Police Break Into Bathroom With Guns Drawn Only to Find the Suspect is a Roomba

By Tiffany Meier

Deputies responded to a 911 call of a terrified woman who heard banging sounds coming from her locked bathroom. With guns drawn, the deputies were ready to confront a burglary in progress. Instead, they encountered a Roomba hard at work.

The Oregon woman called 911 to report that a stranger was in her bathroom, that the bathroom door was locked, and she could see shadows moving back and forth in the bathroom, the Washington Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday, April 9.

Within minutes, deputies surrounded the house. They even brought a K-9 team to help as backup. The deputies could hear noises coming from the bathroom and called out to the “suspect” over the loudspeaker to come out.

The deputies made several announcements, but the “rustling” sound coming from the bathroom became even more frequent, according to the release.

When the noises continued and no one came out, the deputies drew their guns and prepared to break down the door and neutralize the threat.

After about 15 minutes, the deputies burst in with guns drawn, only to find a surprise.

The deputies witnessed a “very thorough vacuuming job being done by a Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner,” the Sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

The police department recounted the story on Facebook, complete with a picture of a Roomba in a faux “Most Wanted” poster.

BURGLARY SUSPECT CAPTURED1:48pm: Reporting party calls 911 and says someone is in her bathroom. Tells dispatch the…

Posted by Washington County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Many people commented on the post, thanking the sheriff’s department for a job well-done and for making them laugh.

“Thanks for the good laugh! I’m glad everyone is ok!!!!” one person commented. “And thanks Washington County Sheriff’s office for sharing this story! Glad you are here for us in so many ways! Seriously!”

“Incredibly funny,” another wrote. “But also a serious reminder to make sure your doors are locked even when you’re home. And never open the door for strangers. Be safe.”

Another wrote, “I find it amazing that the vacuum decided to barricade himself in such a standoff. Tech is taking over!”

And another person had a suggestion: “The vacuum manufacture need to add voice response to verbal commands to come out, have it say, “I’m just a vacuum, don’t shoot!, I come to clean in peace ! ” to the verbal command of “come out with your hands up!”

The History of the Roomba

The Roomba robotic vacuuming system, occasionally known as the cat-moving platform, didn’t always have a pet-friendly design.

The Roomba’s history goes back to 1990, when three robot technicians from MIT co-founded iRobot, a company dedicated to the development and manufacturing of military and domestic robots in Delaware, MD, according to the company website.

A year after iRobot was founded, the company introduced its first robot: Genghis—a test platform intended for space exploration.

Almost a decade after the company was founded, the first Roomba was introduced in 2002. As an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner, the Roomba was not the first to hit the market.

A year earlier, the Electrolux Trilobite became the world’s first commercially available autonomous vacuum cleaner, produced by the Swedish company Electrolux, according to Revolvy.

However, the popularity of the Electrolux Trilobite didn’t match that of the Roomba, which sold over a million by 2004. Eventually, the Electrolux Trilobite died out, much like the extinct arthropod it was named after.

In 2008, the first Roomba pet series was launched. And with it, the internet became filled with videos of cats riding Roombas.