This YouTuber Got the Best Revenge on Package Thieves

published Dec 19, 2018
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(Image credit: Jeramey Lende)

Nowadays, nobody wants to let packages sit on their front steps while they’re away at work. Package are stolen at a sky-high rate, particularly during the holidays. So we couldn’t help but admire one man who found the perfect way to deal with sticky-fingered thieves. Mark Rober, an engineer/inventor/YouTube star, finally got fed up with having his packages snagged off his front porch.

“About seven months ago, I noticed a package reported as delivered, but it never arrived. So when I checked our security cameras, I noticed this lovely couple out for a stroll,” says Rober, showing a video of a woman swiping a box from in front of his home. “As you can see they have backpacks on, and are going around the neighborhood making an afternoon out of this.”

But when Rober told the police about the thefts, they didn’t think it was really worth looking into. It was then that he realized he was going to have to create a method of busting the crooks himself.

“If anyone was going to make a revenge bait package… it was going to be me,” he said.

Since Rober is trained as an engineer, he put his skills into making a contraption that sends a cup of glitter into the air once the package is opened. First, a set of limit switches notifies the circuit board that the box is open. Using four phones on wide-angle filming mode and angled back for the best view of whoever’s opening it, the machine releases about a pound of glitter… along with a few other surprises. After the package is opened and the glitter is deployed, a can of fart spray sends out a series of five spritzes containing a hideous fart stench every 30 seconds. The stench encourages the thief to want to get rid of the package immediately, increasing the change that Rober can discover the package’s location.

“But even if they don’t, all four phones have LTE data plans, so the footage is uploaded to the cloud,” says Rober.

A GPS notifies Rober when the package has been removed from his porch, so he can then track it to its location. In a series of clips, Rober captures footage of several stolen boxes as they’re opened by whoever snagged them, often with hilarious results.

“Sometimes, a well-engineered design is beautiful,” says Rober.