The Lakeland Commons Haggen closed twice Wednesday after reports of an individual possibly being located in the store’s ceiling.
“Around 4:30am this morning [Auburn police were] called to Haggen [on] Lake Tapps Pkwy because employees inside observed a foot hanging down from the ceiling,” said Commander Mike Hirman of the Auburn Police Department.
“Several units responded and searched extensively until shortly after 8:00am, without finding the suspect,” Hirman continued.
Valley Regional Fire Authority was dispatched, using their thermal FLIR unit to assist during the search.
“They cleared the scene without finding the suspect, thinking that [the individual] somehow got out,” said Hirman.
Shortly before 2:00pm, Auburn police were called back to Haggen because employees heard footsteps in the rafters.
The store was closed to allow police to securely search the store. Current customers in the store were permitted to exit, but no new customers were allowed to enter the store. Employees were sequestered in a central location in the front of the store.
VRFA was called out a second time to assist with the search.
Officers entered the rafters and searched for anyone who may be hiding up there. Hirman confirmed no evidence of anyone living in the rafters, such as a sleeping bag or other personal items, were found by police. The individual believed to be in the rafters was also not located.
Derek Anderson of Haggen’s Corporate offices confirmed all employees were safe but deferred all further comments to Auburn police.
Haggen re-opened for customers just after 5:00pm.