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Burglary suspect caught failing to rappel 'Mission: Impossible-style' into Stanislaus County auto shop

Officials say the suspect's groan from the fall triggered an alarm, alerting deputies.

PATTERSON, Calif. — A burglary suspect was left dangling from the ceiling before crashing down to the floor during a failed break-in attempt.

Patterson Police Chief Josh Clayton said the suspect, 30-year-old Elmer Sanchez, attempted a "Mission: Impossible-style" break-in at an auto shop along Highway 33 on Sept. 7 in Patterson, a small city of roughly 23,000 in western Stanislaus County.

Clayton said Sanchez tried to rappel from the ceiling of the shop with a paracord, or a thin nylon cord, but he got caught in the line. Security video shows him struggling and dangling upside down with his leg caught for more than minute before eventually crashing to the ground.

Clayton said Sanchez's groans of pain triggered an alarm at the business, which eventually led to a response from Patterson Police Services. It happened around 1 a.m., but deputies got the call around 2:15 a.m.

Deputies brought him into custody around 3 a.m. Clayton said deputies used the time in between to set up a perimeter, bring in a K9 and come up with a plan to catch him before entering the shop.

The suspect was not seriously injured after the fall.

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