ROTTERDAM A would-be burglar had to scream for help after getting stuck on his way into a pizza shop this morning.
Timothy J. Cipriani, 46, of Schenectady, was found stuck in the ceiling of Paesan’s Pizza on Guilderland Avenue around 1 a.m., police said.
Police and firefighters came to the scene in response to an automated fire alarm.
Police said they found no fire but heard “distressed screams” and eventually climbed to the roof with a fire truck ladder.
There, they said, they found Cipriani lodged inside a metal ventilation shaft. He was “pleading for help,” they said, adding that he told them, “he was attempting to burglarize the pizza shop when he got stuck and now just wanted the police to help him out.”
He was so tightly wedged that the fire department had to use extrication tools to get him out.
Police said his attempted entry badly damaged the fire suppression system, which activated the fire alarm. Police said they could see his legs sticking out of the ventilation shaft above the deep fryers in the kitchen.
Cipriani was treated by a paramedic on scene and taken into custody. Police charged him with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies, and possession of burglary tools, a misdemeanor.
Cipriani was just released from state prison in January after serving three years on a burglary conviction. He has served two other prison sentences, also for burglaries, and was still on parole when he was found in the ventilation shaft Friday morning.