RENO, Nev. – A man who had been living in the rafters of a Raley’s supermarket in Fernley, Nevada was arrested on Sept. 30 after employees noticed he had fallen through the ceiling, according to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.
A 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with burglary and obstructing a police officer after night shift employees at the grocery store found him while the store was closed.
“The day we apprehended this person, the reason they noticed him was because when he made it through the roof of the building and into the ceiling area of the grocery store, his foot went through the ceiling,” said Johnny Smith, captain of patrol for the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. “…He took a bad step and one of his feet went through the ceiling, exposing his foot to where people could see it and that’s what alerted the employees.”
Investigators discovered that the suspect had been using an exterior ladder outside of the building to climb up onto the roof and then down into the rafters of the store for at least a week before being found.
Smith also confirmed that the suspect had been stealing from the deli at the store and had set up a makeshift living area for himself.
“From my understanding, he did have a couple of tools and he did have a little spread because he had been pretty much living up there,” he said. “He had a few items to where he made himself at home.”
Officers were notified but were unable to retrieve the suspect after the police K9 on scene got stuck going in after him.
“When the deputies on scene were trying to negotiate with this guy to come out of the ceiling area and he was refusing, they sent the K9 in there,” Smith said. “The K9 went in there and unfortunately fell into some sort of shaft area and got stuck.”
North Lyon County Fire was then contacted by the police, who were able to recover both without injury.
Follow reporter Terell Wilkins on Twitter @terelljwilkins