ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Police in Arlington say social media helped them solve the case of the missing bounce house. The large inflatable was stolen from someone’s yard in the middle of the night. But officers were able to recover it after getting tips online.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this, it’s just ridiculous.”
But Mathew Hackett isn’t laughing about the bounce house that was stolen from his friend’s yard overnight. That’s because he makes his living renting the house out for parties during the spring and summer.
“That’s how we pay our bills, we don’t live excessively,” he says.
He set up the bounce house at the home on Dahl Street yesterday afternoon, and agreed to pick it up this morning.
“I normally pick it up 4-5 hours later. Because it was a friend and they were having a later party, I didn’t want to come back out there in the middle of the night and make a bunch of noise.”
His friend had removed the fan last night, so the house was deflated. But Hackett says it wouldn’t have been easy to take. It weighs about 500 pounds.
“It wasn’t rolled up, it was all unfolded. They would have literally had to have stuffed into a pickup or van or something along those lines.”
When he found out about the theft this morning, he called Arlington Police. Then he asked neighbors on social media to keep a lookout for the house. This evening, police followed up on a tip and found the house in someone’s backyard.
“The homeowner said they purchased house at the Safeway,” says Arlington Police Officer Jason Rhodes. “At this point, it’s still under investigation how they purchased it.”
Hackett says the house has some tears, so no one will be jumping for joy in it just yet. But he’s just thankful to have it back.
“This is not the first time. They have been several instances where I’ve had things stolen, and it’s been found because of the internet and all the great people who want to help.”
Hackett had another party scheduled for next weekend. He’s hopeful that he’ll be able to repair the bounce house in time for that.
No one has been charged with this theft yet, but police say they will be investigating.