Mark Rober's Glitter Bomb 4.0 makes porch pirates pay

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,036   +150
Staff member
In a nutshell: Mark Rober’s annual glitter bomb videos are becoming a bit of a holiday tradition. The fourth-gen glitter bomb features several new surprises including a redesigned, multi-stage glitter cup, a car horn and an onboard microphone. There’s also 20 percent more fart spray on board, because of course there is.

In 2018, the former NASA engineer published his first glitter bomb video on YouTube. Months earlier, someone had stolen a package from his front porch. Armed with surveillance footage of the thief in action, Rober went to the police but they were too busy to help.

Rather than carry on with life, he made it his life's mission to take a stand against “dishonest punks.” Hence, version one of the glitter bomb was conceived.

The glitter bomb is a booby-trapped bait package loaded full of glitter (and sometimes other surprises). It’s also armed with multiple cameras that capture a thief’s response when they open the unsuspecting box and get bombarded with an instant mess.

To say the series is popular would be an understatement. The original glitter bomb video has amassed over 87 million views as of writing, and the latest iteration published on December 13 already has more than 6 million views.

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brucek

Posts: 1,103   +1,618
I love this video series, just like I love some of the best call-center scammer revenge ones. But as I've watched more of them, they've started to feel hollow. On the one hand it's funny and the criminal is somewhat inconvenienced. On the other hand what all these videos are most convincingly showing is that there's an unlimited supply of scumbags and most of them think that what they are doing is perfectly OK.

I'm at the point where all I really want to see are arrests and long prison sentences. Anything else is just more of the bad guys getting away with it as usual.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,171   +6,655
This makes for a good show, but otherwise a waste of time. There are only two things that discourage a thief: A) A good lock, B) Prison

To make a difference, one has to get the thief arrested, not sprinkled with glitter or some stench.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,103   +1,618
He mentioned in the video his lawyers told him he can't sell them. But even if he couldn't sell to regular people, I wonder if he could sell to police?

But who am I kidding, even if he priced it at $1, it seems like the police just don't care. From his four videos alone, he has to have had complete documentation sufficient for at least several dozen cases: video, audio, GPS locations, glitter evidence, etc. But as far as I know, local authorities opened up zero cases, despite having being handed them on a silver platter.
 

gusticles41

Posts: 507   +604
He mentioned in the video his lawyers told him he can't sell them. But even if he couldn't sell to regular people, I wonder if he could sell to police?

But who am I kidding, even if he priced it at $1, it seems like the police just don't care. From his four videos alone, he has to have had complete documentation sufficient for at least several dozen cases: video, audio, GPS locations, glitter evidence, etc. But as far as I know, local authorities opened up zero cases, despite having being handed them on a silver platter.

When I saw the glitter bomb go off in the car while driving I realized the issue. Imagine the criminal opening it up while driving then crashing into an innocent bystander.

 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,203   +2,591
TechSpot Elite
Now if he can make a glitter bomb that also shocks the thief with a built-in tazer, that might actually change behaviors....
I love this video series, just like I love some of the best call-center scammer revenge ones. But as I've watched more of them, they've started to feel hollow. On the one hand it's funny and the criminal is somewhat inconvenienced. On the other hand what all these videos are most convincingly showing is that there's an unlimited supply of scumbags and most of them think that what they are doing is perfectly OK.

I'm at the point where all I really want to see are arrests and long prison sentences. Anything else is just more of the bad guys getting away with it as usual.
I like the ideas but I don't think that it would be effecting at changing behaviours. I don't think that these people actually want to be stealing but in the economic mess that is the USA, they're driven to do these things. I believe that it's a case of "Steal packages or you and your family don't eat." in most situations. I mean, sure, there are probably people out there just being greedy A-holes but I think that they're probably not the norm.

If you want to really stop crime, take away the conditions that make criminal activities unattractive or unnecessary. People will do what they need to survive no matter what punishments they are threatened with. In all of its known forms, that's just how life operates.

It has become painfully obvious that being "tough on crime" doesn't work as the USA has been trying that for decades with little to no success. Norway has a revolutionary penal system that has successfully made the crime rate in Norway drop year over year:
Norway's systems of government and economics already make crime there extremely low. One would think that reducing crime even further than that would be extremely difficult, but Norway does it.

Always remember that crime is a disease and like any disease there are symptoms and also a legitimate cause. Like any other disease, you can tackle the symptoms or you can tackle the cause. Most countries create the cause and tackle the symptoms. Their methods for tackling the symptoms become the cause all too often ("I went in a felon but came out a criminal.").

In what has become an all-too-common scenario, the Nordic countries found a better way using science and logic instead of ignoring the root problem and doubling down on methods that are both draconian and ineffective like we do. It's an all-too-common scenario because we should be also looking for a better way but we're just too lazy.

I swear, the Nordics have become like the Ancient Greeks of the modern world while the rest of us are just barbarians.
 
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brucek

Posts: 1,103   +1,618
I believe that it's a case of "Steal packages or you and your family don't eat."
That is not at all what is depicted in the Glitterbomb videos. The package is a non-essential consumer electronic, and the video recorded during unboxing shows that it was stolen for personal use or as a gift to partner or child, not for resale. The thieves have homes and cars, not noticeably different from the homes and cars they are stealing from. In some of the videos the thief is bragging about their loot, at least once to their child which I find especially outrageous.

In short the motive is simple: the thief wanted the item, so they took it. They lacked the morals to not do so, and they lacked any disincentive in the form of likely punishment, so we end up with the family that deserved the item they paid for not getting it while the thief does. There's no way to dress that up pretty.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,203   +2,591
TechSpot Elite
That is not at all what is depicted in the Glitterbomb videos. The package is a non-essential consumer electronic, and the video recorded during unboxing shows that it was stolen for personal use or as a gift to partner or child, not for resale. The thieves have homes and cars, not noticeably different from the homes and cars they are stealing from. In some of the videos the thief is bragging about their loot, at least once to their child which I find especially outrageous.
Yes, people like that do exist and the fact that they are that type makes it funny. It wouldn't be so funny if you could see that the person was hurting. I also agree that it's a terrible thing to teach your children.
In short the motive is simple: the thief wanted the item, so they took it. They lacked the morals to not do so, and they lacked any disincentive in the form of likely punishment, so we end up with the family that deserved the item they paid for not getting it while the thief does. There's no way to dress that up pretty.
What's really weird about that is the fact that the thief has no idea what they've stolen. For all they know, they've stolen toilet paper! :laughing:
 

brucek

Posts: 1,103   +1,618
Did you watch the videos? The packaging is the product box - an Apple HomePod or I believe he has XBox version as well. It is not a generic brown Amazon box if that's what you're thinking.