Macon burglary suspect gets stuck in the air-conditioning duct

Memo to would-be burglars: You might want to rethink your escape plan if it involves crawling through air-conditioning ducts.

Benjamin Corey found that out the hard way Tuesday.

Macon police said Corey got caught in the ductwork as he tried to escape from the Napier Avenue convenience store he’s accused of robbing twice within two hours.

Neal’s Food Mart, 4116 Napier Ave., was robbed at 11:10 p.m. Monday, according to a police report.

A surveillance video recorded a man prying open the side of the building with a metal tool, entering the store, breaking through a stockroom door and entering into a main room, according to the report.

The video captured the image of the man as he took all the coin change from the cash register and cigarettes. The man then left out of the same hole in the back wall, according to the report.

After the burglary, a barrier was placed over the hole to secure the building overnight, according to a police news release.

An officer patrolling the area at about 1 a.m. noticed the barrier had been moved. When the officer went to investigate, he heard someone moving around inside, according to the report.

The alarm sounded as two other officers went inside the business. Then the officers heard someone climbing on the roof and spotted a man climbing into an air-conditioning unit, according to the report.

It took firefighters’ help to free the man, later identified as Corey, from the air-conditioning duct after he became trapped upside down, according to the report.

Corey is charged with two counts of burglary and is being held at the Bibb County jail without bond, according to jail records.

Jail records show Corey was previously arrested for burglary in January 2007 and criminal trespass in May 2008.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.