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14-Year-Old Lives Inside Wal-Mart for Days

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - APRIL 23:  Wal-Mart store signage is seen from the lot on April 23, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico. According to reports, Wal-Mart de Mexico orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance by paying bribes to obtain permits in parts of the country. Wal-Mart Inc, along with two U.S. congressmen is conducting internal investigations over the allegations.  (Photo by Daniel Aguilar/Getty Images)
Photograph by Getty Images

A 14-year-old boy from Texas recently went to great lengths not to visit his aunt's house in Corsicana — by running away as soon as he got there and living inside the local Wal-Mart.

While you might think a 14-year-old wouldn't be able to remain there undetected for long, you'd be wrong. Authorities say that he was living inside the expansive, 24-hour Wal-Mart for several days, and had taken up residence behind tall stacks of baby stroller boxes. There, he changed clothes several times a day (after swiping them from the nearby clothing section) and even wore baby diapers so that he wouldn't be recognized hitting up the store bathroom too many times. (Clearly he'd really thought this one out.)

The young teen also kept himself well fed while there, stealing snacks he found in various food sections and eating them in his makeshift fort within the baby aisle. He even made himself a little bed in there, so he could lounge in comfort while he hid away, and smuggled a fish from the pets section, to keep in a portable fish tank beside him.

But the jig was up this week, after store personnel spotted him coming out of his hideaway. A peek inside his home-away-from home was all it took to tell the rest of the story. (Along with the piles of garbage he had in there.)

According to CNN, police had been looking for the boy for a good 54 hours before they got a call from Wal-Mart, but no one's quite sure just how long he was really living in there.

"It seems to be a unique situation, for sure," Wal-Mart spokesperson Brian Nick told CNN. He added that Wal-Mart hasn't asked Corsicana police to press any charges.

"Our concern was getting the child to safety," he explained.

The teen apparently has some experience with this sort of thing before — his mother told police he's run away several times already — but in those cases, he usually escaped to abandoned houses, other businesses, or even local creeks.

At least for now, though, the young runaway is back in the safety of relatives.

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