According to authorities in Prince George's County, Maryland, investigators had the suspect under surveillance when he broke into a car and a home.
When authorities moved in to arrest the suspect, he allegedly threw a television at officers and ran into an empty movie theater across the street.
"When he entered, he was able to access scaffolding and found himself in the roof of the theater, where he had no exit because concrete blocks went all the way to the steel roof," Price George's County police chief Hank Stawinski told WJLA-TV.
The suspect was standing on water pipes and ceiling tiles, some of which came crashing down into the theater below.
Police negotiators climbed a ladder to speak with the suspect face to face. After three hours, he eventually agreed to come down.
Nobody was injured during the incident.