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Woman charged with burglarizing marijuana grow house in Apple Valley

By in Press Enterprise on August 30, 2017

By Stephen Ramirez

A burglary arrest led to a much bigger find Saturday in Apple Valley, the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department said.

Upon arriving at a residence in the 20600 block of Eyota Road where a burglary in progress had been reported, deputies discovered not only a suspect but also more than 1,400 marijuana plants growing inside, according to a news release.

Carrissa Rae Chandler, a transient who turned 37 just two days before her arrest, is suspected of trying to steal the pot and some of the equipment being used to grow it, authorities said. Several items were found inside her car.

The people responsible for the marijuana operation were not at the scene. The sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team is working to find them, with help from investigators with Southern California Edison.

Along with growing equipment including extra lighting, air conditioning, fans, exhaust blowers and air-filtering systems, authorities found devices designed to steal electricity, the release said.

Grow houses often bypass electric meters because of the high amount of power they require, which can clue investigators in to the illegal activity taking place there. Sheriff’s officials said the electricity stolen in this case could have been worth several thousand dollars.

Bypass devices can cause fires and explosions, sheriff’s officials noted.

Chandler was charged Tuesday with burglary and pleaded not guilty. She remains in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, with bail set at $75,000, jail records show.

Sheriff’s officials are asking anyone with more information about the case to call the Gangs/Narcotics Division at 909-387-8400 or the department at 760-240-7400. Anonymous tips may be submitted at 1-800-78CRIMEor www.wetip.com.

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