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Bookstore in Collie used as Cannabis farm

Words by: Luke Hickey

Image Credit: Collie Mail

The De Angelis family in Collie had owned the Forrest Street building for the past 30 years. It was supposed to be celebrating its grand opening this month. Now, after a recent police operation that discovered and seized 53 cannabis inside,  Frank and Adonna De Angelis are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered investment.

The building on Forrest Street where the plants were discovered
The building on Forrest Street where the plants were discovered

“We worked hard to build this place, often working until the early hours of the morning. Now someone has destroyed it in a matter of weeks” said Mrs. De Angelis in the original interview with the Collie Mail. A 45-year-old Northam man, Brett Scott, was charged with the incident. Missing his court appearance, it is now understood that Mr. Scott has fled to New South Wales and is currently wanted by police.

Parts of the set-up
Remains of the set-up left behind

“The animals involved need to be locked up,” Mr De Angelis said. “They have lied and destroyed our little place.”

Remnants of the grow-op still litter the property 2 weeks after the initial raid. Aluminium sheets plastered in place of bookshelves, complex irrigation systems line the walls. The fact that it hid in plain sight for as long as it did in the middle of town is almost as stunning as it was brazen.

The De Angelis family are now left to deal with insurance costs, as well as the expensive utility bills left behind. Thankfully, some members of the Collie community have come forward with donations so that the town still has a hub for avid readers.