Bria Fox and her boyfriend decided to take more security measures after their home's surveillance cameras twice caught thieves rifling through Fox's car last summer.
"It was so frustrating seeing them leisurely go through my car and go on their way," Fox, 24, said.
Her boyfriend, Jeff Marthers, decided to fight fire with water.
"The camera and motion flood light were clearly not deterring thieves, so I wanted to add another layer of defense," said Marthers, 31. "After ruling out a loud motion alarm as too annoying for the neighbors and a bear trap as too much future legal trouble, I settled for a motion sprinkler."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Motion-activated sprinklers, which the couple purchased on Amazon, are marketed to protect lawns and gardens from animals such as deer, dogs and cats. Fox and Marthers hoped it would deter, or at least embarrass, would-be car burglars.
"We're just in it for the public shaming at this point," Marthers said.
Since Marthers installed the sprinkler last summer outside their Fairmount home, Fox admits there have been a few unintended victims, including herself.
A neighbor making a friendly delivery put on a dance for the couple's camera as a joke, forgetting about the sprinkler until it hit her in the rear.
"We finally hose someone down annnnnnnnd it's friendly fire," quipped Marthers on Facebook after the incident.
But on Wednesday night, as America celebrated Independence Day, Fox and Marthers celebrated their first time putting a suspected thief on blast.
"We normally just hit neighborhood cats, so it felt good to finally see it put to use," Fox said.
In the video, a man wearing a backpack stops at the end of Fox’s driveway and tries to put out what looks like a cigar before simply tossing it to the ground. He then heads down the couple's driveway toward Fox's car.
He soon finds himself in hot water — OK, maybe cool water — when the nearby sprinkler turns on, blasting the man’s backside and prompting him to calmly turn around and leave the driveway.
"I feel as if he was under the influence of something," Fox said. "Normally when you get hit with the water, you have some reaction. And trust me, when it hits you, it really wakes you up."
After reaching the street, the man lingers for a while before walking away. He returns within camera view less than 10 minutes later and can been seen walking into a nearby alley.
After posting the video on her neighborhood's Facebook page Thursday, neighbors realized that the same man had been caught on video snooping on another resident's porch Wednesday morning.
If you know him, Fort Worth police would like his name. They can be reached at 817-392-4222.