In the US, over one-third of shipments never reach their destination. While there are some careless shipping companies and phony courier services, the reason for this huge number of failed deliveries is not because of them. In fact, the hero of this story is well aware of the true cause.
‘Package pirates’ steal mail from people’s front porches. They end up stealing items worth thousands of dollars while rarely being caught. But this Navy SEAL wasn’t going to allow the person who was pilfering his packages to get away with it. He devised the perfect plan to stop his foe.
Angry Navy SEAL Sets Up a Clever Trap for Package Pirate
Every time he went out front, he found the package thief had been there before him. His package was already gone. How long will this continue? he wondered. It was becoming frustrating to be robbed right in your own home without doing anything.
He knew he had to do something about it. The thief seemed to be lurking around anytime he had a delivery just to pounce. Finally, after much thought, this Navy SEAL planned to lure his unknown enemy into a trap and teach them a lesson.
The Uncouth Package Thieves
Package thieves are always on the lookout for unguarded items lying idle on front porches. And they are why so many packages never make it to the intended recipients. When they notice that no one is looking, the crooks hurriedly steal the package and flee, hoping to find anything valuable inside.
Arthur Russell fell victim to these package thieves, or porch pirates. He’d had enough of these faceless crooks and just couldn’t take it anymore. He knew the loss of his packages bought with his hard-earned money could not continue any longer. Something had to be done.
Time to Put Military Training to Good Use
Arthur Russell had served in the military for a long time, and, like practically every other soldier, he was a disciplined man. In his field of work, issues like this aren’t taken with levity, and his time there undoubtedly influenced his attitude to disorder.
Although most personnel in the military go through tough periods during their training, they emerge as humble, selfless, and compassionate people. Russell was one of those people. He had worked hard to get to where he was, and seeing a burglar steal his stuff was becoming irritating.
Take It Like You Own It
These thieves didn’t care what was inside the box; they would take it regardless. Russell would occasionally order ordinary toilet paper, but at other times he would order something more expensive, such as car components. Whenever these items were delivered in his absence, the porch pirates would swoop in.
There was no way Arthur was going to let this go. He attempted to call the local authorities, but they were unconcerned about what they called ‘minor’ thefts. Russell quickly realized he was on his own when it came to dealing with the rats.
The Navy SEAL Plans His Revenge
Calling the police station a number of times turned out to be a waste of time. The cops simply did not care that Russell’s parcels were being stolen on a regular basis. Frustrated and angered, the man devised a plan to get revenge.
Any of these pirate thieves who sneak around in his absence would be given a good lesson the next time they come around. Russell is a dedicated man, and he was about to make sure that these thieves realized they were stealing from the wrong person.
Service in the Navy
Arthur Russell was trained as a Navy SEAL and has embarked on life-threatening missions. It would be stupid to underestimate the ability of a man with Russell’s pedigree. He was not only physically prepared to push himself to his limits, but he was also an intelligent man.
That’s why of all the folks in the neighborhood that they could steal from, the package thieves made a grave error by stealing Arthur Russell’s goods. If only they knew, they would have stolen from someone else. Things were about to change in a big way.
The Brilliant Booby Trap
Russell has always enjoyed building and assembling mechanical devices, particularly booby traps. He’d mastered the technique of creating dangerous booby traps from his time serving in the military and was ready to exact his vengeance on the porch pirates by luring them into his trap.
He considered creating a box at first but decided against it since he believed it would be too simple and straightforward. He didn’t just want to make the burglar look foolish; his plan was also to ensure he never stole another person’s package again.
Thinking Out of the Box!
Russell was determined to teach the thief a good lesson so that after this experience, they would think twice before opening even their own packages. But at the same time, he didn’t want to hurt them so badly that it could spell trouble with law enforcement.
As a result, Russell chose to focus on terrifying them enough for the magic to work. But how would he do it?
“I was thinking, how could I scare them and make them drop my package and then never come to my front porch again,” Arthur explained.
The Big Bang Box
Finally, after some deep thought, Russell came up with a solution to his dilemma. He believed that scaring someone with a little explosion was the perfect answer. The element of surprise when the burglar is least expecting it is the best part.
Moreover, the approach is not in any way dangerous. It would merely be a small explosion, and the thief would be unharmed. Russell had a strong desire to harm the thief, but it was not in his best interests. He slipped on his gloves and got to work on his plan.
Who Doesn’t Enjoy Shopping?
Russell made a list of the components and tools he’d need to make his explosive booby trap work. He went to the local hardware store and acquired everything he needed. However, the cashier’s suspicious looks made him wonder if they thought his shopping was strange.
