Man Found Living In Rafters After His Foot Burst Through Store's Ceiling

An employee at a grocery store in Nevada was shocked when he noticed a man's foot dangling from the ceiling as he opened up just after 5 a.m. As the employee called the police, the man, later identified as Matthew Hammer, 35, crawled back into the rafters.

"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," Johnny Smith, captain of patrol for the Lyon County Sheriff's Office, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "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."

Officers tried to get Hammer to come out of the building, but he refused. They sent in a police dog after him, but the dog "fell into some sort of shaft area and got stuck." Firefighters were called to the scene and were able to rescue the dog and apprehended Hammer.

Investigators determined that Hammer had been living in the rafters for about a week. They said he used a ladder to get onto the roof and would then climb down into the building.

"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."

Hammer was charged with obstructing a police officer and burglary for allegedly stealing items from the store's deli.

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