Former NASA Engineer Makes a Box That Tortures Package Thieves

Oldmodder

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I am more thinking of a CO2 powered injector, that spray something nasty all over the place,

you take my parcel, i take the ambiance of your car / home.

you could also do something mechanical with springs and so on and a can of paint.

I am not kidding, if i was a American porch pirates and getting even with them would be like my main hobby.
 
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lcpiper

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Questions about legality here. As harmless as it seems it is still a booby trap and a booby trap is illegal.
Thieves have successfully sued because of that issue.

Has to do physical harm or it's not a boob-trap.

In international law related to conflicts;
'Booby-trap' means any device or material which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure, and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an apparently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act.
http://www.weaponslaw.org/glossary/booby-trap-definition

And in US criminal law;
A booby trap may be defined as any concealed or camouflaged device designed to cause bodily injury when triggered by any action of a person making contact with the device.
https://definitions.uslegal.com/b/booby-traps/

No if, say for argument's sake, this package thief had opened the package while the car was in motion and the effect caused an accident, a civil law suite would probably be in the making. But no crime was committed here.
 

lcpiper

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We used to have a thing in the Army called “Micro-pulverized CS powder” for chemical warfare training. Finer than talcum powder and it gets in everywhere... and burns like acid.


Right, had a road march, several hours humping an M-60 GPMG, then we went through a gas chamber as part of an obstetrical course, the gas saturated my shoulder where the machinegun's carry strap had chaffed me. That went from mildly bad to really damned painful so quick.

But it wears off, goes away, becomes just another war story.
 

Oldmodder

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If there are a legal parameter i am missing here, i would just have a friend in disguise drop off the parcel at my porch, and so its not something i have done as i have a "stranger in a hood drop it off" on my CCTV.
And i am sure other victims would like to volunteer their porch if need be.
I also thing bad drivers should have the steering wheel airbag replaced with a mini claymore, maybe that will prompt them to drive more considerate.
 

MrValentine

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Would not surprise me if he gets hit with a lawsuit. "Chemical bomb gave my kid asthma attack that hospitalized them!"

My opinion is that if your not going to really go all out and make it a small explosive device, why even bother and risk a lawsuit. If your going to make a boobytrap make one worth the prison time or fine!
 

biggles

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Great video. Really pissed me off when the thieves would react like they were so inconvenienced by the glitter and the smell.

I'm curious, if this happens to you, are you basically out of luck with your purchase? Can Amazon or the carrier do anything for you at this point?

I live in an apartment and always have my packages delivered to the front office but man I would totally hate it if my stuff went missing. I second the 'wait in the bushes with a baseball bat' idea mentioned above.
Wife and I had a few packages stolen over the past 2 years. The sad thing is that she is a kindergarten teacher and they literally stole books and teaching materials intended for 5 years olds. Amazon reshipped the order without charge. We of course filed a police report. Some online sellers insist on a signature on items above dollar thresholds. For instance, bought an nvme ssd from Rakuten recently and it required signature (total after tax was only around $180). No doubt they are concerned about the risk of package theft and do not want to lose money as a result.
 

J3RK

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We had a Dutch exchange student at my high school. We'll just say she was a bit of a mischief maker :D She dropped one of these tiny little glass-capsule stink bombs into the cafeteria from the top floor. I've never seen a group of people scatter so quickly in my life. Whatever was in that, would be perfect for this device.
 

eclypse

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Yeah ya got Amazon now taking pics of your package on your porch to prove they delivered it for a reason! Haha
 

wizdum

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Wife and I had a few packages stolen over the past 2 years. The sad thing is that she is a kindergarten teacher and they literally stole books and teaching materials intended for 5 years olds. Amazon reshipped the order without charge. We of course filed a police report. Some online sellers insist on a signature on items above dollar thresholds. For instance, bought an nvme ssd from Rakuten recently and it required signature (total after tax was only around $180). No doubt they are concerned about the risk of package theft and do not want to lose money as a result.
If the Rakuten order came from overseas, then thats why. Even $0.50 international packages require a signature.
 

eclypse

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Just drop off a nice log in a package would do! Haha that would be easy!

