When he walked outside and checked for his parcel he found nothing, it hadn't been the first time either. He was sick and tired of them.
He had paid for these items and now someone else was taking them. Then one day he heard a loud sound and someone cry out, he smiled to himself.
A third of all packages delivered in the U.S. never get to their destinations. This hasn't got anything to do with the postal service either.
The reason why so many never get to their owners is because of theft. Nicknamed "Porch Pirates" they liked to steal what others have paid for.
Arthur felt that he was a reasonable man and his years as a police officer really gave him a well-rounded attitude.
He worked hard for his paycheck and for the things he bought. So when something was stolen from his porch, he was angry. But by the fourth one, his blood was boiling.
It seems that the bandits didn't care what they took. Petty things like toilet paper to expensive things like car parts were taken, anything and everything was taken.
It seemed that the authorities couldn't do anything about it. He knew that very well. He would have to take things into his own hands.
Arthur knew he needed to get creative to solve this problem. He started work making a goodie that the porch pirates couldn't refuse.
The next bandit to step onto his property and take his package would severely regret it. Arthur's hobbies would be put to the ultimate test.
Arthur Is A Navy SEAL
Arthur was a Navy Seal for many years of his life. He developed a unique set of skills while he served.
His mind and body were molded by his career and now that he was retired he knew he could put them to good use. He would make a booby trap that they would never forget.
After trying to make a complicated revenge box that took weeks to build - he wasn't happy with it.
It was some kind of hybrid between a snare and a finger trap. But something didn't sit well with him. He wanted it to have a greater effect on the scum that stole his property.
"I was thinking, how could I scare them and make them drop my package and then never come to my front porch again."
He thought about it long and hard. He wanted them to get a huge fright - that's all he wanted really. Just as long as nobody got hurt, the cops arriving wouldn't be a good idea.
The snare was too much and wouldn't have the impact he wanted. So he thought about how he could modify it.
He scrapped his original idea and decided to redesign everything. He wondered what would scare them the most. Then it dawned on him, this would be the ultimate revenge box.
So when he woke up the next day he was off to the hardware store. He felt self-conscious about buying the specific supplies he needed.
THe saw the cashier looking at him in a funny way. He didn't care though, they could make all the assumptions they wanted - he still didn't have to explain himself.
Arthur spent the rest of the day putting together his device and making a box look like an official goods package.
When Arthur finished, he stood back and looked at his masterpiece with delight. He took it to his backyard for a test drive and laughed in excitement when it did just what he engineered it to.
He tested it again, this time covering his ears. The first one left them ringing. He tested it over and over again to make sure it was reliable. And it was.
There was just one more piece left to make it all come together. Arthur got in the car and drove to the nearest store to get a security camera. There was no escaping him now.
Arthur returned home and installed a doorbell cam so that he could see the thief’s face while he was at work. The footage didn’t disappoint.
Now, all that was left to do was lay down his trap and wait. Just as he expected, he didn’t have to wait very long. That evening as he sat on his couch, He caught his first victim.
The doorbell cam shows the unsuspecting victim audaciously strolling right up to Arthur’s front door. Arthur watched eagerly from his phone.
He was sitting on the edge of the seat. He couldn’t believe that a thief could look so casual before committing a crime. To his surprise, it’s a woman.
Arthur watches in amazement as the woman approaches. She goes to ring the doorbell to check if anyone is home, but is spooked by the motion sensor light.
She walks away from the door. Then Arthur notices a getaway vehicle in the background. The man inside eggs her on, telling her to turn around.
With the person waiting in the getaway car growing impatient, the woman goes back to the house, takes a last look around, and grabs the package… BOOM.
The woman screams and runs back to the getaway car so fast that Arthur ends up with her cellphone. Poetic justice. He sits back and smirks. What had he done?
Simple And Effective
Arthur’s box is genius in its simplicity. The box contains a plate that holds back a firing pin, which is connected to a string that’s secured to his doorknob.
When the box is lifted or pulled, the plate moves enough to allow the firing pin to set off a 12-gauge shotgun blank. But was it legal?
Don’t Try This At Home
State law forbids anyone from assembling explosive devices without a valid license. "Even though it's a blank, the way the device is made is actually illegal," said police spokeswoman, Loretta Cool.
