Wanted Florida Man Arrested After Phone Rings While Hiding in Ceiling

On Saturday, officials reported that a wanted Florida man was apprehended when his phone rang, giving away his hiding spot in a ceiling.

Joshua Garrett, 38, was taken into custody and faces charges of felony criminal mischief and resisting arrest, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

A call came in for a disturbance in Lakeland, Florida, near US 98 North, and deputies were dispatched to the scene. When the deputies arrived, they were informed that the individual responsible for the disturbance—later identified as Garrett—had fled from the building.

Following Garrett’s burglary conviction, the court sentenced him to probation. He was also convicted of giving false information to a pawnbroker and trafficking stolen goods. 

Deputies discovered that Garrett had a warrant for arrest for breaking the terms of his probation.

In their pursuit of Garrett, deputies had a hunch and visited the building where he worked.

Witnesses said they saw Garrett enter the building but never leave. Deputies were reasonably sure their man was still there.

Deputies checked every room in the building but came up empty. They knew he was still in there and theorized he was hiding somewhere.

They rechecked the premises and spotted a few missing ceiling tiles. Deputies began searching above the tiles when they heard Garrett’s phone ring.

Investigators also saw a hand protruding from behind the insulation.

Fortunately, the hand was connected to Garrett rather than just the discovery of a hand, according to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office. 

“That would have taken this situation into a whole other direction,” they mused.

Garrett was hoisted down from the ceiling and taken to the Polk County prison to serve his sentence. Following the approximately $1,000 worth of damage he caused to his employer’s ceiling, he was further charged with resistance and felony criminal mischief.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were dispatched to the vicinity of U.S. 98 North and Duff Road in Lakeland following reports of a disturbance.

Joshua Garrett, 38, was first believed to have fled the scene of the incident; however, authorities later discovered that he was also sought for breaching his probation for burglary.