A man in Redding was captured on surveillance video as he attempted to smash a store entrance with a rock, then tripped after running through the parking lot. Video provided by Redding Police Department March 28, 2013.
Who knew that getting a rock thrown into your store window could be such a boon?
A mom-and-pop market in Redding, Calif., turned a would-be burglary attempt - complete with a bumbling suspect dressed in pajamas stumbling away after he smashed a window into the shop - into a deli ad.
The commercial, which began airing less than two weeks ago, touts a peppy musical beat and boasts that Kent's Meats and Groceries has "award-winning NY-style pastrami" that is "so good, some people will do just about anything to get more."
Store owners - Kent and Kathy Pfrimmer - obviously have a sense of humor. They wrote on their Facebook page that the commercial is an attempt to "turn lemons into lemonade," and that while the "strangely dressed burglar" broke their window, he "also made one of the funniest surveillance clips of all time."
In a phone interview Monday, Kent Pfrimmer credited his ad agent, Rocky Slaughter, for coming up with the idea. He said that as of last count, more than 6 million people have watched the original surveillance video on YouTube, and more than one million people have seen the ad.
To see the commercial, click here:
The b-roll for the ad comes from real-life surveillance video of a bungled burglary on March 5.
The surveillance video was pushed out to the media, and outlets near and far aired the odd sight: A heavyset man wearing comfortable-looking pajamas hurls a rock at the door of the market in a failed break-in attempt that triggered a burglary alarm.
The original video (above) shows him wearing dark blue pajama bottoms, sandals with socks and a military-style coat. He also has a blue stocking over his head, which he pulls down halfway through the video. He has light brown or blond hair, with a thick beard. What caught everyone's eye was that the man sprinted a few steps before tripping over the blue parking space curb.
As of Monday, there had been no word on his arrest from Redding police. Redding is near Sacramento in Shasta County.
Shirley Turner, a clerk at Kent's, told NBC Bay Area on Monday that the store has been "getting a lot of attention" over the issue with mentions on "every talk show." Kent's Market has recently appeared on CNN and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
So, the million dollar question: Have people been lining up for the pastrami?
"Yes, we've seen an increase in sales," Pfrimmer told NBC Bay Area.