• meth labAfter reading a letter online from a concerned parent, I couldn’t resist this one. I should start by asserting that however flippant this post seems, it’s really not a funny subject. With all the condos out there being rented by investors who were unable to flip, many of them out of state, it’s not surprising that most landlords have no idea what’s going on in their second homes. Clandestine meth labs are an increasing problem. A rented apartment or house is the perfect place to set up shop for these extremely portable labs — operators hope to stay below the radar and quickly move on to the next location. Nice properties aren’t immune, nor will criminals necessarily hide out in rural areas. But if you’re vigilant, you can increase your chances of detecting them.

    Having issued that disclaimer, let’s do it! Here are your Top 10 warning signs:

    1.) There are large numbers of cold tablet containers, which contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in the trash, a necessary component in meth production;
    2.) You also find numerous cans of Coleman fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starting fluid, Red Devil Lye, drain cleaners and sulfuric acid or muriatic acid;
    3.) Perhaps even excessive propane canisters, which may have valves that have turned blue or begun to corrode;
    4.) You notice coffee filters or glass jars containing white crystals, shiny purple crystals, or dark red sludge; and large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped;
    5.) Your residents or guests are nervously going outside to smoke (meth labs often explode when exposed to a spark);
    6.) You notice strong odors in the vicinity of your condo, which may resemble nail polish remover, ammonia, chlorine and model airplane glue;
    7.) Your legitimate requests to enter a resident’s unit are met with extreme resistance — this person may simply be non-cooperative or extremely shy, or have something nefarious to hide;
    8.) You notice different people coming and going at odd hours of the day and night;
    9.) Next door neighbors complain about feeling jittery or say they feel ‘high’ for no apparent reason;
    10.) The cops have kicked your door in and there is black and yellow hazard tape where your door used to be.

    If you suspect meth activity, do not confront your residents. Call the police right away. In the unhappy event that such an operation is discovered on your property, be sure to conduct a proper meth lab clean-up, which you’ll have to do even after the official cleaners have done the first sweep. Many states impose specific procedures, and because of the dangers posed by the residue of the chemicals used in production, you simply can’t be too careful. You can look up your state’s requirements online. If you’re wanting to build a meth lab yourself, you can probably find those instructions online too.

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