Gone are the days where something left at your front door was safe from opportunist thieves. Porch pirates make a killing pilfering unopened packages from in front of people’s homes.
Senthil Nathan was having a similar problem. But it wasn’t his packages that were disappearing from his porch, it was an endless wave of doormats.
The doormat in front of Senthil Nathan’s home in Chennai, India, kept disappearing in the middle of the night.
After several of Nathan’s doormats were stolen, it became apparent that it was a targeted attack. With no evidence or apparent motive, he and his wife hadn’t the vaguest idea who could be responsible.
“We stay in an apartment on the ground floor, so a lot of people keep entering the apartment every day. We thought it might be one of them,” Senthil told The Dodo.
He was also suspicious of the neighbor’s cat, but didn’t think it had the kind of strength needed to drag the doormat away.
The mystery persisted for months, prompting Nathan to install a surveillance camera.
The theft of a few doormats was certainly not appreciated, but it was far from the theft of the century. Nathan was more worried that the thief would grow brazen and steal larger, more valuable items.
“We wondered if it was a practical joke by someone,” Nathan said in text messages he shared on Twitter. “Or the thief is an idiot. And worried if the thief experiments with small stuff and will migrate to bigger items later.”
He hoped the installation of a surveillance camera would catch them in the act.
The next morning, Nathan’s doormat was missing. He and his wife checked the tape with anticipation of learning the culprit’s identity.
They rolled the footage back hour-by-hour. The doormat was still on the property at 2 a.m., but by 3 a.m. it was gone.
They scrolled back and forth until they found the moment the suspect showed up to do the deed. At 2:16 a.m., they saw the face of the bandit who’d been terrorizing them for several months.
All the couple could do was laugh.
“My wife and I saw it together,” Nathan said, “and began laughing as soon as we saw the dog enter the frame.”
The culprit was none other than a neighborhood dog. Nathan said the pooch keeps a watchful eye on the community, and in turn the locals make sure he is well cared for.
“He is doing fine. I saw him and his friends yesterday. He doesn’t even know he is now famous on the internet,” Nathan said. “We were happy that the doormats are being reused by someone rather than being sold for a few bucks by some thief.”
They figured out that the dog was using the doormats as a bed.
“We are planning to buy a bunch of doormats and leave them out for the dog to take, without having to pull them out of the gate,” Nathan said.
How we caught the Doormat Robber
— St_Hill (@St_Hill) March 16, 2018