If you have ever had a package stolen off your front porch, you probably wanted to exact a bit of revenge on the thief. That was the feeling that former NASA engineer and current YouTube DIY extraordinaire Mark Rober had when someone swiped a box from his door earlier this year. The police wouldn’t help, so Rober put his engineering background to work and crafted the perfect porch pirate deterrent: A glitter bomb.
Someone stole a package from me. Police wouldn’t do anything about it so I spent the last 6 months engineering up some vigilante justice. Revenge is a dish best served fabulously. Vid link- https://t.co/9OjD6ETdbZ pic.twitter.com/u4o0doWglr
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) December 18, 2018
In order to craft his glitter bomb, Rober loaded up his bait box with motion sensors, a GPS tracker, and wide-angle lens cameras with LTE connections to capture the reaction of his deserving victim. He packed all of that into the box for an Apple HomePod, a perfect, pricey accessory that could tempt any would-be thief into action. The package contained what Rober described as “a buttload” of glitter that would shoot up as soon as the box was opened. For good measure, he tossed in a fart spray that would fill the air with a rank smell, likely forcing the criminal to ditch the package rather than deal with the fumes.
Luckily for Rober — and unfortunately for the thief — someone did indeed snag the booby-trapped box and attempted to open it. The result was exactly what the engineer was hoping for: The glitter goes flying, the fart smells start pouring out, and the thief tosses the box out of their car. All of the action is captured on camera, so you can enjoy in the misery of the porch pirate as they realize instead of a $350 smart speaker, they actually swiped a glitter-filled stink bomb. However, the reactions were not as real as the initially appeared.
On Thursday, December 20, Rober posted a statement on Twitter indicating some of the thieves seen in his video were actually people with a loose connection to the project. “It appears in these two cases, the “thieves” were actually acquaintances of the person helping me,” he tweeted. “From the footage I received from the phones which only record at specific times, this wasn’t clear to me. I have since removed those reactions from the original video (originally 6:26-7:59).” According to Rober, most of the video is legitimate and the fake reactions have since been removed. He also apologized for misleading viewers.
I posted this as a comment response to my recent viral tweet/video but I’m posting it as a new tweet as well: pic.twitter.com/g2VHsQWh1z
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) December 20, 2018
Rober has a history of crafting some pretty impressive feats of at-home engineering, including a massive Nerf gun, a semi-automatic snowball launcher, and a better car horn. But his take on the glitter bomb is especially satisfying, especially if you’ve had a package stolen from you. Xfinity Home estimates that about one in three Americans will have a package stolen from them at some point. The problem is especially persistent during the holidays when there are hundreds of millions of boxes being shipped.
Updated on December 21, 2018: Mark Rober says some of the video was staged, apologizes.
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