Trust us – we’ve seen our fair share of bizarre burglary stories. This includes burglars calling the police, trapping themselves in a room when all they had to do was push the door instead of pull, and many more. What makes this story a good read? Perhaps it’s a sort of revenge fantasy that lives in us all. Think about it: burglar breaks in, you capture him, then punish him with the most agonizing of tasks – mowing your lawn. Now if that isn’t satisfying, I don’t know what is.

Burglar Turned Landscaper

So here’s the story. Bryan Remly of St. Petersburg, Florida broke into a home on September 3 and began to search for valuables. What he didn’t know was that the homeowner, Joseph Cihak, was sleeping in another room. Cihak and his wife were awoken by the telltale sounds of a burglary in progress and sprang into action. Cihak had been a victim of burglary at this same residence once before. Perhaps that is why he grabbed a gun and confronted Remly.


Bryan Remly (St. Petersburg Police)

Gunshots and… Gardening?

When Joseph Cihak drew his gun and confronted Remly, his worst nightmare was realized. Remly charged at the homeowner (presumably to attack him). Cihak then shot twice but both bullets missed their mark. Then, in a miraculous turn of events, the burglar came to his senses and stopped in his tracks. We’re sure Remly must have seen his life flash before his eyes, because he pleaded with Cihak to let him go. In fact, he went the extra mile and offered to mow the homeowner’s lawn in exchange for freedom.

Let’s be honest: mowing the lawn is a chore. It’s messy, laborious and a pain. Nobody likes to mow the lawn, and maybe Remly was counting on that as an offer Cihak couldn’t refuse. Unfortunately for the thief, a good lawn mowing doesn’t make up for the fury caused when someone’s home and safety is violated. Police soon arrived and took him to jail, booking him on armed residential burglary (he was armed with a knife) and violation of probation.


It’s not every day someone offers to mow your lawn in a panic. Police spokesman Mike Puetz jokingly told the Tampa Bay Times, “That probably would have done it for me. But for this particular guy, he wanted to wait for the cops.”

When Burglars Return

Remember, it’s not uncommon for thieves to return to the same target. Joseph Cihak and his wife were burglarized mere weeks before this incident and could have been a victim again had they not caught the thief in the act. In our decades of experience, we’ve heard countless stories of homeowners being victimized again and again by criminals who think they’ve found an easy target.

If you’ve read this article, you’re not an easy target. Now you know how burglars think! Protect your home with security technology, hit that “arm” button and worry more about the important stuff. Like mowing the lawn.

Would you let a burglar go if he mowed your lawn in return? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!