Would-Be Burglar Arrested After Getting Stuck in Chimney, Police Say

When the officers arrived to the home, they found the suspect's feet dangling from the chimney and immediately identified him

If you ever look up your chimney, you may find that Santa Claus isn't the only one trying to squeeze down to your fireplace.

A 28-year-old man was stuck in a chimney over the weekend while allegedly trying to burglarize a home in the Kern County city of Ridgecrest, police said.

Officers from the Ridgecrest Police Department were sent to the home in Maime Avenue after being alerted by a residential burglary alarm and receiving a call from an unidentified female, who reported her friend was stuck in the chimney.

When the officers arrived at the scene, they found Schultz's feet dangling from the chimney and immediately identified him.

"We know Schultz well enough to recognize his voice," said Sgt. Ronald Bell, a Ridgecrest officer who was at the scene. "He's a repeat offender."

Since 2007, Schultz has had about 40 contacts with the Ridgecrest Police Department, officials said. His offenses range from battery of a person to drunk driving and thefts. In recent times, he was arrested for trespassing a home in Ridgecrest that was deemed uninhabitable.

At the scene, officers also say they found signs of forced entry at the home and an open back door. They believe Schultz tried to break into the home by climbing down the chimney, and an accomplice triggered the alarm when they tried to free him.

Schultz was eventually rescued by firefighters. Once he received medical clearance, he was booked at a jail in Bakersfield on an open charge of burglary. His alleged accomplices have yet to be identified.

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