More than 50 people in Virginia received free TVs this week from an anonymous donor, but they weren’t the giant, flat-screened models many would covet.
Instead, residents of Henrico County, Virginia, woke up Sunday to find old-model TV sets on their porches and lawns and learned later the clunky electronics were left by someone wearing a TV over his head.
Officers began receiving calls early that morning from residents concerned about the “meticulously placed TVs,” said Lt. Matt Pecka of the Henrico Police Department.
“I evaluated the situation and determined that this was an isolated incident that caused no threat to any individual,” Pecka told NBC News on Wednesday.
With the help of the county’s solid waste division, officers rounded up 52 TVs within an hour.
Some residents chose to hold on to their TVs, Pecka said.
A home security system captured a person dressed in a blue jumpsuit wearing a TV over his head, obscuring his face.
Resident Adrain Garner said he initially thought the drop-off was an Amazon delivery.
“My first reaction was, ‘Did we order this?’” Garner told NBC affiliate WWBT in Virginia. “It’s really weird.”
The person squatted, put the TV on his porch and walked off, Garner said.
After reviewing doorbell and other surveillance footage, authorities determined more than one person may have been involved based on the color of their outfits.
Resident Michael Kroll said he found the situation absurd.
“To me, it’s kind of funny,” Kroll told WWBT.
Pecka said this has happened before. Last August, TVs were placed in a neighboring community near Richmond. That incident, like Sunday’s, posed no threat and involved fewer TVs.
Whoever did it could face charges of littering on private property or illegal dumping, Pecka said.
But he said he does not plan to investigate further: “Just as residents have indicated, this is an isolated incident that we cleaned up.”