Michael Wayne Case Jr was found trapped in the opening, which was only ten and a half inches wide, by the owner of the Arkansas-based Capital Pawn shop, Ernest Raney.
Despite being stuck for ten hours without food or water, the 38-year-old suspect didn’t seem happy to see the store owner.
Mr Case, who was shirtless at the time, hurled insults at the bemused shop boss despite him being his only means of escape.
‘I thought well a bird or animal was probably in there so I wanted to go up and check, and when I got up there it was a person looking up at me, and I asked him what he was doing down there and why he was trying to break into the building and he got real violent at that time,’ Mr Raney told KSPR-TV.
Even if the alleged thief had managed to make it to the bottom of the chimney he would have found it inaccessible because it had been blocked off for years.
Mr Case was later freed by emergency crews but the drama wasn’t over there as he tried to fight his rescuers before being detained on attempted burglary and resisting arrest charges.
He told the authorities he had stumbled down the chimney accidentally while out for a walk.