AFloridawoman who was allegedly shoplifting at a local department store hid in the ceiling for six hours before she was arrested by sheriff’s deputies.
Kristina Perkins, 37, of North Fort Myers, spent hours inside the Big Lots store in Port Charlotte, Florida on Thursday evening.
The manager of the store called police at around 7:30pm after noticing that Perkins went into the women’s restroom with a shopping cart full of merchandise, according to Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said Perkins filled the shopping cart with candy, makeup, and toys whose total value is just under $60.
When the manager tried to enter the restroom to check on Perkins, the door was blocked by a number of trash cans that were put there.
According to investigators, the manager managed to get inside the restroom, when he noticed that some of the tiles from the ceiling were missing.
Perkins was nowhere to be found, according to authorities.
When deputies arrived, they noticed that Perkins had hidden inside the ceiling.
Each time they removed a different ceiling tile, Perkins allegedly ignored deputies’ commands to surrender and moved to another part of the ceiling to avoid detection.
The store was evacuated because authorities feared Perkins would fall through the ceiling and injure other customers.
Sheriff’s deputies did a sweeping search of the ceiling and found Perkins had left a purse.
Inside the purse, authorities say she left three syringes, a spoon, and white residue that tested positive for morphine.
Deputies called off their search just after midnight, but one deputy did stay inside the store for surveillance.
Perkins then came down from the ceiling at around 1:40am – more than six hours after the initial 911 call.
As she came down to the ground, she was arrested and taken into custody, according to authorities.
The store will remain closed until repairs are made to the ceiling.
Perkins faces charges that include felony criminal mischief, theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting a merchant, and resisting law enforcement without violence.