Well, quite frankly, it would be strange to see someone purchase all of those goods at the same time. But he wondered, isn’t it possible that it’s for home repairs? Thankfully, he didn’t have to explain himself, and the clerk didn’t question him about it.
Let’s Get Right to Business, Shall We?
Russell had all of the elements he needed to make his trap work effectively, and it was now time to put it all together. He had to not only put the components together but also make the box appear to be just like another delivered item.
An evil grin crossed his face as he finished building the trap box. Now it was time to put the box to the test to see if it worked. Russell tested his bait in his backyard and discovered that it worked just as he planned.
There’s Never Been a More Exciting Test
Russell noticed that the noise was too loud. Loud enough to briefly deafen his ears during the booby trap’s initial test. So he made certain to cover his ears in the second test to avoid this happening again. Finally, all of the tests were successful.
Russell returned to the neighborhood store one last time for the item that would be the icing on the cake, as he was overjoyed at the prospect of seeing his plan succeed. You didn’t think he’d set up his trap without putting up a surveillance camera, did you?
Smile to the Camera
Since he spent the majority of his day at work, he wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun of seeing the thief falling for his trap. As a result, Russell mounted a little camera capable of providing him with clear footage of the foolish porch pirate.
There was nothing left to do but plant the trap and wait for an unfortunate thief to arrive once the camera was set up. Russell’s predictions came true because the thief did not keep him waiting for long. In fact, he got his first hunt the same evening.
Just Wanted to Say Hello
The camera was mounted above the entrance and was so small that it was scarcely visible. Russell observed the first package thief plainly through his phone, which was linked to the camera, as they approached.
Russell had assumed the thief would behave suspiciously in terms of his body language. Instead, the thief approached the porch as if it were their own house. Calm and collected. Russell recognized at that point that his first suspect was actually a woman.
The Courteous Package Thief
Russell was taken aback by the approach of his first potential victim, and he looked at her in awe. She approached the front door and rang the bell to see if anyone was home. But then she noticed the sensor light and became uneasy. So she pulled back.
Russell was intrigued by the getaway car that stopped in front of his home. He could see clearly that the woman was accompanied by a male, who started putting pressure on her to go back to the package when he saw her pull away from the house.
The Bang We’ve Been Waiting For
The woman turned around and approached the porch a second time after being urged by the man to return. While the man waited for her, she took a brief look around before picking up the package. And you know what happens next. Yes. A loud BANG!
The terrified woman dashed back to the car, shrieking like a child. She was so terrified that she accidentally dropped her phone on Russell’s porch. But the naval officer had a huge smile on his face as he sat on his couch. His plan worked perfectly.
What’s in the Booby Trap?
Russell’s trap box comprises a plate that prevents the firing pin from being launched. The pin is attached to the doorknob, ensuring the box’s security. You can move the box but can’t lift it up because lifting it causes the plate to detach, and hence, the BANG!
The trigger fires immediately after the plate is raised upwards with the box, resulting in the firing pin launching a blank 12-gauge shotgun tip. Although this appears to be harmful, it only creates a loud explosion. But just like Russell’s worry, we’re concerned too. Was this illegal or not?
What Do the Cops Say?
Unfortunately for Russell, the law in his state expressly prohibits the assembling of such systems that result in an explosion for those who do not have permission. “Even though it’s a blank, the way the device is made is actually illegal,” explains police spokeswoman Loretta Cool.
Russell had not been given the green light to do such by the boys in blue, even though he had assembled the explosive with the greedy thief’s safety in mind. The authorities were alerted to his booby trap and were not happy about a homeowner taking the law into his own hands.
If You Have a Problem, Call
“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,” Loretta said. Essentially, the issue was the possibility of someone being injured as a result of this trap.
Loretta also stated that if a porch pirate is wounded or maybe files charges against him, Russell could face serious repercussions. But even though it was unlikely any of these two events would happen, Russell’s antics were frowned on by the law enforcement officers.
The World’s Safest Explosive
Despite the fact that the box has scared the souls out of those unscrupulous porch pirates, Russell claims that it is still safe. He put the box through various tests before setting the bait, so he believes there is no cause to be alarmed about its safety.
Russell even tried putting a tomato inside once to see what would happen, and the tomato turned out to be unharmed. “It never hurt me once,” Russell told an interviewer. “It didn’t hurt the tomato in there either.”
It Could Still Be Dangerous!
