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Florida woman climbs into Big Lots ceiling to avoid shoplifting charge, police say

Officers used ladders to take down tiles throughout the store.
Credit: AP Images for Big Lots
A general view of the exterior of the North Bergen Big Lots store during the Big Lots Store Opening on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 in North Bergen, N.J.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Officials say a Florida woman tried to avoid shoplifting charges by climbing into the ceiling of a Big Lots store, leading deputies on a five-hour search.

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that 37-year-old Kristina Perkins went into the store restroom and climbed up the ceiling by removing some tiles. 

Officers arrived and used ladders to take down tiles throughout the store, making contact with Perkins at times. She ignored commands to come down and moved to other areas. 

Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Kristina Perkins

An hour after the search was called off past midnight on Friday, a deputy stayed and saw Perkins climbing down a stack of shelves.

Perkins faces criminal mischief, petit theft, resisting law enforcement without violence and other charges. Sheriff deputies found three syringes and morphine residue in her purse.

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