Deputies: Cat burglar caught hiding in convenience store ceiling

Nicholas Hollifield, 38, arrested after breaking into store, deputies say

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - An armed cat burglar, who wasn’t good at being a cat burglar, was caught hiding in the ceiling of a Green Cove Springs convenience store, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said. 

Deputies arrested 38-year-old Nicholas Hollifield, who's a convicted felon with a history of violence. 

Deputies said Hollifield fell through the ceiling while breaking into the EZ Stop Food Store after climbing onto the roof. Moments after he fell to the floor, deputies said, surveillance cameras captured him tripping off the alarm.

A store clerk, who asked to not be identified, showed News4Jax the surveillance footage.

“He started freaking out and started running around trying to open the doors, but we have bars on the doors," the clerk explained. "So then he tried to crawl back up the way he came in but he had broken everything, so he couldn’t get back up there.”

Deputies said Hollifield ran into a room and climbed up into the ceiling to hide, but they said they knew someone was still inside because there was ceiling tile on the floor.  

When they searched even further, deputies said, they located Hollifield hiding in the ceiling. 

The store clerk said everyone couldn't help but notice how Hollifield was dressed during the burglary. 

“Like a cat burglar, literally, like all in black with this floppy thing flying in the back and eyes cut out," the store clerk said. "It’s hilarious.”

And while a suspected cat burglar scrambling to get away may look funny on video, deputies said that he was armed. Fortunately, no shots were fired and no one was hurt. 

Hollifield is no stranger to law enforcement. According to court records, he has felony convictions for grand theft, burglary, armed burglary and illegal possession of a firearm. 

He's also no stranger to the store. According to the owners, he's been a regular customer for many years.

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