Northumbria Police officers executing a search warrant in South Shields were ready to accept defeat – until they smelt the large plants while out on the street.
As part of a number of early-morning raids on, officers attended an address on Forth Court, off Harton Lane, looking for a man wanted in connection with a burglary in the town.
With the suspect nowhere to be seen, officers were ready to return to the station and map out their next move.
But a strong aroma soon led officers to one of the property’s rear bedrooms where a small cannabis farm was discovered.
The drugs, thought to have an estimated street value of £4,000, were seized and the farm subsequently dismantled.
A 30-year-old man was interviewed under caution and is to be summoned to court in relation to alleged cannabis production.
Inquiries are ongoing to trace the wanted man following the find, which was made on Wednesday.
Anyone who wants to report suspicious behaviour to police can do so by calling 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact .