For everyone who’s ever dreamt of cutting out the daily commute, take heart.
A Washington crook has managed just that – by moving into the ceiling space above the grocery store he steals from.
It’s an arrangement with clear advantages: no need to run a car or take a bus when one’s thieving shift is a mere skip and a jump away; flexibility to work nights when the fancy takes.
The major downside would seem a heightened risk of detection. Puzzlingly, though, law enforcement are yet to nab the rogue homeworker, even after 5 tries.
Officers were first called to the scene of the crime – the Haggen Northwest Fresh grocery store in Auburn, Washington – on Christmas Day, according to a local police Facebook post published at the weekend.
A suspect had reportedly stolen “thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes and liquor.” What’s more, the masked perp was even caught on store surveillance footage, which police shared in the social media update.
However, although police have since responded to 4 more calls from the same store, most recently on Jan. 17, they continue to draw a blank.
Each time employees described either seeing the suspect or hearing him in the rafters above the ceiling. One even spotted a man’s legs in a supply closet dangling from above, WHTR reports.
But after thorough searches of up to 4.5 hours of the space above the store’s false ceiling, police have not found their man – only the tell-tale tools of his trade.
Auburn police commander Mike Hirman detailed the ample evidence of someone gaining access via a vent in the roof and using the space as a lair, including jackets, tools, gloves, rope and other debris.
And yet, in spite of the hot pursuit being ramped up with trained dogs and infrared technology, the baffling bandit remains at large.
“It’s very difficult,” Hirman said. “There are many, many little hiding places where he could’ve been. It’s such a large store, and it’s very crowded with venting and everything.”
Stay tuned for an update on this protracted yet unmissable game of cat and mouse. And remember to watch what you get up to indoors: some ceilings have eyes.
|Location:||22 miles south of Seattle|
|Median Household Income:||$64,400|
|Quirky Fact:||Residents began calling the city “Auburn” 2 years after its incorporation, when they decided they disliked the connotations of the original name, “Slaughter.”|