Restaurant burglar gets stuck in vent shaft

Photo Source: CNN
Photo Source: CNN

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (CNN) - A suspected burglar's attempt to break into a Virginia restaurant over the weekend didn't end so well. Authorities say the man climbed onto the roof and tried to get in through the vent shaft only to get stuck on his way down.

Tom Mills, owner of Halloween World, which is next door to Harold's Family Grill, said arriving at work Saturday was an unusually chaotic scene.

"We don't generally open to five fire trucks and three EMS squads and two police cars," Mills said. "Not usually. Even in the Halloween business, we don't."

Authorities said the intruder was stuck for nearly seven hours before the owner of the restaurant discovered the intruder's feet dangling over the grill. With saws and the Jaws of Life, firefighters worked to free him.

"We had to disable the ventilation system. Also, his fire suppression system was disabled," said Ken Pravetz, battalion chief for the Virginia Beach, VA Fire Department. "So, he's going to be out of business for at least the day, probably longer."

After an hour and 45 minutes of work by the firefighters the trapped intruder was free - sort of. He was taken to a local hospital and questioned by police.

Police say the intruder, who was a former restaurant employee, could face charges of breaking and entering.