PD: Burglar barricades himself inside the walls and ceiling of a Mesa business

Justin Jeremiah Stauffer.jpg
Posted at 12:46 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 01:26:57-04

MESA, AZ — A burglar is found in a Mesa business hiding in the walls and ceiling.

Mesa police report that on March 13 they were called to a business near Stapley and University drives for a reported burglary.

Officers were searching the insurance business when the suspect's foot reportedly broke through a drop ceiling tile.

The suspect, later identified as Justin Jeremiah Stauffer, age 29, fled by crawling through the ceiling. Police say he went up to the second floor by climbing up the inside of the wall.

Once on the second floor, he kicked through the wall and went into the attic, through the bathroom ceiling.

Police learned that the victim had weapons inside the business and some petty cash. Police say about 40 officers responded to the scene.

After a five-hour standoff, police used gas to get Stauffer out of the attic.

Stauffer was found in possession of the petty cash. Police also located two handguns, one inside a wall where he was hiding and the other in the bathroom.

Police say Stauffer wanted the money to buy drugs. The damage estimated is reported to be about $2,200.

Stauffer has been charged with criminal damage and burglary.