CLAREMONT (CBSLA) – A man allegedly attempting to burglarize a Claremont home Saturday morning got trapped in its chimney and had to be rescued by firefighters.


Twenty-four-year-old Michael Arciniega of West Covina was arrested on burglary charges.

According to Claremont police, at around 10 a.m., police responded to the 700 block of Via San Simon on a report of a man screaming for help.

Officers arrived to find Arciniega trapped at the bottom of the chimney. Los Angeles County Fire Department crews were called out to help extricate the man. He was taken to a local hospital for dehydration before being booked.

Arciniega got stuck when he tried to shimmy down the chimney to break into the home, police said.

CBS2;s Greg Mills spoke to neighbors who first heard Arciniega screaming for help.

He also told police he was looking for his lost drone and that is why he went down the chimney.

They didn’t buy it. No one did.

“Really. It was quite obvious that wasn’t the situation at all,” said Aubrey Trask.

She was poolside when she first heard the call for help. Trask called 911 and ran down a steep hill towards the direction of the voice.

“Fell a couple of times,” she says, “But it’s fine. I ended up making it down there.”

Only one man can go up and down chimneys with ease.

Said one neighbor, “He didn’t look like Santa Claus though.”

He is being held on $500,000 bail. Arciniega will be arraigned Tuesday in Pomona.


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