Glitter Bomb Trap Developed for Would-Be Porch Pirates

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In August of this year, we reported on the new Texas law going into effect on September 1, 2019, making it a felony to steal packages from front porches. Up until this point, there were simply reports from homeowners saying that their mail was stolen, and at the very most, some embarrassment for those involved on social media when/if there was a video or images captured during the incident. Well, Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer and self-described “friend of science,” has developed a high-tech glitter bomb trap for these thieves, otherwise known as “porch pirates.” With the help of Macauley Culkin (yes, you read that right), some friends he’s named in the video post below, and some biodegradable glitter, he’s managed to garner the interest of more than 18 million viewers.

Something that has increasingly become an online share, the act of stealing packages or deliveries from people’s porches has grown steadily. It’s not just an issue in Texas, but throughout the world. With the increase of online shopping, home shipping, and delivery, and the daily work schedules that we all maintain, access to goods that are shipped to homes by porch pirates has become an issue. In a interview with a Fort Worth homeowner who was the victim of such an incident, the homeowner shared, “I work on a special-needs campus and spend a good amount of money making sure they have the supplies they need. So this year we started off with less than we had hoped but we will replace it at some point.” Ashleigh Powell, the homeowner in question, said that the package that was stolen from her front porch contained school supplies she had ordered for her students. She also said her neighborhood had appeared to be a target for porch pirates quite frequently, and that she had other packages go missing similarly in the past. The type of gadget that Rober and his counterparts developed would not only monitor the entire theft, but also send out GPS details on where the package ends up, aside from the added bonus of exploding with glitter.

Video: YouTube/Mark Rober

Shared on Mark Rober’s YouTube channel, the container that holds the glitter bomb for unsuspecting porch pirates was supplied by Bose and appeared to be a brand new pair of headphones, enticing enough for someone to try and take. Those who did would end up covered in glitter, monitored by GPS, and also a little bit nervous as a result of some random scanner-style chatter that was included in the trap for effect. The bill that came into effect in Texas, as of September 1, 2019, makes it a felony to steal anything that’s considered to be mail (i.e. parcels, letters, and postcards) at various degrees of severity. It’s a state felony to steal from less than 10 people. It’s a second-degree felony to steal from 20-50 homes. And it’s a first-degree felony to steal from more than 50 homes. If the person is convicted, there’s a prison sentence of anywhere from six months to 10 years, in addition to a fine that ranges from $4K up to $10K. Prior to this law, such acts were simply considered misdemeanors, with a ticket as their penalty, under Texas state law. With the addition of such gadgets as the one Rober and his team have developed, the likelihood of ensuring the right person or persons are brought to justice could increase… if not simply for the satisfaction of seeing them coated in glitter.