Suspected thief caught in bathroom after strip-mall break-in

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Fresno Police say a cook used his kitchen at work to break into a fitness studio next door. (KFSN)

Fresno Police say a cook used his kitchen at work to break into a fitness studio next door. It happened at a strip mall near Palm and Herndon. The thief set off an alarm and police followed his trail to make the arrest.

"It's not exactly how I thought my Monday morning would go," said Jennifer Hoekstra who is the owner of the Bar Method.

Instead of a workout, she filled out a police report for a break-in through the roof. Another one to add to the pile she says because it's been happening a lot in the area, "living up there, storing things and vandalizing."

This time, motion set off the alarm in the studio. Officers showed up in the morning and found footprints on the wall. The tracks led to the ceiling and a restaurant next door. That's where officers found Dallas Sherrell who is a cook at the restaurant. Police say he was hiding in the bathroom.

Sgt. Clayton Smith said, "it looks like he has a bag of clothes, limited transportation, a bicycle so it's possible he has been sleeping in the restaurant."

Hoekstra says the thief stole a cash box and some unusual items - used fitness gear, socks and leggings. "They were clothes that were cleaned that were in my office," Hoekstra said.

Sgt. Smith added, "I don't know if he was sleeping on them, but he was certainly, playing with them."

Police arrested Sherrell and took him away in a patrol car. He's facing burglary charges and his boss says he will likely lose his job.
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