Burglary suspect captured in ceiling of Ace Hardware store

Updated:

Roger Smith is accused of breaking into the Hagan Ace Hardware on Blanding Blvd. Authorities say he tried to escape through the ceiling.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

A man from Middleburg is accused of breaking into a local hardware store and trying to sneak out through the ceiling.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office arrested Roger James Smith, 42, last week at the Hagan Ace Hardware on Blanding Boulevard.

Investigators said the alarm went off when he smashed through the front door.

Responding deputies spotted Smith in the garden center of the store.  When he saw them, he took off running.


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A short time later, deputies heard noises coming from the ceiling.  Smith, according to the report, told deputies he was giving up and dropped out of the ceiling.

Investigators found a  ladder up against the wall.  They also recovered black gloves, a small flashlight and a baseball hat from the ceiling area.

Authorities said Smith tried to steal more than $3,200 worth of merchandise, from binoculars to clothing and tools.

Smith had a previous arrest warrant for violation of probation.