Police responding to reports of a burglary in a leafy Solihull suburb were surprised to discover a cannabis factory.

Officers found a “substantial” number of plants after being called to a burglary in progress at the house in Warwick Road.

Police tape was stretched across the front of the house and its driveway yesterday as officers and forensics experts examined the scene for evidence.

A small section of the garage door also appeared to have been cut open and bent outwards.

The alarm was raised shortly after 7pm on Sunday. Police said no one was in the house, a stone’s throw from Olton Golf Course, at the time and inquiries were continuing.

A spokesman said: “No arrests have been made at this stage but inquiries are continuing.”

It is the second cannabis haul found in a detached home in the area in recent weeks. On April 11, a landlord discovered hundreds of plants growing under lamps in the bedrooms of a property on Warwick Road, near the junction with Park Avenue, Solihull.

According to the most recent figures, police smashed a record number of cannabis factories hidden away in suburban homes across the West Midlands last year.

A total of 174 cannabis factories were found in the region in 2004 but this rocketed to 672 – almost two a day – by the end of last year.

In many cases family-style homes had been rented out and transformed into factories under the noses of unsuspecting neighbours.