Thursday, December 20, 2018

As online purchases have soared in the last decade, porch piracy has become a real problem. Many residents now rig their front door areas with video cameras so they can see what’s happening while they’re away. One engineer got so fed up with his packages being stolen that he designed a prank package that would punish — but not hurt — the criminals.

Engineer Mark Rober tried going to the police with the video after one of his recent purchases was stolen off his front porch by a man and woman wearing backpacks.

Unfortunately, local police will take an incident report but lack the resources to pursue most porch thefts.

Feeling “violated” and “powerless,” Rober decided he had the skills to make a truly unique — and deserved — consequence for anyone with sticky fingers trespassing on his property. With the help of a friend, he engineered a box that would explode with the Devil’s dust — a.k.a. glitter — and a foul-smelling spray when opened by a thief.

He also rigged the “package” with four cameras and GPS tracking that would catch the who ordeal and make it possible for him to find the package wherever the thieves left it.

The reactions from those hit by the glitter bomb were mostly what you’d expect – shock and dismay followed quickly by revulsion as the scent from the spray can filled the car or room. One thief simply stood there “contemplating life choices,” looking at the glitter launching device and ultimately cleaning up the mess with a vacuum.

All in all, Rober seems pleased with the small amount of retribution he wreaked on the nefarious porch pirates. And it certainly is fun to watch someone get their just desserts for stealing. I believe they got off fairly easy with simultaneous glitter and stink bombs.

As Rober says, “The moral of the story is, just don’t take other people’s stuff. Not only is it not cool, but on the plus side, you’ll never find yourself in this situation.”

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