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Man climbs in ceiling of store to hide from cops

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A man was charged after police say he climbed into the ceiling of a Morganton gas station to avoid being arrested by police early Friday morning.

Officers were dispatched at 3:38 a.m. to the Speedway Convenience Store at the corner of West Union Street and Sanford Drive after an alarm was activated in the store. The security company said a man was in the store moving around in the office area, according to a release from the Morganton Department of Public Safety.

When they arrived on scene, officers found the store locked and saw the man enter the office area and close the door, the release said.

Officers entered the store after a manager arrived on scene and found that the man climbed into the ceiling to try to hide from police.

They identified the intruder as 32-year-old Johnny Lee, and he was found to have cigarettes, lottery tickets, keys and a variety of gift cards in his pockets that belonged to the store, the release said.

Lee was charged with misdemeanor larceny, resist, obstruct or delay and possession of stolen goods, according to the release.

He was booked at the Burke County Jail where he is being held under a $10,000 secured bond, the release said. His next court date is set for Oct. 30.


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