You've Heard All About the 'Roof Ninja.' Now Meet Her

Footage released of unusual encounter in Michigan between cops, woman living in sign on store's roof
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2024 6:52 AM CDT

A woman who said she'd lived in a sign perched atop a Michigan grocery store for about a year is no longer living there after being busted by cops last month, but her first contact with the law was caught on video and is now circulating, reports Bodycam footage from the police officers who went up on the roof in Midland on April 23 to get her down shows the moment when they open up the small metal door leading into the sign's interior, revealing the woman living inside. They inform her that the store manager is being cool about the whole thing, but that she'll have to come down immediately with them for liability purposes and that they'll make sure she can arrange to retrieve all her stuff—including a Keurig coffee maker, bedding, and a computer and printer—at a later time.

"This is pretty genius, honestly," one cop says of the 34-year-old woman's setup. The woman tells the officers she lived in the sign even throughout the cold Michigan winter, though she says she's accustomed to the frigid weather, as she once lived in Alaska. She also informs them that she ended up in the roof sign because it was "an old safe spot." Then comes the moment the cops reveal what the public's been calling her. "Believe it or not, you got a nickname," one of the officers mentions. "What's that, Spider-Man or something?" the woman replies. "No, Roof Ninja," the officer notes. "Tell me that ain't cool." "That's true," the woman chuckles.

When she finally emerges to go meet the Family Fare store manager with the officers, the woman is seen "clad head to toe in black—balaclava, Puma track jacket, Adidas track pants, gloves, and large ski goggles," per MLive. The woman has claimed she has a sun sensitivity, hence the getup. The woman also apparently declined to heed the cops' suggestion that she go to a shelter, telling them she "can't go to those places." Midland's Open Door, which helps those locally who are unhoused or hungry, offered to help the woman out, but she reportedly turned down that offer as well. No one yet knows how the woman regularly got up into the roof sign, as she hasn't revealed that. When she asks the officers in the video how they got up there, one replies, "Ladder. We're not a roof ninja," per ABC News. Watch the encounter here. (More strange stuff stories.)

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