Die Hard Bungling Burglar Rescued From Ventilation Shaft

Story By: Bartosz Staszewski, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

This bungling burglar had to be rescued after he became stuck in a narrow ventilation shaft as he tried to break into a flat like something out of Die Hard.

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Picture Credits: CEN

The incident took place in a building on Witkiewicz Street in the city of Szczecin in West Pomeranian Voivodeship, north-western Poland.

Local media report just before midnight residents spotted a 20-year-old man seemingly trying to break into a flat through the balcony and called the police.

The suspected burglar then reportedly decided to climb onto the roof and try and get into the flat through a ventilation shaft but he got stuck when he reached the bathroom of one of the flats in the building.

Alicja Sledziona, spokesperson of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Szczecin told local media: “The residents heard sounds from the attic like drilling and tapping,

“He was unable to get out of it himself. He was only able to access one of the flats from the bathroom.

As cops were unable to pull out the man, the firefighters were called in and they had minor complications because only the man’s head and arms had passed through the hole. 

Franciszek Golinski, press officer for the City Commander of the State Fire Service in Szczecin told Central European News (CEN): “We made the decision to pull the man out using special rescue equipment.”

Rescuers did not want to cause additional damage by breaking the walls and they managed to free the man from the shaft without causing damage to the wall.

Sledziona added: “As life shows, there are such burglars who are very unskilful in their profession, and the police help them get out of trouble.”

The suspect was arrested heard allegations of attempted burglary, for which he faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

The case is ongoing.

In the cult 1988 film Die Hard, Bruce Willis’ character John McClane famously utters the “Come out to the coast! We’ll get together, have a few laughs!” line after managing to get his Zippo lighter out while in a ventilation shaft.

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Bartosz Staszewski

I am a journalist and correspondent mainly covering Poland and Eastern Europe.

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