When a popular nightclub learned it had been the victim of a brazen theft, it didn't get mad — it offered the thieves a cash prize in exchange for sneaking the stolen items back in.

It all started when two patrons of the he Carbon Nightclub in Galway, Ireland, managed to make off with the establishment's welcome mat during business hours with security being none-the-wiser.

The lads posted a Facebook photo of themselves with the mat, prompting the stunned Carbon management to issue the following challenge:

After much discussion, we have [decided] this horrible debacle must come to an end. These two jokers managed to sneak this mat out past security but if they can sneak it back in, we'll give them a €100 [~$135] bar tab and a free limo and vip entry for their friends. BUT if they care caught bringing back in, BARRED for 2 months...So ye feeling lucky punks????..do it!!

The challenge prompted one of the thieves to hit back at the club with a challenge of own: "I see your mat...how much for the rest? 4 posters and a drip mat... #its on #doubleornothing"

Soon enough, others started getting in on the fun, taunting the nightclub by posting photos their own Carbon souvenirs:

"We're delighted people are seeing it in the humour it was meant," the nightclub's marketing manager Jonathan Bryne told Independent.ie. "Galway is a vibrant student town and they're all studying and doing exams at the moment, so it was just a fun thing we came up with to draw attention to ourselves."

Unfortunately, it seems the mat bandits won't be returning to Carbon, stealthily or otherwise, for at least a couple of weeks as they too are focusing on their education for the moment, but Bryne says they're welcome to bring back the welcome mat anytime.

[H/T: Reddit, photos via Facebook]