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At least their house is clean.
A North Carolina homeowner had called police, claiming there was an intruder in his house in the middle of the night, a published report said.
The red-faced owners were a bit hasty in their assessment, but when the alleged burglar turned out to be a rogue robot vacuum cleaner, USA Today reported.
‘BREAK-IN SUSPECT’ TRIGGERING THE DISTRESS CALL WAS MADE, THE WILL WAS LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM, POLICE SAY
During the holiday season, Thomas Milam and his wife, Elisa, reported that they had been watching a movie and just after midnight when she heard a sound from downstairs in their home, the newspaper reported.
“We were both scared, and we paused the movie, and I did Elisa go to a safe place. I immediately grabbed my pistol, went out to Elisha, and we all stayed there in silence, waiting to see if we heard more of the sounds. Someone was definitely down, rummaging through stuff, and it sounds close to you.”
— Owner, Thomas Milam, via the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
While Milam told his wife to call 911, he pointed his gun at the bedroom door. He was protecting his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter, who was sleeping soundly in a bedroom over it.
“In all my military training came back to me, and I will start with the analysis of the path of an intruder would have to take their line of fire when she entered the room in a certain way, and where there is less risk of getting hurt,” he said.
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Within minutes, authorities arrived and searched the home, but the dispatcher on the phone told Milam to lower his gun. The owner opened the bedroom door to find the police flashlights shining in his direction, ” USA Today reported.
“Sir, I have a question,” the lead officer said. “This Will be yours?”
Apparently, unbeknownst to the couple, and their new robot vacuum cleaner is turned on, in the middle of the night. Milam said that no one is set up to do just that. The Roomba apparently got stuck near the bottom of the stairs, and had been repeatedly bumping up against a wall, Milam said.
“Merry Christmas, everyone, and don’t forget to turn off your breaker to robot vacuum cleaners!” Milam posted it on Facebook.
The painful ordeal is not the first time that a home owner has been in contact with the police after being chased by what seemed to be an automated floor cleaner.
In April, a similar incident took place in Oregon after a woman reported a person had been locked up in her bathroom. She said that she can see a shadow from under the door, and heard a noise. The authorities went to the bathroom 15 minutes later with their guns drawn.
“We’re breaking in the door of the bathroom, and there is a very thorough vacuuming job is done by a Roomba is a Robot Vacuum cleaner,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.