Edit: would need a large package haha
 

chockomonkey

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You know, people can find and attack him too? More incentive for that when actual damage occurs, social or otherwise.
Yes that's a fair concern and is perhaps why he didn't go all in on it .. but he'd be in the right exposing thieving asshats
 

ZLoth

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I'm probably in the minority, but I cannot help but feel a little sorry for the package thieves. Glitter is a PITA to clean up and get rid of. Especially if its in your girlfriend's car.

Then, I laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.....
 

eclypse

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Starofoam/broken up popcorn packing material is a bitch as well! Static clings as well haha.
 

TwiceOver

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So did he report the geolocation information to the cops? I mean, that one lady clearly threw it in her trash can, did he retrieve it from there?

So many questions.
 

chockomonkey

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Imagine this.. a website to publicize porch pirates which you've got on camera stealing packages. Hook it up to Facebook api and scan your friends list via facial recognition against the database pp's. Find your friends who steal and commence the shaming!
 

Reimu

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Thats not torture, IMO its waste of a clear skilled mind, glitter and a little fart smell will not do it in my book.
I would be much more nasty and hopefully cost the perp a new car interior or in some of the cases apartment/ house interior.

I agree with you in spirit, but you couldn't go further than that if you are doing what this NASA engineer's doing (public shaming of the thieves)
 

kirbyrj

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Maybe I am naive but this is what the police department should have jumped on when he contacted them. Package taken, get the license plates or stop the thief and the fine should be $1500 or more.

Cameras don't always capture license plates clearly. Essentially, it's not that the police don't realize a crime was committed, but the solvability is low unless you are able to identify the person. If suddenly the police were using facial recognition, people would be up in arms about muh privacy.
 

kamxam

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Too bad we Don't have a non-toxic fine glue mist that gets on everything and ruins clothes, upholstery, etc. Would be fine justice to steal a package and ruin your clothes, your car interior, etc. But as someone mentioned, you'd probably get sued for loss of income or something like that. :bigtears:
 

Glock24

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I would have used something that really ruined clothes, upholstery and walls, paint, inkjet ink or similar. I would also use something that scares the shit out of them, something like a high db alarm siren that cannot be turned off or a flashbang.
 

Darunion

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I would have used something that really ruined clothes, upholstery and walls, paint, inkjet ink or similar. I would also use something that scares the shit out of them, something like a high db alarm siren that cannot be turned off or a flashbang.

There was one a few years back where it was loaded with dog poo and it splattered all over in the car.

Though, unless you get them arrested, there becomes a high chance of retaliation.
 

cyclone3d

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Can you imagine getting that shit in your eyes? Isn't glitter metallic particles?

Nope.. usually shiny plastic with maybe some metal coating unless something has changed. Pretty sure you wouldn't want metal glitter. Too much chance of shorting stuff out. You need it to be non-electrically conducting.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Police would hold you accountable for the death, just saying . . .
Wonder if the, "I don't know who left that package on my door step, officer." would work? :)

Would harm the ability to easily re-use the package. Same for using any kind of skunk spray or something like deer urine.
True, but those people would have a story to tell to others tho.
 

Mohonri

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Forget the cameras and GPS. Just make plans for a greatstuff expanding foam dispenser that goes nuts on opening the package. That stuff sticks to EVERYTHING.
Oh, my. That's devious. I love it!

There was one a few years back where it was loaded with dog poo and it splattered all over in the car.

Though, unless you get them arrested, there becomes a high chance of retaliation.
I suspect that most of the package thieves are serial offenders. They've grabbed a bunch of stuff off a bunch of porches. They won't keep track of where they got Box X from compared to Box Y.
 

steakman1971

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That video was great. I think it depends on where you live if the police will do anything. In my area, I wouldn't hold my breath.
I had video footage of someone vandalizing my house - police didn't even want to see it. I think he had a date at the donut shop or something. He seemed annoyed as hell we called to report my house getting egged (it damaged the paint on my door and required several hours of work to restore things, certainly not the end of the world but damn!)
My brother once had about $5000 in tools stolen from his garage. They told him he would probably not get any of it back. They were not too concerned. (Again, I know they have bigger fish to fry but this is part of their job).
 
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