Homeowner Fed-Up With Folks Cutting Through Yard, Marks His Territory

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A homeowner, who was apparently fed-up with people cutting through his yard, decided to get creative in marking his territory. After posting a video of his “solution” to the “problem,” he effectively divided the internet.

Thomas Lyons
One of many “lawn pirates” who cut across the front yard of Thomas Lyons’ home. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Thomas Lyons is a man who apparently takes serious pride in looking after his lawn, so he was none too pleased with seeing his yard being potentially ruined by trespassers, who often cut across his property. After devising a plan to mark his territory and keep people from taking a shortcut across his grass, the homeowner captured the results of his efforts on surveillance camera video and took to TikTok to share his creative idea. While many applauded him, others weren’t impressed.

“When people won’t stop cutting across your lawn…” Lyons wrote in the on-screen text of the video footage captured by a security camera that points directly onto the lawn. In the clip, a trespasser appears on the screen as she walks across the yard, but when she gets to a certain area of the lawn, “her movement triggers a sprinkler alarm which drenches the woman – who can be seen running off the lawn for cover,” Indy 100 reported.


Also seen in the footage, two children decided to take a shortcut across the lawn, and just like with the first woman, it was a decision the pair would quickly come to regret as the two trespassers are seen in video footage being soaked when the sprinklers turn on, and they too are “flushed” off the grass before the on-screen text of the video concludes, “set up an automatic sprinkler.”

Thomas Lyons wasn’t done there, either. In fact, he posted two more short video clips, one of which was the same video footage as the first clip, but this time with the “original alarm audio,” showing that the automatic sprinkler had an alarm that was triggered by the motion of trespassers, who were sent running towards the sidewalk after getting soaked.


In a third video posted by Thomas Lyons to the social media platform, additional trespassers are seen getting their comeuppance. But, first, Lyons showed what life was like “before the sprinkler.” In a montage of clips, people are seen freely walking across the middle of the man’s yard with some even riding their bicycles and motorized bikes across the lawn. And, it seemed to occur at all hours of the day and night.

Then, things take a turn as the on-screen text says in an upbeat tone, “and after,” referring to the installation of the sprinkler alarm, which effectively drenches trespassers and pelts them off the grass. It’s obvious that Lyons is amused as he chose to include cheerful music to accompany the clips as the interlopers are confronted by the sprinklers. But, first, have a look at Lyon’s third clip:


Quite quickly, the clips garnered millions of views and likes as well as tens of thousands of comments. Unfortunately for the TikToker, not everyone was pleasantly entertained. Instead, the homeowner’s controversial methods sparked a debate in the online comments as social media users argued over whether or not it was right to “punish” strangers this way for the simple act of walking on someone else’s lawn.

“Let those kids go home a minute faster,” one person wrote as another added, “Never understood why walking on the lawn is such a bad thing. It’s grass.” In fact, many commenters, who openly disagreed with spraying people for walking across the lawn, raised the same argument, saying that it was “just grass” and suggesting that Thomas Lyons should “chill,” according to Daily Mail.

Before the sprinkler, trespassers crossed the lawn day and night. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)
Thomas Lyons
Some “lawn pirates” even road motorized bikes across Thomas Lyons’ yard. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

“These are school kids, you could just put a stone path [on the lawn], it’s just grass, kindness means so much more,” yet another naysayer suggested. The point that it was “just grass,” however, was countered by many others who said, “it’s just water,” referring to the so-called “punishment” being dished out by the homeowner, warding off those who got too close to his house.

For each person who argued that the homeowner should show the trespassers some grace, there were seemingly just as many social media users who were ready to defend his actions, arguing that as long as it is his lawn, he can do whatever he wants, including soaking people who don’t have permission to be there. “I LOVE this level of pettiness. It’s your lawn so do as you wish,” one such commenter wrote while another person said, “I don’t understand. I was raised never to walk in someone’s yard, especially a strangers [sic].”

After the sprinkler was installed, Thomas Lyons captured video clips of trespassers being “flushed” off his property by the new system. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)
Thomas Lyons
A woman captured falling victim to Thomas Lyons’ “punishment” for “lawn pirates.” (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Others took a less emotional and more rational approach, pointing out that there were sidewalks for a reason, affirming that walking across the grass may kill it, and again saying it was the homeowner’s yard to do with as they wish. After the first clip ignited the initial debate, Lyons added the other videos, showing what would happen before the sprinkler was installed. He also explained in the caption of his third video that the “lawn pirates” were “asked very nicely every day to stay off the lawn but people just keep coming.”

Maybe a fence would have been a better solution, but it would have been a pricier one. While you can get a motion-activated sprinkler for less than a hundred bucks, a fence would easily cost thousands. The same can be said about the “stone path” that one critic suggested. Rather than telling someone else what upgrades their home should have, perhaps the best solution is respecting other people’s property. If you don’t want to be caught in a sprinkler shower while taking a shortcut, stick to the public sidewalk that’s there.