Former cop seeks out grow-ops with heat vision
A former B.C. Mountie is offering a new service that could help landlords tell if their tenants are operating marijuana grow-ops.
Brian Goldstone of Griffin Security uses infrared cameras to detect unusual amounts of heat inside a home from the outside, and he wants landlords to hire him to search for marijuana operations on their properties.
"The only way to be certain is to go inside and have a look, but this gives the landlord a reason to go have a look," he told CTV News.
The service would cost landlords $75 per month.
The modifications done to turn a home into a grow-op can virtually destroy the property, and landlords risk forfeiting their homes to the government if grow-ops are discovered inside. In February, a B.C. judge approved the seizure of two East Vancouver homes worth nearly $1 million in total from a single landlord after grow operations were discovered inside.
Some communities in the Lower Mainland have tried cracking down on grow-ops through controversial bylaws monitoring electricity use.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart says he's unsure about the new technology, but supports the idea of property owners taking action to protect their investment.
"I wouldn't want this tool to be used as the only one for a landlord. Clearly the landlord that is contemplating it is going to have to go and have a look himself. The law does permit landlords to go in and have a look," he said.
The law does say, however, that tenants have the right to a reasonable degree of privacy.
The BC Civil Liberties Association says the infrared scan falls into a legal grey area.
"Is it reasonable for your landlord to be conducting such an inspection of your heat usage in your house? Would that be considered reasonable? We're not sure -- we haven't seen that case yet," BCCLA Policy Director Micheal Vonn said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Brent Shearer