Suspect stuck for 2 days in grease vent of restaurant he may have been trying to rob, authorities say

First responders had to pry the man out of the vent.

December 12, 2018, 7:30 PM

First responders in California had to pry a suspect out of a grease vent inside a vacant restaurant he may have been trying to rob, authorities said.

On Wednesday morning, Alameda County firefighters responded to the shuttered restaurant on Bockman Road in San Lorenzo, about 25 miles southeast of San Francisco, and "heard moaning coming from inside the building," the fire department wrote on Facebook.

The person who reported the incident told emergency dispatchers that he or she "heard a faint voice calling for help at a neighboring vacant Chinese food restaurant," the Alameda County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook.

Firefighters work to free a suspected burglary who was stuck in a grease vent of a restaurant in San Lorenzo, Calif., Dec. 12, 2018.
Alameda County Fire Department

When first responders arrived, they "quickly determined" that it was coming from a roof vent on top of the restaurant, authorities said. They extended a ladder and located a 29-year-old man trapped in a sheet metal grease duct running from the roof to the kitchen, according to the sheriff's office.

The man was covered in grease and oil and "was trapped in such a condition that he could not move," authorities said.

The suspect told first responders that he had been stuck in the air duct in the hood above the stove for two days, according to fire officials. It took 30 minutes to free him from the vent, they said.

"The man was physically exhausted and suffering from dehydration," the sheriff's office wrote. He was then transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, according to the fire department.

First responders freed a man stuck in a grease vent for two days in San Lorenzo, California.
Alameda County Sheriff's Office

He is expected to make a full recovery, the sheriff's office said, adding that he likely would not have survived another day had the concerned citizen not reported the incident.

The sheriff's office is conducting a trespassing and vandalism investigation, it said, adding that it is unclear whether the man intended to commit a robbery.