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9.18.23 – Modesto Bee

An accused burglar rappelled into an auto repair shop in Patterson, California, but soon was dangling upside down, as shown in video.

An accused burglar tried an unusual way of breaking into an auto repair shop in Patterson. He rappelled from the roof on a nylon cord like a cat burglar but soon was dangling upside down as a surveillance camera recorded his struggles to free himself.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said the 30-year-old man’s attempt to break into the business on Highway 33 occurred before 1 a.m. Sept. 7.

“He decided to rappel into the business like ‘Mission: Impossible’ and, as you can see, it didn’t go well,” Chief Joshua Clayton of Patterson Police Services said.

The suspect’s leg and foot became entangled in the nylon cord. The video, lasting one minute and 38 seconds, shows him hanging upside down and making several attempts to reach up and grab the cord to free himself.

His loud moaning and a crashing sound are heard on the video.

Eventually, the man is shown falling from the cord several feet onto the floor. The man groans in pain after hitting the floor.

The Sheriff’s Office said the moans of pain triggered an alarm, prompting a response to the business from Patterson deputies.

Deputies arrested Elmer Sanchez, 30, of Patterson. He was booked into jail on potential charges of first-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Clayton said Sanchez was in possession of a saw, bolt butters and a pulley.

Authorities received a call from the alarm company at 2:15 a.m. Deputies found the suspect inside the business around 3 a.m. Sanchez was not seriously injured by the fall, Clayton said.

The chief said the alleged burglar used a paracord, or a thin nylon cord, to lower himself from the roof. Using the thin cord was not advisable and is likely why he became entangled in the line, the chief said.

Clayton wasn’t sure how the man gained access through the roof. He said Sanchez is known to Patterson police and has a criminal record.

Sanchez remained in custody Monday, with bail set at $120,000.

The alleged burglary is under investigation. Authorities did not release the name of the car repair business.