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August 04, 2015

Was hitchBOT's destruction part of a publicity stunt?

Pranksters Ed Bassmaster and Jesse Wellen might be getting the last laugh

Technology Robots
Robots Contributed Art/hitchBOT

The demise of hitchBOT, a globetrotting robot, might have been part of a prank.

UPDATE: While the prankster has not admitted to the destruction of hitchBOT, evidence continues to mount suggesting that Ed Bassmaster is responsible for the "death" of the hitchhiking robot. 

Bassmaster posted a video to Periscope early Tuesday morning as the character "Teste," claiming that the cops were after him for hitchBOT's demise. 

Watch the video here. (DISCLAIMER: Video may contain potentially offensive language)

HitchBOT might have been the victim of a Philadelphia prank.

The destruction of the globetrotting robot created an internet frenzy Monday, leaving Philadelphia as the punchline to countless jokes about its "brotherly love."

But noted pranksters Ed Bassmaster and Jesse Wellen — the last people known to have seen the ill-fated robot — might be getting the last laugh.

As internet fury built — and Philadelphia's tech community pledge to rebuild hitchBOT — Wellen posted an alleged surveillance footage of an Eagles fan destroying hitchBOT near Elfreth's Alley in Old City. 

But Fox 29 reporter Dave Kinchen went out to the scene and discovered there aren't any surveillance cameras that could have recorded the footage.

That discovery has left some wondering whether hitchBOT's destruction was part of a hoax pulled off by Wellen and Bassmaster, who is receiving his own television show on Country Music Television.

If it indeed is a prank, Wellen and Bassmaster have not yet admitted to the stunt.