A pair of house sitters in Oregon got a scary surprise this week, courtesy of a lurking Roomba vacuum cleaner they apparently weren’t warned about, local authorities said.
The two older men were looking after the Cedar Mill home of a relative Monday when they called 911 around 1:50 p.m., reporting that a burglar was in the bathroom with the door locked, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Within minutes, deputies responded.
Deputies had surrounded the suburban Portland residence by 1:55, and a canine was called in for backup, the Sheriff’s Office said. Rustling noises coming from the bathroom were loud enough to be heard outside the house, Sgt. Danny DiPietro said in an interview with McClatchy on Tuesday.
“Everyone on scene, the law enforcement, they thought this was real, too,” DiPietro said. “Law enforcement were absolutely convinced someone was in there.”
Deputies commanded that the burglar come out of the bathroom, but there was no response, the Sheriff’s Office said. And all the while, the noises and movement continued.
“The door isn’t all the way to the ground, so you could see shadows moving,” DiPietro said.
At that point — with their guns drawn — deputies forced their way into the bathroom, according to the Sheriff’s Office. That’s when officers saw “a very thorough vacuuming job being done by a Roomba,” a deputy said after the incident, according to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.
DiPietro said deputies were relieved at the outcome.
“They just start laughing to each other,” he said. “You can’t do anything but laugh at yourself in this situation.”
DiPietro said officers were able to get into the bathroom without damaging the door.
“It was two elderly gentleman who were house sitting for one of their family members,” DiPietro said. “Obviously they didn’t know about the robotic vacuum, which had a scheduled time of going off.”
The Facebook post on the incident had been shared more than 500 times as of Tuesday afternoon. One commenter wrote that he “would love to see body cam footage of this.”