Russell was well aware that he wasn’t the only one who loathed porch pirates. Now that his story has garnered a lot of attention, he encouraged everyone to make sure they don’t get themselves into any legal trouble. If not done correctly, a booby trap might be dangerous.
Russell decided that the best way to deal with everything was to post a “No Trespassing” sign on his property and a notice on the boom box that said, “Beware.” If someone still chooses to touch the package, they will only have themselves to blame.
The Mission Goes On
As we previously stated, Arthur Russell is a dedicated man. The delight he felt while catching these greedy creatures was unlike any other, and he yearned for more. Many people might have given up after getting into legal trouble, but Russell was not one of them.
He was ecstatic when he saw the crooks get what they deserved. The bang box was in perfect shape and had yet to harm anyone. So, he felt he didn’t have a credible reason to abandon his porch pirate traps for the thieves to continue stealing from him.
You Get What You Deserve
Russell planted another bang box to scare away other package thieves. Just a few days later, someone was already lurking. And as expected they made the mistake of picking it up. Yet another successful mission for Russell. We bet he wishes missions were this easy in the Navy.
His delight was out of this world, and for a good reason. He’d been seeing his hard-earned money being lost for far too long to these thieves, and now it was time for vengeance. “I know it’s crude, but there’s nothing scarier than a 12-gauge,” Russell said.
Hunting the Porch Pirates
Of course, the police were still unhappy with Russell’s actions, but there was little they could do about it. This is because no charges had been filed against him. Instead, they began to listen to Russell’s phone calls and reports of his missing packages. We wonder why.
Until now, Russell’s brilliant plan had scared away more than 20 potential package thieves from his front porch. Not to mention the fact that their face was saved by the doorbell camera he mounted, allowing the cops to trace the package thieves and arrest them.
Helping the Police Officers
Anyone who has ever had something valuable stolen from them would certainly understand Russell’s feelings perfectly. However, now that he’d figured out a solution to the menace terrorizing him and his community, the delight of teaching these people a good lesson was thrilling, to say the least.
The police and Russell were successful in locating some of the people who were drawn by the unguarded boxes using the video camera he had mounted on his porch. Russell kept scaring the crooks away and handing over the footage from his door camera to the cops.
A New Partner in Crime
One thing Russell hadn’t realized was that he wasn’t the only one after these porch pirates. Russell had lived with his eight-year-old cat, Boots, for a long time. Like most cats, Boots had a calm demeanor and kept to itself most of the time.
Russell was amused when he learned that his friend and cat, Boots, could help him with his mission. He appeared to have discovered a companion who would assist him in scaring the package thieves. So, what did Boots’ job entail? What did he have to do?
A Mission with His Cat
The only thing Boots needed to do was to eat and defecate in the litter box. This has to be the easiest job in the world. Russell would then place the kitty litter in the parcel box and wait for a culprit to come across it.
Picture the look on a porch pirate’s face when they discover a package containing a cat’s feces. Priceless. Russell decided to put Boots’ litter in an empty Amazon box from previous orders as he was testing his booby trap. He couldn’t wait to find out what would happen.
It Didn’t Go as Planned!
Russell carefully placed the Amazon package on his front porch and waited patiently for his next culprit. Soon after, a man came by and took the Amazon delivery that he assumed contained something expensive. Russell had a wry grin plastered on his face as the man walked away.
There was, however, a snag. Russell’s neighbor saw the package a few blocks away from his home. Apparently, the porch pirate had opened the box halfway, seen what was inside, and threw it away. The neighbor was unhappy after seeing Russell’s address on the box.
A Little Love Note
Russell’s next-door neighbor read the note Russell had left in the box for his porch pirate victim. The note read:
“Hi, you’re on camera. F-you thief. Hope you like cat crap.”
This made things clearer to the next-door neighbor, and he understood Russell’s motive better.
He realized Russell wanted to teach the package thieves a lesson. Just like Russell, the neighbor was also sick of these cunning parcel-hoarding maniacs. However, although he detested these people, the neighbor was not happy with trash on the street and decided to see Russell about it.
You Can Do Better, Russell
When his neighbor approached him with the box, the neighbor offered Arthur Russell some friendly counsel. He warned Russell that the chances of this prank succeeding were little to none, so he should come up with a better plan and get creative. Both of them were tired of porch pirates.
The neighbor urged Russell to share his ideas whenever he came up with one. Russell listened attentively to his neighbor’s advice and resumed his thinking. He made another effort when he filled another box with garbage, but the result was the same. Finally, he got a brilliant idea!
