All Kansas Cities

Know Your Meth

Last year, when we saw a jump up in methamphetamine manufacturing in Kansas, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) got on the case. We ended the year with 143 incidents, a large number compared to some states, but not significantly different than past numbers for our state.

At the KBI website, there’s critical information available to the public on what a meth lab looks like, how to spot one and what to do if you encounter a suspected lab. Also of interest is information for retailers. Just like any other manufacturer, a meth cook need ingredients. Some of the items to be aware of that might be used in a meth cook:

• Common cold pills containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
• Acetone
• Alcohol (Isopropyl or rubbing)
• Toluene
• Engine Starter (ether)
• Coffee Filters
• Heet (Methanol/Alcohol)
• Table Salt
• Batteries (Lithium)
• Propane Tank (Anhydrous Ammonia)
• Red Devil Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
• Matches (Red Phosphorus)
• Pyrex Dishes
• Muriatic Acid

Retailers are advised to report anyone who buys these items in unusual quantities or through multiple purchases. The same advice applies to landlords or parents who spot these materials – they are the ingredients meth cooks use to whip up a batch of poison.

Other telltale signs are odd smells, covered windows, people smoking outside (explosive vapors are generated when meth is made), or deliveries of glassware or other scientific equipment. The KBI also say to look for odd traffic patterns. A location will usually have no one visiting until a cook is completed, and then there may suddenly be many visitors who come and leave shortly thereafter.

If you spot such activity or other warning signs, the KBI has an anonymous line to report your suspicions – 1-800- KS-CRIME. For retailers, there’s an online form that can be sent to register suspicious purchases.

Citizens are cautioned to take no direct action themselves. Our role is to report and let the professionals handle it.

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