Police: Burglary suspects caught hiding in ceiling

Published: Jan. 12, 2017 at 7:28 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 3, 2017 at 11:51 PM CDT
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Source: Longview Police Department
Source: Longview Police Department

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Two suspects are in custody after hiding from police in the ceiling of a business they were allegedly attempting to burglarize.

At 1:38 p.m. Wednesday, Longview Police Department officers were called to a commercial burglary in progress in the 1200 block of West Marshall Avenue.

The department says that when officers arrived, they could hear someone inside the building. Officers contacted the owner and when the doors were unlocked, they could hear the suspects' voices.

Police say responders also saw property inside that was placed in a location where it could be easily removed from the building. The owner told police that was not where the property belonged.

Officers eventually located a man and a woman hiding in the drop ceiling of the building where police say they had climbed to avoid detection.

The female suspect, later identified as Rhian Nichole Ahart, 19, of Longview, was compliant. And officers said Ahart came down from the ceiling when she was instructed to do so. She was taken into custody and charged with burglary of a building. Ahart also had a warrant for bond forfeiture for a prior criminal trespassing charge.

Police say the male suspect, later identified as Joe King Powell, 36, of Longview, attempted to evade arrest by crawling around in the ceiling for about 20 minutes.

Powell was charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest/detention. Powell also had warrants for bond forfeiture for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and theft, as well as a warrant out of Harrison County for theft of property with two or more previous convictions, a warrant for credit/debit card abuse, and two Class C misdemeanor warrants.

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