A Bedford woman accused of shoplifting from a Chelsea Market Basket has been arrested after hiding in the store’s ceiling for more than two hours, police said.
Laura Baum, 26, had a not-guilty plea entered on her behalf at her arraignment in Chelsea District Court Wednesday on a host of charges, including shoplifting, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and resisting arrest.
Market Basket employees allegedly observed Baum attempting to leave the store Tuesday night without paying for items worth $113.69, according to a police report.
Baum initially cooperated with employees, but when a cashier blocked her from leaving the store before paying a fine, she allegedly pulled a knife out of her waistband and attempted to stab him, the report said.
The cashier avoided the knife, and Baum allegedly locked herself in a supply closet, broke a ceiling tile, and climbed into the building’s structure, the police report said.
The Chelsea Fire Department responded to the supermarket at 170 Everett Ave. just after 8:30 p.m. to assist in the search for Baum. Using several ladders in the store and a thermal imaging camera, responders located Baum, Fire Captain Michael Masucci said. She was found after 10 p.m., trapped between two walls in the back of the store.
Masucci said those at the scene were concerned about Baum injuring herself if she fell from the ceiling.
“At one point, we could see her walking along the light fixtures in the ceiling,” Masucci said. “They were bowing under her weight.”
When she was pulled from the ceiling, Baum had lacerations on her hand and was taken to Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett, the report said.
She was held on $1,000 cash bail after her arraignment Wednesday.