The police don’t think that Arthur’s “Boom Box” was a good idea at all. “If the would-be package thief is hurt in any way, the homeowner would be responsible,” she continued…
"Even more than him crossing the line, I'm not sure if people realize that, even though this person is stealing something, he can't intentionally set them up to be hurt", Cool explained.
She also said that Arthur’s man trap could also be a crime itself. But it would be up to the Porch Pirates to lay criminal charges… something that hasn’t been done.
Although the box is terrifying, Arthur says it’s perfectly safe. He told reporters that he’s tested it dozens of times, and he even tested it with a ripe tomato inside.
“It never hurt me once,” he explained in an interview. “It didn’t hurt the tomato in there either.” And the contraption has lured more than one thief.
Arthur did suggest however, that if anyone was to copy his idea, they might want to cover their backs first - for legal reasons.
He learnt that it was best to tack up a “no trespassing” sign and taping a beware note to the box, warning people not to move packages from the porch. That can protect the homeowner from lawsuits - and Arthur knew that.
The involvement of the cops and the legal discussions around his ploy may have deterred some people from pursuing it further, but Arthur was different.
There was no way he was going to stop what he was doing. Especially when he was catching criminals red-handed trying to steal from him. He was also confident it was completely safe. And time and time again, his device proved effective.
Arthur set his trap once again, hoping to teach another thief a lesson. Just a few days later, he caught one. Everything went exactly to plan once more.
The man sees the porch, runs up to grab the package… and BOOM. “I know it’s crude, but there’s nothing scarier than a 12-gauge,” a satisfied Arthur quipped.
Although the police aren’t pleased with Arthur’s Boom Box, they did start to take his complaints more seriously.
After all, his invention has caught a whopping 20 would-be thieves. All the cops had to do was search for the individuals on his camera. Although Arthur does admit that his solution isn’t perfect, he says it offers something others don't.
The unparalleled, satisfied feeling of watching a thief run terrified off your lawn!
Arthur and the cops were even able to track down some Porch Pirates from the door cam footage after they scurried away. As long as the thieves keep deciding that Arthur’s porch is easy pickings, the Boom Box will stay there. But the Boom Box wasn't the only weapon Arthur tried out.
Although Arthur was a bachelor, he didn’t live alone. Arthur lived with his 8-year-old tomcat called Boots. Boots gave Arthur some much-needed company. He was a quiet and affectionate cat so when Arthur discovered he could help deter the porch pirates, he was pleasantly surprised.
But just what did Boots do?
Boots used the kitty litter. What’s grosser than opening a package of supposedly valued goods only to find out it’s used kitty litter.
While Arthur was in his experimental phase, he decided to take Boots’ kitty litter and pour it into one of the empty Amazon boxes he had lying around the house. The result?
Not As Planned
He watched from the window as a man walked up to his porch and swiftly grabbed his Amazon package. Arthur chuckled as he walked away. But then there was a problem.
His neighbor saw his address on it and picked up the open box a few blocks down. The man had opened the box and discarded it on the side of the road. But that’s not all.
No Street Trash
His neighbor read the note Arthur left inside for the thief and put two and two together. Arthurs note read, “Hi, you’re on camera. F-you thief. Hope you like cat crap”.
His neighbor immediately knew what Arthur was trying to do as he had suffered from porch pirates himself. He hated them just as much as Arthur but he hated trash on the street too.
He returned the prank box to Arthur but advised him to think of something better next time. And when he did, to let him know so he could do it too.
Arthur took his advice to heart and continued to experiment. He tried filling the box with garbage which led to the same result. Then he thought of something completely different.
It was the idea that sparked his final 12-gauge boom box master plan. He made a glitter bomb. He blew up a balloon and filled it with glitter and confetti.
He stuck a pin to the inside of the box and created a lever so as when the box was opened, the glitter would explode onto the thieves’ clothes. But it didn’t have the desired effect…
It was better than the garbage and kitty because at least this prank projected onto the thief but, it was still not scary enough. Needless to say, the blanks took care of that problem.
But all of these prank experiments caused a moral debate online. Just because Arthur was sick and tired of his hard-earned money being stolen - did people think it was right to make them pay?
Some victims of porch piracy think even the term ‘porch pirate’ is too cute a description to use for these common thieves.
For many people, they’re the worst this society has to offer. Especially for Christine Hyatt who like Arthur, has her own war story of misgivings dealing with these low-lives.
