Shoplifting suspect hides in drop ceiling for nearly two hours to evade police at Chelsea Market Basket

A Bedford woman accused of shoplifting was arraigned today after spending nearly two hours in the ceiling Tuesday night at a Chelsea Market Basket, trying to hide from authorities, officials said.

The Chelsea Fire Department responded to the supermarket at 170 Everett Ave. just after 8:30 p.m. to provide backup for the police as a shoplifter evaded arrest, said Chelsea Fire Captain Michael Masucci.

Police wanted firefighters to help get the woman down from the drop ceiling, Masucci said.

Using multiple ladders throughout the store and a thermal imaging camera, responders located the woman, Masucci said. She was found after 10 p.m., trapped between two walls in the back of the store.


Masucci said those at the scene were concerned about the woman injuring herself if she fell from the ceiling.

“At one point, we could see her walking along the light fixtures in the ceiling,’’ Masucci said. “They were bowing under her weight.’’

When the woman was pulled from the ceiling, she had lacerations on her hand but was otherwise unharmed.

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