close
close

Woman found living in a Michigan store sign told police it was a little-known ‘safe place’

Police in Michigan have released body camera video of an encounter with a woman who was living inside a sign on the roof of a grocery store.

MIDLAND, Michigan — A woman who lived inside a sign on the roof of a Michigan grocery store told police it was an “old safe haven” known to her family, although she did not explain why she decided to stay there for a year, according to the video of the meeting.

The 34-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, was very concerned about her possessions as police officers said she would have to immediately vacate an attic-like space inside the Family Fare sign in Midland, 130 miles away. (209 kilometers). ) north of Detroit.

The April 23 discovery was recently reported by the Associated Press and other media outlets. Police body camera video was later obtained by MLive.com under a public records request, and portions were posted online Tuesday.

“Believe it or not, you have a nickname,” one officer said, noting that some people apparently knew about her.

“Spider-Man or something?” the woman responded.

“No, rooftop ninja,” he said, referring to a stealthy warrior. “Tell me that’s not right.”

“That’s true,” he said.

Police were called to the store when contractors working on the roof followed an extension cord to the hiding place. The woman was inside when two officers asked her to open a small door on the back of the sign.

“Did anyone tell you about this?” one said.

The woman said it was an “old safe place” little known to most people in Midland, but “not anymore.”

The woman had a coffee maker, computer, bedding and a telephone. Another officer called the makeshift home “impressive” and wondered how she had survived the winter.

“I know how to deal with it. “I’ve been to Alaska,” the woman responded.

He asked for time to call his employer and get a truck to store his belongings. But the officers said no, making it clear that store staff would take the belongings and return them to them.

The woman appeared dressed in black and with ski goggles on her head. She said that she was sensitive to sunlight.

He asked the officers how they got to the roof.

“Ladder,” said one. “We’re not rooftop ninjas.”