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Woman Found Living In Michigan Grocery Store Sign Calls It A 'Safe Spot'

A woman who lived inside a sign on the roof of a Michigan grocery store for a year was discovered by police. She called it an 'old safe spot' known to her family but didn't explain why she chose to stay there. Police discovered her when contractors followed an extension cord to her hideaway.

Family Fare grocery store in Midland Photo: AP

A 34-year-old woman, whose name hasn't been released, was found living in a hidden space inside the sign on the roof of a Family Fare grocery store in Midland, about 130 miles north of Detroit. She told police it was an "old safe spot" known to her family, although she didn't explain why she chose to live there for a year.

The discovery was made on April 23, when contractors working on the roof followed an extension cord to the small attic-like space inside the sign. Police body camera footage of the encounter, recently released by MLive.com through a public records request, shows the moment officers found the woman.

“Believe it or not, you’ve got a nickname,” an officer said to her. “Some people apparently knew about you.”

"Spiderman or something?” the woman asked.

“No, roof ninja,” the officer replied, referring to a stealthy warrior. “Tell me that ain’t cool.”

“That’s true,” the woman agreed.

Police asked her to leave immediately, and she was very concerned about her belongings. She had made the space quite livable with a coffee maker, computer, bedding, and phone. One officer commented on how "impressive" her setup was and wondered how she managed to survive the cold Michigan winter.

“I know how to deal with that. I’ve been in Alaska,” she responded.

The woman asked for time to call her employer and arrange for a truck to store her belongings, but the officers said no, explaining that the store staff would handle her possessions and return them to her.

She emerged from the hideaway dressed in black clothing with ski goggles on her head, explaining she was sensitive to sunlight.

When she asked the officers how they got onto the roof, one replied, “Ladder. We’re not a roof ninja.”

The woman’s unique living situation surprised many, and the police encounter highlighted both her resourcefulness and the hidden challenges she faced.