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Runaway Found Camping Out in Bed, Bath & Beyond

— December 23, 2019

A 14-year-old was found by store employees when they opened the doors.

A 14-year-old runaway was found camping out in a store that certainly has the many basics of home – Bed, Bath & Beyond.  The young teenager was reported missing the night before by his family and employees discovered the camper when they reopened the North Carolina store.  Greenville police arrived at the scene around 8:30 A.M. where they found the boy and described the scene they stumbled upon as a “breaking and entering in process.”

The teen told officers that he’d hidden himself inside before closing and slept there overnight, saying he “was just looking for somewhere to sleep.”  He was unharmed and, soon after, escorted back home.  It is unclear why he decided to run away in the first place.

Late last year, a 10-year-old boy was also discovered hiding in an aisle of another business, which ultimately led to the arrest of his mother and her boyfriend.  On November 10, 2018, Deputy Tamayo with the Victorville Police Department in California responded to a call reported the sighting and spoke directly with the boy.

Runaway Found Camping Out in Bed, Bath & Beyond
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

“Deputy Tamayo learned the boy had been hit and kicked by his mother.  He was fearful of her and decided to hide in the store,” the sheriff’s department stated in a subsequent news release.

After visiting the business and getting the boy’s statement, police went to the residence of the boy’s mother, Jennifer Teresa Lee, 30, and her boyfriend, Matthew Lee Jipp, 30, who lived with her.

The news release stated further, “Through an investigation, it was discovered the boy had been left alone for several hours the previous night [at their home].  When Lee and Jipp returned, Lee became angry at the boy and hit and kicked him.”  The boy was fearful of what would happen to him and ran away.

Officers obtained a search warrant of the residence, and found inside the home “loaded firearms, ammunition, cocaine, large amounts of marijuana, cannabis wax, currency, multiple large capacity ammunition magazines, and other paraphernalia associated with the use and sales of drugs,” according to the release.  The department of Children and Family Services was contacted and took custody of the boy and his 1-year-old sibling.

Lee was booked at the High Desert Detention Center on multiple charges including “possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed, inflicting injury on a child, and accessory to a crime.”  Jipp, who had in the past been convicted on a felony charge, was arrested and booked at the same center for “possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed, inflicting injury on a child, felon in possession of a firearm, and prohibited person in possession of ammunition.”

In 2017, an 8-year-old boy was found camping out in the store where he was last seen according to police in Washington.  A search was ensued at Haggen grocery store in Berkley Village, and, after employees were unable to locate the missing child, the police were called.  He was found an hour and a half after being reported missing at the same location.


Runaway, 14, is found camping in a Bed, Bath & Beyond after disappearing from home the night before

10-year-old boy hit and kicked found hiding inside store; Victorville couple arrested

8-year-old Bellingham boy found hiding in store

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