Oh deer: Pasco deputies responded to break-in by four-legged fawn

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A family living in Pasco County got quite a surprise when they learned their home had been broken into.

Thomas Lessing gave FOX 13 a tour of his home Wednesday, showing us his expansive Christmas decoration display and the few disruptions that tipped him off to what happened while he was away. 

A few days ago, Lessing came home to find the glass of his front door had been shattered.

Decorations were also scattered around, but there weren't obvious signs of a burglary.

“My heart is racing I’m thinking, 'Oh my God,'” Lessing recalled.

He decided it was time to call for backup. Lessing and a deputy from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office walked surveyed the home and they realized the bathroom door was closed and they could hear water running.


“He now does have his gun out he says now you need to step aside,” Lessing said of the deputy.

With tension rising, the deputy announced his presence and then opened the door.

But it wasn't a burglar waiting on the other side. It was a deer.

Lessing took out his phone and started recording.

Luckily, his bathroom has an exterior door, so they were able to release the deer through the backyard.

As for when and how the deer broke in, a neighbor's surveillance camera recorded a loud crash and then an antlered buck running away from the home.

Was the buck chasing the doe? Maybe we'll never know, but Lessing said the deer was likely in the house for about five hours.

“It wraps everything up it makes it fun. Nobody got hurt. It was a deer at Christmas time. What’s the odds? It was definitely an experience that’s for sure,” he said.

Lessing says he now plans to get some reindeer decorations to add to his collection.