects were aware that the home was abandoned and contained the marijuana growing equipment. The suspects decided to burglarize the home in order to steal the equipment. During the search of Simpson’s property, several items were found.
During the investigation, an electrical bypass was located at the grow house which allowed the occupants of the grow house to conceal the operation and steal electricity. Authorities said that the particular grow operation was capable of producing 700-800 marijuana plants. As with most marijuana grow used advanced lighting system, air conditioning systems, fans, exhaust blowers, and air filtering systems throughout the house to control the indoor climate and to keep the odor from exiting the home.
The bypass equipment is used to conceal the high amount of electricity needed to power the equipment needed to operate the marijuana grow. “The extreme measures taken to avoid being caught not only risks the lives of the suspects but also endangers the public living in close proximity of the residence,” Sheriff’s officials said. “An electrical short caused by the modified wiring most likely would have resulted in an explosion or fire in the residential community causing possible injuries to bystanders near the residence.” This not not only conceals the high usage, but causes the suspects to not be charged for the usage. Southern California Edison (SCE) loss prevention investigators responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.
Chandler, Simpson, and Stoddard were arrested and booked into the High Desert Detention Center for burglary. The burglary will be investigated by the Hesperia Police Department. The MET, and SCE will continue the investigation in order to identify the suspects involved in the marijuana cultivation and electricity theft.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation or is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)890-4840 or Hesperia Police Department at (760)947-1500. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
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