Theft of backyard marijuana plants common since legalization: Guelph Police

The Guelph Police Service says the recent theft of a six-foot-tall marijuana plant from a backyard in the city is one of a number of such incidents that have been reported locally since pot was legalized.

In a news release, Guelph Police said the plant was growing in a garden of a residence near the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Stevenson Street South when it was cut at the root sometime between Monday evening early Tuesday morning.

In a phone interview, const. Kyle Grant said the theft is not an isolated incident.

“This is something that has happened routinely since in was legalized,” said Grant. “It’s something we are seeing more and more.”

The Cannabis Act allows adults to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household.

Grant said the thefts are difficult to curb because the plants are most often grown outdoors, often in plain sight, and the plants can also give off a distinctive odour.

“This one was six feet tall, that’s pretty hard to miss,” said Grant.

He said people who want to grow marijuana in their backyard should think about investing in a fence with a locked gate, motion sensor lights and a video surveillance system.

Grant noted that police were investigating people growing marijuana illegally just a short time ago, but now it is a crime to steal the plants that are grown legally.

“I think there is a change in societal perception,” said Grant. “As time goes on it won’t seem so stange.”

Police are asking anyone with any information about this incident to contact const. Shannon Carroll by phone at 519-824-1212 ext. 7357 or to email her at,

Anonymous tips can be left at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at

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