Currently, America is going through a porch pirate epidemic and Christine Hyatt is one homeowner that has suffered greatly at their hands.
With a daughter with diabetes, Christine relies on her packages to deliver some much-needed medical devices for her child. Yet, all too many times, her life-saving equipment has been stolen.
Stolen Medical Supplies
Christine claims that over 20 packages of hers have been stolen this year alone. Six of those packages contained her daughter's medical supplies.
It made her become as revenge-focused as Arthur and she sent up many prank boxes too. Their neighborhood is one of the worst-hit by porch pirates and it was leaving its mark.
When a neighborhood is tormented by porch pirates, it soon becomes an issue of safety. If you have thieves willing to drive around your neighborhood in broad daylight, targeting your house, then what else are they capable of doing?
It was a question that plagued Christine and Arthur and a real motivation behind their revenge. But not everyone agreed.
A thread on Reddit debating the topic was surprisingly full of people jumping to the porch pirates’ defense. “It's all fun and games until one of the would-be robbers sues for PTSD” one Reddit user typed.
Another user wrote, “I don’t get this. You’re placing your property out there. It’s not the thief’s fault if he decided to take it and then gain access to its contents”.
Apparently, some people think that unless your property is in your house, then it’s a free-for-all. Of course, this is absolutely false. If that were true then by this logic, parking our cars in our yards or having our chairs, lights, and plants in our yard are also up for grabs.
A homeowner’s property is anything within the territorial limits of that home. Front lawn, back lawn, side lawns - included!
Mostly, however, people online shared a mutual hatred for these thieves and a huge disappointment in how the authorities failed to deal with them.
It left many people like Arthur and Christine feeling like they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands and serve justice themselves. But what would you do?
What Would You Do?
If you were constantly targeted by porch pirates and made official complaints to police that seemed to go nowhere, would you take the risk of injuring a thief to serve justice? Or would you pursue a different solution?
At the end of the day, whatever is safe and doesn’t cause any lawsuits to fall at your door is the best way forward.
Are porch pirate traps legal? Booby traps on your property are illegal; anything you've intentionally planted or concealed that's designed to cause bodily harm makes you liable. In the worst-case scenario, this could even be a charge as serious as attempted murder.How do you beat porch pirates? ›
- Track Packages. ...
- Require a Signature for Delivery. ...
- Use a Package Locker. ...
- Have Packages Delivered When You'll Be Home. ...
- Pick Hiding Places for Packages. ...
- Consider In-Store Pickup. ...
- Talk to Your Neighbors. ...
- Put Security Measures in Place.
One reason porch piracy is increasing stems from the year-round popularity of online shopping, says SafeWise safety expert Rebecca Edwards. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2022 rose by an estimated 10.8 percent compared with the third quarter of 2021.What is the meaning of porch pirate? ›
What Is a Porch Pirate? The term porch pirate is used to refer to people who steal packages from other people's homes.What percentage of porch pirates get caught? ›
Porch pirates are hard to catch.
Though more and more homeowners are catching their package theft on camera, this doesn't do a lot to protect your packages from being stolen. One source claims that police make arrests in less than 10% of reported theft cases.
Unfortunately, porch pirates aren't caught as often as they should. So it's best to take preventative measures. Installing a doorbell camera, outdoor camera, or other security measures can let porch pirates know you're onto them.What state has the most porch pirates? ›
|State||Larceny Per 100,000||Rank|
According to one study, porch pirates are evenly split between men and women, unusual for most crimes. Offenders tend to be younger and societally reflective of race and ethnicity: 54% were white, 15% were black, 9% were Hispanic, and 3% were Asian.Do porch pirates follow delivery trucks? ›
Maybe inside the door, side door, whichever they prefer, that's what we do," said Rotolo. Kohlhepp said doorbell cameras and security cameras can be good deterrents. He said porch pirates may drive around looking for packages, or they take the easy route and follow delivery trucks.What are the 3 types of pirates? ›
Corsairs, buccaneers and privateers
Corsairs were pirates who operated in the Mediterranean Sea between the 15th and 18th centuries. Muslim corsairs, such as the Barbarossa (red beard) brothers, had bases along North Africa's Barbary Coast, while Christian corsairs were based on the island of Malta.
Retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but you're usually entitled to a refund or a replacement. Amazon covers most stolen packages through its "A-to-Z" Guarantee Protection.Are you liable for porch pirates? ›
There's no one answer for who bears responsibility for porch thieves. It's a legal gray area and varies by retailer. Large companies like Amazon prioritize refunds and replacements after a report of porch piracy. Other retailers have followed suit as consumers have learned to contact the seller rather than carriers.How common are porch pirates? ›
According to a survey at Finder.com in 2020:
0.85% of women said they have been a porch pirate. 4.6% of Gen X'ers say they have stolen a package in the last 12 months, followed by Millennials (4.3%) and Gen Z'ers (3.8%).
Porch pirates often strike multiple times, so your footage may even be able to help police identify a suspect who has stolen before.How much do porch pirates steal? ›
'Porch pirates' stole an estimated 260 million packages in the last year. How to prevent theft on your doorstep. Online sales are nearly 15% of retail sales, a share that's higher than pre-pandemic, which means more opportunities for "porch pirates" to strike.Which city has the most porch pirates? ›
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA.
- Seattle-Tacoma, WA.
- Austin, TX.
- Hartford & New Haven, CT.
- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA.
- Los Angeles, CA.
- Portland, OR.
- Fresno-Visalia, CA.
Article I, Section 8, clause 10 gives Congress the power to “define and punish piracy and felonies on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations.” With that power, in 1790, Congress enacted the first anti-piracy law.What nationality are most pirates? ›
Most pirates were English (35%), but other nationalities were also represented: colonials from America-25%, colonials from the West Indies-20%, Scots-10%, Welsh-8%, and Swedish/Dutch/French/Spanish-2%. A fair number of blacks also joined the pirates.Do cruise ships run into pirates? ›
Pirates were famous for taking control of cargo vessels with their AK-47s and angry young men with hot-tempered attitudes; however, over the years, their focus has turned towards cruise ships. There have been six reported incidents of pirates attempting to board ships, mainly cruise ships, in the last decade.Do cruise ships have security against pirates? ›
Piracy warnings are also meted out in parts of the Red Sea and along both the eastern and northeastern coasts of Africa. But it's important to know this: Cruise lines have prepared for many challenging scenarios, and ships are well-equipped to handle situations when pirates attack cruise ships.
Reports of porch pirates, or thieves who steal packages left outside people's homes, spike during the holiday season as the volume of deliveries grow. Over the past 12 months, 260 million packages worth $19.5 billion were stolen by porch pirates, according to data from SafeWise, a home safety research company.What percentage of Amazon packages are stolen? ›
18% had a package stolen since the outbreak. 43% had reported a package theft in the past. 54% of respondents had multiple deliveries stolen in the prior 12 months. 57% of stolen packages were delivered by Amazon.How many Amazon packages are stolen? ›
As of 2021, 23 million Americans have had their packages stolen from their homes. For Amazon lost packages, an average of 51 packages a year got reported missing or stolen. Porch pirates have taken advantage of the rise of e-commerce due to the pandemic to steal from others.Where do packages get stolen the most? ›
Package theft was more common in multifamily dwellings than single-family homes, as well as in urban areas (16 percent) than in suburban (9 percent) and rural areas (8 percent).When did porch pirates start? ›
The phrase porch pirate dates back to the early 2010s, the newly-coined term being entered on Urban Dictionary in 2011 and debuting on the social media platform, Twitter, also in 2011 (Source).Do other countries have porch pirates? ›
Porch piracy is unknown in countries where packages are never left unattended on a doorstep (e.g. in Germany) and generally does not occur in countries other than the US.What happens if a porch pirate steals your package? ›
If your package was successfully delivered and then stolen from your porch, you have a couple of options. You can file a mail theft complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for USPS deliveries. USPS will start your claims process.Who is responsible if a porch pirate steals your package? ›
Often, it's up to the seller or retailer to ensure that you receive your package. Thus, anything that happens in transit is the responsibility of the seller; they are responsible if the package is lost or damaged during transit, and usually must replace it or give a reimbursement.Who steers the ship in a pirate crew? ›
The helmsman, the man who steered the ship's wheel, was usually supervised by the quartermaster who, skilled in navigation, was also concerned with the ship's general course and with recording its speed, although this role could be taken by a pirate captain or a sailing master (who was expert in the ship's sailing ...What is a legal pirate called? ›
A privateer was a pirate with papers. As the name suggests, privateers were private individuals commissioned by governments to carry out quasi-military activities.
