Dozens of Virginia residents woke up to discover abandoned television sets on their yards, courtesy of strange men with TVs on their heads.
More than 60 old-fashioned cathode-ray tube sets from the 1980s and 1990s appeared on porches and lawns in Richmond on Saturday night. Residents called police, who pulled surveillance tapes from local home-security systems and found the boob-tube bandit was to blame.
“It was a guy dressed in a jumpsuit with a TV for a head,” Richmond local Adrian Garner told NBC12. “It’s the weirdest thing. He squats down, puts the TV there and walks off. It’s really weird.”
Police believe the dumping was a team effort, coordinated to take place within a one-hour window.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, though: In August 2018, residents of Grey Oaks, a Richmond subdivision, woke up to about 20 abandoned sets on their yard. No footage was captured of the perpetrators, so it’s unknown if they were costumed. But the similar timing could indicate it’s an annual ritual.
“We have a team of officers out here working together, collecting the TVs. We’re upwards of 60 TVs so far,” Lt. Matt Pecka of the Henrico County police department told NBC12. Pecka said the vintage sets will be brought to the county’s Solid Waste Division for disposal.
Criminal charges of illegal dumping or littering on private property could be filed against the TV-headed culprits—but tracking them down could prove difficult. They wore gloves and jumpsuits, so no fingerprints were left behind, and their TV set helmets made identifying their faces impossible.
Most residents think that the TV droppings are just a harmless stunt: “I’m thinking it’s a senior prank, maybe senior year going in high school, or bored college kids before they go back to school trying to create a big buzz before they go back to college,” Michael Kroll told the station.
If that’s the case, residents should probably expect another TV delivery in August 2020. But the biggest mysteries is where the perpetrators got so many old-school televisions, which are heavy and have mostly been phased out in favor of lighter flatscreens.
TV-headed characters do have a place in pop culture, though: Robots with television heads have appeared in movies, anime and comic books. In Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ long-running comic Saga, a robot named Dengo has an old cathode ray set for a head and wears a green jumpsuit.