A Florida woman who was accused of shoplifting at a Big Lots store hid inside the ceiling for more than six hours to avoid deputies.
According to ABC Action News, Kristina Perkins,37, used an entire cart of goods and used garbage cans as a barricade so she could climb into the ceiling from the woman’s restroom at a Big Lots in Charlotte County. The escape attempt happened after the store manager contacted police around 7:30 p.m. After deputies arrived at the scene, Perkins continued to crawl inside the ceiling and ignored their commands as the tiles were being removed. Authorities evacuated the store and the fire department used ladders along with a thermal imaging system to locate Perkins.
The search ended around 12:30 a.m. and one of the deputies stayed behind to secure the store overnight.
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Perkins was eventually arrested at 1:40 a.m. after she climbed out of the ceiling and down some shelves then went on the ground. Police charged her with felony criminal mischief, petty theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting law enforcement without arrest.
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The store’s ceiling will need repairs since Perkins damaged its exterior and interior and the store will remain closed until the repairs are completed.