(NewsNation Now) — Having a package stolen stinks — sometimes literally. Porch pirates who stole from YouTube creator Mark Rober were met with an explosion of glitter and a foul-smelling spray upon opening what appeared to be an Apple HomePod.
For years, videos of bait packages similar to this one have garnered millions of views as thieves hoping to find something valuable instead encounter a burst of powder or packing peanuts.
The bait package featured in Rober’s latest video, posted Friday, is the result of careful engineering and four years of work, he said. It shows people in their cars and homes confused and panicked at the cloud of glitter, blaring car horn noise, and flashing police lights.
Four cellphones and an onboard microphone capture the porch pirates as they steal the package. They also record the thieves’ reactions and automatically upload the footage to a storage cloud. Not everyone takes the bait, however.
Rober placed some of his packages near shared mailboxes and found that people more often left the parcels alone or took them in for their neighbors.
“Either people are getting more honest, or perhaps, I don’t know, it’s the devastating power of glitter that’s encouraging more civil behavior,” Rober said in the video.
Jokes aside, three out of four Americans have fallen victim to package theft in their lifetime, according to a recent SafeWise survey. Rober said he started the project in 2018 after spotting someone steal a package from his doorstep.
“If you’ve ever been in a situation like this you just sort of feel violated,” Rober said. “And then I took this to the police and even with the video evidence they said it’s just not worth their time to look into, so then you also feel powerless.”
That’s when Rober began taking matters into his own hands. Because “sometimes revenge is a dish best served fabulously,” he said.