Police uncovered a cannabis farm inside a St Helens house.
Officers discovered nearly 400 cannabis plants during a raid at a house on Albion Street.
The plants, which were in different stages of growth, were found in three upstairs bedrooms and the loft.
A total of 372 plants, with an estimated annual yield of nearly £1.5m, were removed from the property as well as sophisticated hydroponic growing equipment. The electricity was also found to have been illegally bypassed.
Detectives are keen to speak to a man described as Asian and about 5ft 6ins tall who had been seen entering and leaving the rented property over the past few weeks.
Neighbourhood inspector Dave Brennan said: “Cannabis cultivation by criminal gangs can cause serious harm in our communities. Criminal groups involved in the cultivation of cannabis are usually involved in other serious organised crime and they often rent residential properties such as this.
“The growing of cannabis also brings dangers to neighbouring properties. Cannabis farms are a serious fire risk. Those who set up these farms often tamper with the electricity meters to steal electricity, and there will generally be a number of hot lamps hooked to overloaded electricity sockets and an extensive watering system.
“Electricity and water are never a good combination and the fire service have seen an increase in the number of fires they have been called to as a result of fires caused by the crude systems put in place by the people who set up these farms.”
He added: “Our communities can help us stop these groups, who are only interested in making money, from turning houses and flats into potential death traps. Nobody wants to live next door to these houses and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property in a street for this purpose please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up.”
Anyone with any information can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6812, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.