Photo: YouTube / Mark Rober
In a Christmas fear-tease, NASA engineer who constructed a glittering gun said a splash-odor sprayer to get back on the porch. The pirates told the world that his video of package thieves became smelly
Mark Rober, in a statement on Twitter Thursday, said he had removed more than a minute of recording from his widely watched video after "I was presented with information that caused I doubt the truth of 2 of the 5 reactions in the video. "
Rober said he had" put out a feel for someone who was willing to put the package on the porch and offered to pay them to put the bait and retrieve the last discarded package. But the "thieves" who stole the package from that person were "actually acquainted with the person who helped me."
Rober, who could not be immediately reached comments on Saturday morning, claimed that the recorded reactions when packets were taken from his own house were legitimate, but that he could understand whether people have doubts about the entire video.
"My credibility is kind of shot," he said in the tweet.
The current video said Rober was inspired by a couple of packs of thieves who had turned off with a delivery from their California porch one day in broad daylight, about seven months ago.
Indignant, Rober – a former NASA engineer running a popular YouTube channel documenting his many quirky science experiments – began thinking about how he could seize the porch pirates. Although he had captured the thieves on his security cameras, Rober said police had told him it wasn't worth their time to look.
"So you also feel powerless. And I just felt like something had to be done to stand up against dishonest punks like this," Rober said in a YouTube video released on Monday. "
Rober explained that he had spent nine years working for NASA, including designing Mars Curiosity Rover hardware to make a vicious bait package and over-engineer crap out of it, it would be me," Rober concluded .
Rober decided that he would create a booby trap inspired by his "childhood heroes and inspiration" Kevin McAllister, the young and resourceful protagonist (played by Macaulay Culkin) in the "Home Alone" films of the 1990s.
With the help of friends, Rober called out a design for his ideal trap: It would be disguised as a package – especially, a cellophane wrapped Apple HomePod box he knew would be "tempting" for some porch pirate. It would be GPS enabled so he could track his journey when he left home. It would record video with built-in mobile phones, no matter how the thief picked up the package.
And when it was triggered, it would be great. So sparkling.
"Finally, when they opened the package, I wanted to celebrate their choice of profession with a cloud of glitter," Rober said.
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One pound glitter, that is. To add insult to injury, Rober also built a box of "spray spray", which is programmed to automatically spray after the glitter explosion was triggered.
"No point, you can clear a room with a syringe of these things," Rober said.
For details on how Rober constructed his smelly "glitter bomb," we go to the YouTube video he created the project documentation:
The whole package took about six months to construct and then "test" in the field.
There are some lovely Easter eggs. If anyone had looked carefully, he or she would have noticed the revoked UPS delivery label, addressed to "Harry and Marv," a nod to the perfect pair in "Home Alone."
As it turns out, none of the thieves have paid so close to the attention before they snap the box.
On Monday, Rober added his video documenting the project "Glitter Bomb vs Package Thief" to his YouTube site. From Saturday morning, the video had more than 45 million views.
"It's like a whimsical engineering fuss," Rober told the Washington Post in a telephone interview on Tuesday. "[With all my videos] I try to get people to scrap science and engineering, but this has made a kind of nerve clear."
But earlier he has disputed online criticism that he hired actors and insisted that all the recorded
"I challenge anyone who believes that the packages are not stolen to put a cellophane wrapped HomePod box on the porch and let it Stand there day by day and see how honest people are, "Rober told the post.
The porchpiraate epidemic is real. A study by InsuranceQuotes estimated about 26 million Americans has had a vacation package stolen. With the rise of pilfered packages, there has been an increase in the "doorstep vigilantes", which Posten's Petula Dvorak reported:
There is another guy in Tacoma, Wash. and pirate bait packs.
One District of Columbia. woman tired of having almost $ 1000 worth of packages stolen from her Capitol Hill porch left a pretty amazing gift for her pirates – a box heavy with her two dog pockets.
"It didn't stop them, though" Andrea Hutzler.
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Video: Surveillance cameras are intended to help the home and business owners monitor their property. In the process they capture illegal actions, pranks and silliness. (Allie Caren / The Washington Post)