Secret Shopper: Police Arrest Man Thought to Be Hiding in Grocery Store Ceiling Since December

As kids, we dreamt of hiding away in a store and waiting until it closed so we could creep out during the night and play with toys until we passed out. As adults, we have a similar fantasy. But, ours revolves around food and drinks. We’d love to find a nice hiding spot at our favorite grocery store, wait for it to close and pop out and gorge ourselves on Cheetos, Ring Dings, and beer. We’d never actually do it, though, as we’re upstanding citizens, right? Well, someone actually did and you might assume they stayed for a night and then got away. No, they pretty much took up residency in the ceiling of a supermarket in Auburn, Washington.

Back on Dec. 25, police in Auburn were called to a local supermarket, where they found rope, various pieces of clothing, and gloves on tools at the Haggan Northwest Fresh Market. It was assumed that a burglar made his way out a vent, never to be heard from again. But in January, employees at the supermarket said that they heard what appeared to be footsteps overhead. Someone even caught a glimpse of a man. But, when police searched the store, all they found were deals on expired Christmas candy. No sign of a strange man hiding in the vents.

It wasn’t until the end of January, after employees began to forget about the whole ordeal, that the man was actually spotted by the store’s surveillance cameras. When they zoomed in, they didn’t find him holding a sack of cold cuts. He was hoarding cartons of cigarettes. It turns out the man in question wasn’t actually living in the ceiling above the store. The former roofer was actually climbing into the store to pillage, then clambering back out the way he came in night after night. When the police figured out who he was, he was caught with over $8,000 of stolen goods including a large stash of cigarettes, alcohol, and even a 17-pound wheel of cheese. His excursions also caused more than $13,000 in damage to the building. Who knows whether he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t been so greedy? The big question is how in the world did he carry out that cheese wheel without being seen?

Photo: Михаил Руденко (Getty Images)

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