‘Rooftop Ninja’: Woman lives undetected in Michigan store sign for a year

The woman was found living in the space behind the Family Fare grocery store sign in Midland, Mich. Dave Clark / Midland Daily News via The Associated Press

A woman who had been living in a sign of a Michigan grocery store for about a year was captured on police body cam footage telling police it was a “safe spot” for her to live.

The saga began about a month ago when a contractor working on the roof of the Family Fare store in Midland noticed an extension cord running into a door on the back of the sign.

When he opened the door, he was greeted by the 34-year-old woman, reported.

The makeshift home was reported to police, who visited the woman and captured the interaction on body camera. After a Freedom of Information Act request, police shared the video and it was published on this week.

“I’m moving out of here in 24 hours to get away from all of this,” the woman tells the officers when they first greet her.

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The video continues, with the officers eventually coaxing the woman out, complimenting her on her neat and tidy space and healthy food, and reminding her that if she returns to the property she’ll be arrested.

Officer Brennon Warren of the Midland Police Department told The Associated Press that the woman had made herself quite comfortable in the sign’s approximate 40-square feet.

“There was some flooring that was laid down. A mini desk,” he said. “Her clothing. A Keurig coffee maker. A printer and a computer — things you’d have in your home.”

Police did not name the woman, but said she was cooperative and agreed to leave. She was not charged with any crimes.

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“We provided her with some information about services in the area,” said Warren. “She apologized and continued on her way. Where she went from there, I don’t know.” previously reported that the woman told officers she’d been living in the sign for about a year, but officers never learned how she was accessing the roof every day.

“People would see her from time to time and then all of a sudden she would vanish,” Warren told USA Today, saying she eventually was dubbed the ‘Rooftop Ninja’ by locals. “No one knew where she went but no one ever indicated or thought that she would be up on top of the roof.”

USA Today reports that the woman left the same day she was called on by police, but wasn’t able to take all of her possessions with her. Family Fare is in connection with her and is helping her remove the rest of her stuff.

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“We are proud of our associates for responding to this situation with the utmost compassion and professionalism,” the Family Fare Supermarkets chain said in an emailed statement to People.

“Ensuring there is ample safe, affordable housing continues to be a widespread issue nationwide that our community needs to partner in solving.”

Warren said it’s an unusual story that he won’t soon forget.

“It’s a story that makes you scratch your head, just somebody living up in a sign.”

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