In brief: Stealing an Amazon package off someone's front porch has become a popular crime, and while police are proactively trying to combat it, one YouTube channel is fighting back through the magic of glitter and fart spray.
Mark Rober is a mechanical engineer who spent nine years at NASA, 7 of them working on the Curiosity Rover. The latest video on his YouTube channel shows how a package from Amazon was stolen from his porch, leading to him building a glitter bomb trap.
The fake package contains a custom-print circuit board with a built-in accelerometer. When it's moved, the GPS tracker checks to see if it's no longer on the porch, if so, the four included smartphones start recording and the footage is uploaded to the cloud. The GPS also lets Mark see the box's location.
Not content with recording someone in the act, the package, which is made to look like it contains one of Apple's expensive HomePod speakers, hurls a ton of glitter using a spinning tub that Mark created, all while repeatedly spraying out fart gas.
The thieves' reactions when they open the boxes are fantastic and mostly very funny. Maybe it'll make them think twice about taking something that isn't theirs again---but probably not.
Last week, it was reported that more police are using sting operations in which they place fake Amazon deliveries embedded with GPS trackers on doorsteps to try to catch criminals. A good plan, though booby-trapping them to unload tear gas and pepper spray when opened might be going too far.