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Bigfoot Alert in Market Results in Two Arrests

Times Staff Writer

Plans to drop in on a Costa Mesa supermarket fell through early Monday, police said, and one of the visitors had quite a come-down.

It happened about 1:30 a.m. in the Alpha Beta supermarket in the 2200 block of Harbor Boulevard, as employees were conducting inventory. Amid the clatter of cans and the tinkling of soda bottles, store workers heard something different: the sounds of footsteps on the ceiling.

Suddenly, a foot poked through.

When both legs followed, briefly protruding through the ceiling before disappearing, the store manager sprinted up into the attic to see what was coming down.

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He found a man later identified as Thomas Michael Martinez, 22, of Garden Grove, in the attic and saw another man running away, Costa Mesa Police Detective Joe Williams said.

The manager locked Martinez in the attic and called police.

When officers arrived, they tried to talk Martinez, who they said was intoxicated, into walking toward them along one of the walkways crossing the attic’s false floor, Williams said.

This feat proved too much for Martinez, who “was going toward the door when he stepped sideways away from them,” Williams said.

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Martinez, airborne, plunged through the floor and dropped 15 feet to the supermarket’s main floor.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and transported to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, where he was treated for minor injuries.

Near the store, meanwhile, police later picked up a man identified as Richard Ankrum, 42, of an unknown address on suspicion of public drunkenness. He was booked on suspicion of burglary after police noticed that he fit the description of the second suspect and showed his picture to witnesses, Williams said.


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