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Woman found living in Michigan store sign told police it was a little-known ‘safe spot’

The woman was found living in an attic-like space in the Family Fare sign in Midland on April 23. She'd been living there for around a year.

MIDLAND, Mich. — A woman who was living inside a sign on the roof of a Michigan grocery store told police it was an “old safe spot” known to her family, though she didn’t explain why she chose to stay there for a year, according to video of the encounter.

The 34-year-old woman, whose name hasn’t been released, was very concerned about her possessions as police officers said she would have to immediately leave an attic-like space inside the Family Fare sign in Midland, 130 miles north of Detroit.

The Associated Press and other news media recently reported the April 23 discovery. Police body camera video was subsequently obtained by MLive.com under a public records request, and portions were posted online Tuesday.

“Believe it or not, you’ve got a nickname,” an officer said, noting that some people apparently knew about her.

“Did somebody turn you on to this?” one said.

The woman said it was an “old safe spot” little known to most people in Midland, but “not anymore.”

The woman had a coffee maker, computer, bedding and phone. Another officer said the makeshift housing was “impressive” and wondered how she had survived the winter.

“I know how to deal with that. I’ve been in Alaska,” the woman replied.

She asked for time to call her employer and get a truck to put her belongings in storage. But the officers said no, making clear that store staff would remove the possessions and return them to her.

The woman emerged in black clothing with ski goggles perched on her head. She said she was sensitive to sunlight.

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She asked the officers how they got on the roof.

“Ladder,” one said. “We’re not a roof ninja.”

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