A landlady's efforts to track down tenants who had failed to pay their rent led to the discovery of a cannabis farm worth £96,000.
Northumbria Police officers are searching for the tenants of the abandoned Sunderland home after they discovered a haul of Class B drugs in the loft.
About 120 plants, believed to be worth £800 each, were seized from the house in Eden House Road, in Eden Vale, Sunderland, on Saturday after the property’s landlady contacted police in the hope of tracing the tenants who had stopped paying their rent.
When officers visited the address, alongside the property’s owner, they discovered the farm, which spanned the entire length and width of the loft.
The drugs were later destroyed by a team of officers from Sunderland’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, with the equipment found inside the house dumped in a skip by the officers.
Neighbourhood beat manager, Pc Alastair Stewart, who led the raid, said: “The public are so often our eyes and ears in the local community and this case proves no different.
“We cannot be on every street corner at the same time and so calls like this are vital to keeping our streets safe and building up intelligence.
“This was a pretty substantial find for us and shows we have a zero tolerance towards drug use in the force area.
“I would encourage residents to continue reporting issues to us so we can have an accurate picture of what is happening and where we are making progress.
"If anyone has information about that might help us trace the owners of this farm, please contact us on 101 quoting log 541 27/10/18.”
Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org/.