In the era of Internet shopping, a new form of criminal has emerged: the package thief. A man in Washington state was tired of getting his packages stolen off his front porch, so he invented a creative solution called the Blank Box.
The Blank Box contains a device that, when activated, detonates a blank shotgun shell. It creates a loud noise like a gunshot that scares away package thieves.
According to Jalopnik, Tacoma, Wash. resident Jaireme Barrow invented the Blank Box when thieves kept stealing expensive Jeep parts from his doorstep.
Here’s how it works: Barrow attaches fishing line to an aluminum plate that holds down a firing pin connected to a 12 gauge shotgun blank. When a burglar moves the package, the fishing line pulls the plate which releases the firing pin and detonates the blank. A brick also gives the decoy box weight that makes it feel like a genuine package.
The device is not dangerous, only scary. To prove this, Barrow made a video where he puts a stuffed toy inside the box. After it explodes, you can barely see any singe marks, and the toy is still very much intact. However, Barrow does suggest making a sign for the porch that says “Do not touch or move any packages on my porch.” That way innocent delivery people won’t trigger the box.
Originally Barrow just made the box for his own front porch. He even put a sign on it that warned would-be thieves that the package was armed. They still tried stealing them, though.
Many people can’t be home all day long to wait for their online orders to arrive. That’s why the Blank Box could be a helpful deterrent to homeowners. You can use it as many times as you need to. You just have to put a new blank in the box. Barrow sells the boxes starting at $59.99.