A couple in the US were left mortified after they called the police suspecting there was an intruder in their home – only for officers to find the cause of the commotion was their new robotic vacuum cleaner.
Thomas and Elisa Milam, from Forsyth, North Carolina, were watching a film at around 12.30am on Monday morning when they heard a noise coming from downstairs.
Immediately alarmed, Mr Milam told his wife to get to a safe place and call the police while he quickly grabbed his gun.
Pumping with adrenaline, he waited poised with his firearm in hand and within a minute of the call officers arrived at the scene. However, there was no burglar for them to apprehend – only a robotic vacuum cleaner that had got stuck in the hallway and was continually banging against the walls.
In a Facebook post, Mr Milam said he was ‘so embarrassed’ when he realised he had called police to his home over nothing more than a slightly unruly vacuum cleaner, however, he said the officers were all ‘such good sports’ about the mix-up.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office subsequently shared Mr Milam’s dramatic and amusing post on their own page, and this post has now been shared 1,100 times.
The post reads: “Elisa and I were watching a movie, it was about 1230 after midnight, we heard a noise downstairs. We both were alarmed, we paused the movie and I had Elisa go to a safe place.
“I immediately grabbed my gun, went to Elisa and we stayed there silently waiting to see if we heard more noises. We did, and in fact they were loud. Someone was definitely downstairs rummaging through things, and it sounded close to us.
“I had Elisa call 911, they dispatched the police almost immediately, the operator asked if I was armed, we told her yes that we were armed and our location in the house.
“As we were talking, we heard more noises downstairs and were increasingly alarmed. All my military training came back to me, I started analysing the path the intruder would take, their line of fire if they entered the room in certain ways, and where we should be to decrease our risk of getting hurt.
“All I kept thinking about and listening for was my little two-year-old next door to us, alone, and sound asleep. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do if I heard her door open.”
The post continues: “The police arrived within a minute of the call, excellent, and as soon as they pulled up we heard a loud sound downstairs, which seemed that the burglar was in a panic. I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to keep my family safe.
“With my gun pointed at the door, we waited for instructions. The police came in and started shouting “Sheriff’s office!” There were several police in our house by this point, we heard them downstairs, and the 911 dispatcher told us to set my gun down and come to talk with the police.
“I opened our bedroom door, the police all had their lights shining up the stairs, I put my hands so they could see me, I was only in my boxers, lovely…I know. They all started holstering their weapons and said ‘Sir, I have one question…’ Me with adrenaline flowing rapidly, ‘Sure.’ Police, ‘Is this ROOMBA yours?’
“My heart sank, Elisa and I had purchased a ROBOT VACUUM cleaner and it arrived two days earlier and had somehow turned itself on and was vacuuming our house without us having scheduled it!! It had gotten stuck in the hallway below our stairs which is close to our room, and it kept bumping into our walls which explained the noises we kept hearing.
“I was so embarrassed, here I stood in my underwear, about four police officers got body cam footage of an almost nude and ashamed home owner.
“They asked how long we had it, I said two days and they all started laughing. They were such good sports about it and said believe it or not this kind of thing happens often, especially around this time of year.
“Merry Christmas everyone, make sure you turn off your robot vacuums before they rob you blind.”