Watch CBS News

Shoplifter Hiding In Ceiling Stole $8.50 Worth Of Goods

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)--She was running from police, but it's where a shoplifter chose to hide that has some arbutus customers in disbelief.

Amy Yensi has the details.

It was about $8.00 worth of groceries, but it cost police 7 hours and a lot of resources.

SWAT teams, a mandatory evacuation and a scissor lift--Baltimore County police pulling out all the stops to arrest a shoplifter who lodged herself above the highest walls of the Giant store in Arbutus.

Crews erring on the side of caution, fearing where the shoplifter was hiding could cause the ceiling to collapse.

Police say the woman climbed on top of some items, making her way into the area above the ceiling.

Sky-Eye Chopper 13 was over the 4600 block of Wilckens Avenue as authorities were on scene.

The suspect's unusual escape route forced to police shutdown the store.

Corporal John Wachter says supermarket security detained the woman at around 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon for stealing a bag of chips and some hair accessories totaling $8.50.

"They took her back to the lost prevention office, but she ran off when they found some needles in her purse. She ran to the back of the store, up onto a catwalk and then disappeared into the ceiling," said Cpl. John Wachter.

A few ceiling tiles did fall but store suffered no other damage. At the Giant, the incident and peculiar getaway is all anyone talks about.

Yensi: "In 32 years that you've been coming here, have you ever heard of a person coming up?"

Wallis Minor says, "Never, never. I saw it on the four o'clock news and I was like, that's my Giant!"

"Well I'm glad they evacuated because, I mean, that helps my safety and everyone else's," said one shopper.

Authorities say that shoplifting suspects are usually prosecuted by the store and then let go. This incident though, is far from usual.

When they finally got her out the suspect told police she was in pain and was taken to a local hospital, where she remains.

WJZ reached did reach out to Giant and we were told they are not making any comments about the incident.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.