Men pitch tent on roof of store, steal electricity



OCALA, Fla. - A couple of suspected thieves were caught camping out on the roof of an Ocala shoe store, police said.

Police said Travis Rose and John Vaughn pitched a tent on the roof of the Shoe Carnival on S.W. 24th Avenue.

One of the suspects told WFTV he was up there because his mom wouldn't let him have friends over.

"We both still have homes with our parents and everything. It was just a home away from home. A spot to chill and hang out with friends," Rose said.

Rose said he and Vaughn pitched a tent and lived on the roof of the store for three weeks.

"Family tent. Bright red tent. Really large tent," said Detective James Deas of the Ocala Police Department.

The detective couldn't believe it, until he realized how they got away with it.

"It was butted up to the back of the Shoe Carnival sign, which is basically a wall. And no one could see it," said Deas.

Rose said it had "all the comforts of home."

"It just kept progressing. Let's go get beds so we're more comfortable. And then we decided, let's go get chairs so we can sit out outside," Rose said.

Rose had plans for fake grass, a gazebo, television and an Xbox.

"We just had a bunch of ideas. Hot tub idea. Putt-putt golf on the fake grass. We had a bunch of ideas," Rose said.

Rose and Vaughn found an outlet on the roof connected to the shoe store and plugged in an extension cord for a couple of fans to keep them cool on the hot roof.

Police said they first got on the trail of Rose and Vaughn while investigating the theft of a truck full of furniture from a Leisure Living store.

They pulled the truck out of a local lake, found the furniture in a local home and followed up a tip that led them to the roof of the shoe store.

Rose, 20, said his mother told him he was too old for slumber parties.

"So I made my own spot for them to come over and hang out with me," he said.