Police said Tuesday the incident happened at about 11 a.m. Friday in the 14800 block of Goggs Avenue in White Rock.
When White Rock RCMP officers arrived at the rental house, they found the 11-month-old child fiddling with the phone while his 29-year-old dad sat watching television.
“He was surprised to see us,” Const. Janelle Canning said.
The 911 call was a hang-up call and police had heard no voices. The dad, whose name has not been released, protested that he hadn’t called 911 and his son didn’t know how to use the phone.
Nevertheless, police checked the place out because of the amount of condensation on the house’s windows and found the pot-growing operation in a locked room.
The dad was then arrested and was expected to appear in court in early April on charges of mischief and production of a controlled substance. The child, who Canning described as being a “very cute little boy,” was picked up by Ministry of Children and Family Development workers and released into his mom’s custody.
She is separated from his father and didn’t live at the house. “The mother claimed she had no idea what was going on,” Canning said.
“The ministry will continue their investigation to ensure ongoing protection of this child,” she added.
Police are especially concerned when children are living in houses used to grow pot. In this case, Canning noted, the child had no access to the locked room. But condensation, which encourages mould growth and the presence of spores in the air, is a health concern. So is the risk of fire from illegal hydro bypasses, though police didn’t find a bypass in this particular case. There’s also the risk of being targeted for a “grow rip,” or robbery.
“There’s a whole multitude of problems with having a grow-operation,” Canning said. “That’s why the ministry was called immediately.”
Canning recalled a case in south Surrey about two years ago when a newborn baby was taken into protective custody after police found the child in a house containing a pot-growing operation.