Captain Samuel Bellamy ( c. 23 February 1689 – 26 April 1717), later known as "Black Sam" Bellamy, was an English sailor turned pirate during the early 18th century. He is best known as the wealthiest pirate in recorded history, and one of the faces of the Golden Age of Piracy.How many packages get lost everyday? ›
Around the country, more than 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day, adding up to more than $25 million in lost goods and services.Will Walmart refund for stolen packages? ›
If your package still doesn't show up after all of this, it's time to contact Walmart customer service, which you can do by following the following link and clicking on “Customer Service.” You can then use Walmart's automated chatbot to request a refund for your stolen package.
FedEx makes it easy to file lost package claims. If you ordered or shipped something from the US through them, you can file a FedEx stolen package claim online. FedEx is also pretty speedy. It normally takes just five to seven business days to resolve a claim.Who pays if a UPS package is stolen? ›
UPS will determine the potential value of the package contents and verify that the product falls within the guidelines of UPS terms fo service. Once the claim has been approved, UPS will make a payment (to the shipper). UPS will pay either the replacement or purchase cost, whichever is less.Is porch piracy a felony? ›
There isn't much of a correlation between the states cracking down on package theft and the places that experience it. Only one of the top 10 metro areas experiencing the most package theft is in a state where porch piracy is a felony.Does USPS cover stolen packages? ›
Either the sender or the recipient may file a claim for insured mail that is lost, arrived damaged, or was missing contents. The person filing must have the original mailing receipt. Each claim must be filed within a certain time period and include proof of insurance, value, and damage.Can I set a trap for thieves? ›
Perhaps the most important reason to avoid an attempt to trap a burglar is the fact that it is illegal. A booby trap may be defined as any concealed or camouflaged device designed to cause bodily injury when triggered by any action of a person making contact with the device.Can I do anything about porch pirates? ›
If it appears that your package has been stolen, contact the seller or retailer that sold you the item. Retailers have different policies and processes for handling stolen items, but you're usually entitled to a refund or a replacement. Amazon covers most stolen packages through its "A-to-Z" Guarantee Protection.How do you keep packages safe from porch pirates? ›
- How to Protect Packages From Porch Pirates. ...
- Have a Visible Security Camera on Your Porch. ...
- Leave Instructions to Conceal the Package. ...
- Use a Porch Lock Box. ...
- Follow Package Tracking. ...
- Require a Signature for Delivery. ...
- Coordinate With Neighbors. ...
- Get Packages Delivered to Your Workplace.
People cannot do it, and they will be liable for injuries that these traps cause. One reason that the law works this way is that innocent people may be injured by the traps. For instance, say your neighbor sets up a trap on their property because they don't want to get robbed.What keeps thieves away? ›
Use Timers On Lights
Use random timers on interior lights and use sunset/sunrise timers on exterior lights. Don't leave the lights on all the time, because that will signal to burglars that no one is home. Consider installing motion-activated lights in the backyard or near the garage to warn off trespassers.
- Don't advertise big buys. An empty computer or television carton left on the curb is a flag to crooks. ...
- Ask for a reference. Before hiring anyone, get personal recommendations. ...
- Keep your mail out of reach. ...
- Stay well-trimmed. ...
- Get a virtual pet. ...
- Call the police. ...
- Know your neighbors.
Contact the seller to ask about replacement or a refund.
In that case, the customer will get an updated delivery notification that says “Amazon package not delivered,” with instructions about what to do next. If the customer has a photo of the package on their doorstep, the seller may take their call sooner.
- Creative Landscaping. Perhaps the most popular way to hide packages on a porch is to strategically place a few plants between the porch and the street. ...
- Outdoor Furniture. ...
- Bright Lights. ...
- A Better Solution. ...
- Get Your PARCELBIN.
Package theft is now a felony in 8 states and counting as lawmakers crack down on 'porch piracy' The letter F.How big of a problem are porch pirates? ›
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans were victims of porch piracy. 18% had a package stolen since the outbreak. 43% had reported a package theft in the past. 54% of respondents had multiple deliveries stolen in the prior 12 months.