The New Surprise Trap
This new idea would become the inspiration for his 12-gauge blank shotgun box. Russell came up with the idea of making a box that contained a glitter- and confetti-filled balloon. The balloon would rupture as soon as the box was opened, and the thief would look like a clown.
This strategy didn’t appear to be that bad, did it? It involved a pin being attached to a lever, which would trigger anytime the box was opened. Unfortunately, it did not work as well as Russell had thought it would. So, back to the drawing board.
Why Didn’t It Work?
It was too soft! Although the dazzling plan was better than the garbage and cat litter ones in terms of its overall effectiveness, it still didn’t make the thieves flee in terror. Despite this, the inclusion of blank bullets made up for the shortfall.
But law enforcement weren’t the only ones talking about Russell’s actions. His ideas also provoked controversy and discussion online, with many debating whether or not what he was doing was ethical. Some thought Russell was going too far in his vengeance, while others felt he was justified.
Experience Is the Best Teacher
People who have been the victims of package thieves have a greater understanding of how these crooks should be dealt with. In fact, many of these victims believe the moniker ‘porch pirate’ is too kind. They believe the thieves should be labeled with a more derogatory name.
This is due to the frustration one feels after seeing their hard-earned money being carried away from their porches. And just like the Navy SEAL Arthur Russell, Christine Hyatt was also sick and tired of these cunning perpetrators and maniacs who stole her packages.
We Should All Be Decent People
Currently, the United States is dealing with a growing surge of porch piracy. There has yet to be devised a viable solution to combat these crooks. Christine Hyatt has been a victim of porch piracy on numerous occasions, and if you think these thieves will be kind to you, wait till you hear what she has to say.
Christine has a daughter who suffers from diabetes. The nature of the illness and her job means she is very dependent on buying drugs and equipment from online stores to treat her daughter. But as you probably guessed, the products she orders for her daughter’s health rarely reach her.
No Honor Among Thieves
Just this year alone, Christine has had more than 20 packages stolen from her front door. Six of the stolen parcels contained medicine and equipment for treating her daughter. Can you imagine how angry this mother was? Can you imagine how frustrating this would be for her?
How much longer would she allow her deliveries to be stolen like this? Christine, driven by rage, decided to create bait boxes like Russell and discovered some inner peace as a result of the results. These crooks were terrorizing her entire neighborhood, and the residents were fed up.
Porch Pirates Are a Huge Threat to Society
The presence of porch pirates in a neighborhood is extremely detrimental to the homeowners’ well-being. These unidentified crooks have the audacity to crawl into your home and steal your things; who knows if or when they would go one step further and break into your home?
This realization came to both Christine Hyatt and Arthur Russell, who took it upon themselves to show resistance. If no one acted, these crooks would think the householders are too stupid to do anything. Russell and Christine’s approach, however, was unappreciated by some, not just the police.
The Moral Debate Continues
Topics like this are frequently debated on social media sites like Reddit. People use the platform to discuss many things, and they have also argued whether the homeowners’ acts were correct or not in a forum dedicated solely to this topic. Surprisingly, many people supported the package smugglers.
Some of the statements on Reddit are:
“It’s all fun and games until one of the would-be robbers sues for PTSD.”
“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.”
Are You Seriously Supporting Them?
It’s unbelievable that these people support porch piracy. Some of these remarks could even be made by the thieves themselves because you never know what to expect on social media. Many of the users who were opposed to the homeowners’ position used incorrect comparisons and arguments based on misleading assumptions.
Everything that is present on the homeowner’s property is theirs as long as it is on their land. Even if it’s a parcel meant for them that’s been left on their porch! Taking anything from another person’s property, even a flower from their front yard, is theft.
Still Awaiting the Best Solution
But don’t be startled by these people’s opinions. A sizable number of social media and internet users also supported our Navy SEAL hero, Russell, and his neighbor, Christine. Many of the homeowners on social media who have experienced these culprits’ actions revealed their inexplicable disdain for porch pirates.
They also highlighted how the police frequently fail to apprehend and punish these culprits plaguing many neighborhoods. It would send a message to all potential thieves if justice was served. They would not trespass on properties that were not theirs for fear of being arrested.
What Are Your Thoughts on This Topic?
What would you do if you were in Christine’s or Russell’s shoes? Would you take matters into your own hands or wait on the sidelines and hope the cops handle it? Maybe you have a way to keep these packages from being stolen in the first place.
Although you might constantly call to report these thieves and get no response, you still don’t want to place yourself in the backseat of a cop’s car, even if the cops aren’t doing their jobs. The safest option is to avoid getting into legal problems.