WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A man who just went out to walk a dog and came back to find shadows moving under the bathroom door called police to report about a suspected burglar.
- However, police, including canine officers who rushed to the home at Cedar Hills off Portland confronted not a burglar but a vacuum cleaner banging against the glass wall of the shower.
- So this explains why no response was heard when the police said “Police!” and “We’ve got a dog!”
A frantic call from a house guest about a burglar making loud thudding noises especially from within a locked bathroom deserved a swift response, says Washington County sheriff spokesman Sgt. Danny DiPietro. Though the call came at 1:48 p.m., in broad daylight, there was nothing surprising about it since crime happens anytime.
“The man had just gone for a walk with his nephew’s dog and when he came back, he could see shadows moving back and forth under the bathroom door,” DiPietro tells NPR.
Immediately, Beaverton Police Department sent three seasoned deputies, a detective, and two canine officers to a Cedar Hills home, 7 miles outside Portland.
Once reaching the home, they surrounded it and as they made their way inside with their guns unholstered, they were yelling ‘Police!”, yet, the burglar didn’t come out, nor said anything, said DiPietro.
The banging in the bathroom got louder instead. Officers assumed that the burglar was trying to open a window to escape.
So with guns drawn and with pounding hearts, they counted down and entered the bathroom. Instead of a suspect, they found a ….Roomba robot vacuum slamming against the shower wall. Apparently, it has gone rogue.
The entire team exploded in laughter.
“Everyone just started cracking up. It was such huge relief because it’s the kind of situation that could end peacefully or … No one had any idea what was waiting for them behind the door but they definitely didn’t expect that,” related DiPietro.
He also said that when the responding officers called out that a dog was outside the bathroom door, they were quite puzzled for the lack of response. DiPietro, who had some experience working with canine officers, added that usually when you say, ‘we’ve got a dog’, people just give up the fight. But the fact that the individual didn’t do that was chilling enough.
Although the man who reported the call felt “awful”, DiPietro said he would have done the same thing if he was visiting someone else’s home and didn’t know there was a malfunctioning robot vacuum cleaner. Besides, “even the responding officers fell for it too,” added DiPietro.
The incident that took 25 minutes was posted play-by-play on the sheriff’s office Facebook page. Its followers love the story and have already come up with hilarious stories of their own including funny comments like, “Great job catching the sucker!”