Residents of more than 50 households in Henrico County, Virginia, woke up this past weekend to find old-style TVs outside their doorsteps, said Matt Pecka, a lieutenant with the local police department.
“Everyone started coming out of their houses, walking around the neighborhood looking at the TVs there on the doorstep,” said Jeanne Brooksbank, one of the recipients, who lives in the Hampshire neighborhood. “It was very 'Twilight Zone.'”
Some deliveries were caught on residents' doorbell cameras – and that's where things got truly bizarre: The givers had TVs instead of faces.
The home videos reveal at least one of the deliverymen: a man dressed in a blue jumpsuit, black gloves and what appear to be brown hiking-style boots. He wears a TV set on his shoulders, positioned so it obscures his face.
After borrowing a truck from the county's Solid Waste department, a half-dozen police officers collected the television sets in about an hour Sunday, Pecka said. The county will recycle them.
Even if police do identify “TV Santa Claus,” as Jeanne Brooksbank's husband nicknamed the giver, authorities probably will not press charges. The “closest offense to this” would be leaving an unwanted item on public or private property, Pecka said.
“But I mean, one TV neatly placed on the front doorstep of each resident ... it wasn't done in a malicious manner,” Pecka said.
Brooksbank said the neighborhood has floated a few theories: a college sports team or fraternity prank. Pecka declined to elaborate on any theories police may be considering.As news of the TV giving spree spread this week, some took to social media to share their confusion. Others loved it. Still others opined this could happen only in Virginia.