“Thief” hides in mall’s ceiling, escapes

(The Freeman) - July 3, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Questions on the theft incidents in various stores at the second floor of a mall in barangay Tabunok, Talisay City were answered when last Monday afternoon, people saw a man’s foot hanging from a weak portion of the ceiling of a cosmetics store.

A curios crowd gathered Monday evening at the vicinity of the shopping mall as police and mall personnel fogged the ceiling in an attempt to force the thief to come out.

Police and security guards waited from Monday until yesterday but saw no trace of the man, who used cardboard boxes for his bed at the ceiling where he stored food like canned goods and junk foods, mineral water, and several clothing.

Authorities did not risk running after the thief in the ceiling, where there were unsafe portions and where some electrical wires were already peeled off.

The thief was caught in the closed-circuit television camera of the mall wearing a long-sleeved polo as the mall was about to close for the evening. He is again caught on camera going out of the mall as it opened in the morning, believed to be hiding stolen items under his clothes.


SPO1 Mikie Espina told The Freeman yesterday that the presence of the thief in the ceiling was discovered when the man stepped on the weak part of the ceiling at the cosmetic store at the second floor at past 5:00 p.m. last Monday.

The thief ran towards the beauty salon area, also on the second floor.

After inspection of the mall, Espina said they found that the thief used the male comfort room on the same floor in climbing to the ceiling.

It seemed that the theft had used the ceiling as his house, said Espina, who believes the thief was in and out of ceiling since last month, when theft incidents were reported.

Authorities believe that the thief escaped from the mall ceiling to the back of the mall at around 3 a.m. yesterday, when somebody was heard running at the mall’s back area.

The police asked the mall management for an inventory of all the items stolen as the basis for filing of the case./JPM (FREEMAN)

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