TWO plumbers were given a shock when police stormed a family home to uncover more than 20 cannabis plants.
The unsuspecting men were fitting a new bathroom when officers moved in on the house in The Rising, Billericay.
Once inside officers found more than 20 plants in a garage at the back of the property, which could reach a street value of up to £6,000.
Police also found a further 20 smaller plants in a locked upstairs bedroom which they had to force their way into.
Growing equipment, including specialist lighting, was also found, but the homes occupants and a 26-year-old man and a woman, believed to be his mum, were not at home leaving the plumbers to be quizzed by cops.
Pc Clara Hurrell-Smith, of Basildon Police Station, said: “This is a large haul worth thousands of pounds. The plants in the garage look like they are probably ready for harvest within the next few weeks, so we have seized them at the right time. We have taken a large quantity of cannabis off the streets.
“People think they can get away with growing cannabis, but this should send a clear message to people that they won’t. We know this goes on elsewhere in Billericay and we are determined to crack down on it.”
Police carried out the warrant after neighbours contacted Crimestoppers anonymously to report a suspicious smell coming from the back of the house.
Sgt Paul Costin added: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of another successful warrant.
“We will continue to act on intelligence given to us by members of the public in our war to stamp out the few who blight our neighbourhoods. I want people to know Essex Police delivers exactly what it says on the tin.”
The raid took place shortly after 9am on Friday.
The 26-year-old man returned while police were still searching the house and was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.
His mum is expected to be arrested for allowing her premises to be used for the production of the class B drug.
The male plumbers were detained under the warrant, but had nothing to do with the cannabis find.