Sheriff’s deputies in Oregon were called to a report of a burglary in progress and found the culprit trapped in a woman’s bathroom — her Roomba.
The incident took place in Washington County, where the woman believed that a person had broken into her home and locked themselves in the bathroom. As KATU reported, the woman saw moving shadows under the door and made a call to police to come save her.
The deputies arrived with a K9 team as backup and advanced to the bathroom where they could hear something moving inside. They called for the suspect to come out, even using the loudspeaker, but the door remained closed tight.
So they decided to break down the door, guns drawn, to apprehend the suspect. What happened next was unexpected, police said in a Facebook post this week.
“As we entered the home we could hear rustling in the bathroom. We made several announcements and the ‘rustling’ became more frequent. We breached the bathroom door and encountered a very thorough vacuuming job being done by a Roomba Robotic Vacuum cleaner,” the post read.
This is not the first viral story about an unlikely burglary suspect. In a 2013 incident, a British man took to Facebook to show off the items that his Siamese cat had stolen from neighbors and brought back to his home. As the BBC reported, owner Paul Edwards said the cat came back with a variety of treasures like muslin cloths, a USB phone charger, and even a piece of children’s artwork. His Facebook post trying to return the items to their rightful owners gained some viral attention.
Police have also been called for other strange cases of mistaken identity. Last year, police in Ohio were called for what a group of park employees thought was a dead body. As Fox 59 reported, the body appeared to be wrapped in a garbage bag and abandoned on a hillside, but police arrived to find that it was something very, very different — what police called an adult “recreational mannequin.”
Police stormed a bathroom with guns drawn to catch a burglar. They found a Roomba. https://t.co/5tdVYd7irY
— KPRoberts (@k_proberts) April 10, 2019
Officers said the doll was so realistic that it looked to a group of county workers to be real. Police instead collected the littered doll and disposed of it, but not before sharing the unlikely story on their Facebook page.
In Oregon, police didn’t say whether the Roomba incident would lead to any charges, but the robot is presumably back to work keeping the home clean.