Although it’s difficult to find authoritative statistics about thefts from porch pirates, some of the most reliable surveys show that pirates have stolen from about one in five Americans. The problem has gotten so bad that 41 percent of households say that they avoid buying certain items from online stores. If something costs enough money, letting it sit on your porch creates too much risk.
What if you had some clever ways to fool porch pirates? Then, you could prevent thefts or help the police track down the thieves targeting your neighborhood.
HARNESS THE POWER OF MAGIC (AND SCIENCE) TO TRICK PORCH PIRATES
One of the most clever ways to fool porch pirates comes from magician-scientist Jason Latimer. He found a simple way to turn your deliveries “invisible.” With materials you can order online (or, go to the store depending on how often packages get stolen in your area!), you can use a mirror and table to create the illusion that nothing worth stealing is on your porch.
You might wonder whether turning packages “invisible” will make it difficult for delivery people to see where they should place items. Latimer didn’t have any trouble. Everyone who delivered items to his home saw where to put the packages. Once you get on the porch, the illusion becomes more obvious. As long as porch pirates don’t see packages, though, they don’t have any reason to approach your home.
Watch the video on the YouTube channel Impossible Science to learn how you can apply this clever illusion to your porch.
CATCH PORCH PIRATES ON CAMERA AND SHARE VIDEOS WITH YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Sadly, most porch pirates live somewhere in your area. Whether they live down the street or across town, there is a decent chance that someone in your community knows them.
Some residents have used video cameras and social media channels to share porch pirates in action. In 2018, a Louisville, KY man decided to take things one step further by adding bait to his porch. He took an extremely easy approach. After getting a Ring Video Doorbell as a Christmas present, he used a metal wire to connect an empty Amazon package to his porch. When someone tries to take the box, a message pops up to tell the porch pirate they’re on camera.
Since starting in 2018, the man has uploaded more than 100 attempted thefts to his YouTube channel Don’t Touch My Box. His most popular video has more than 8,500 views. In addition to annoying porch pirates, he earns a little money from online ads.
Hopefully, the social pressure from shared videos will make some thieves think twice before stepping foot onto someone else’s property.
RUIN A PORCH PIRATE’S DAY WITH A GLITTER BOMB
Porch Pirates met their match when they messed with former NASA engineer Mark Rober, who now has about 20 million YouTube subscribers. Rober used his engineering experience to build the most clever way to fool porch pirates and ruin their days.
After someone stole a package from Rober’s porch, he made a basic glitterbomb. When the thief opened the package, a mechanism would release an explosion of glitter.
Rober continued improving his invention until he created a third iteration that can:
Bomb the thief with glitter.
Spray the thief with a chemical that smells like a skunk.
Play sounds like police scanners.
Flash blue and red lights.
Film the whole interaction and upload the video to the internet.
This level of box costs too much for the average person to make (it contains four smartphones to record the action). Rober has certainly made enough to cover his losses, though. More than 43 million people have watched his compilation video of Glitterbomb 3.0.
PLACE A GPS TRACKING DEVICE INSIDE A DECOY PACKAGE
Put an end to a porch pirate’s criminal career by placing a GPS tracking device inside a decoy package. Make your decoy packages as enticing as possible by setting them on the edge of your porch where anyone driving down the street can see them. Choose a medium-sized box and add a brick to make it feel a little heavy. If it’s too small, it may not get the porch pirate’s attention. If it’s really big or heavy, it may seem too cumbersome to carry away.
More importantly, place a reliable GPS tracking device inside the decoy package. The LandAirSea 54 Real Time 46 LTE GPS telematic device is one of your best options because it has an affordable price, long battery life and software that lets you track your decoy package’s every move.
The thief will likely try to get rid of the GPS tracking device when they discover it. When your device stops moving, take a screenshot of your tracking software so you can give it to the police as evidence. Your effort might give the police enough evidence to secure a warrant that lets them search the porch pirate’s storage site.
MORE CLEVER WAYS TO FOOL PORCH PIRATES
If you want more clever ways to fool porch pirates without spending much money, browse the company’s online catalog to find other GPS tracking devices. You can do more than ruin a thief’s day. You can potentially have them arrested and retrieve your stolen items.