Invention targets 'porch pirates' to keep them from swiping holiday packages
Posted December 23, 2017 11:19 a.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2017 4:49 p.m. EST
(CNN) — After having packages repeatedly stolen from his porch, a Tacoma, Washington, man came up with a creative way to deter would-be thieves.
At first, Jaireme Barrow installed surveillance cameras. However, he told CNN's Michael Smerconish on Saturday that no arrests were ever made despite footage of "at least 20" suspected thieves in action. That's when he decided to take matters into his own hands.
His solution? An invention he calls TheBlankBox, which features a loud 12 gauge-shotgun blank.
"It's a blank triggering mechanism, only one moving piece," Barrow told Smerconish.
"Unless you count the guy running off your front porch, that is," he added with a smile.
Barrow demonstrated by placing an empty package box over the device. If anyone attempts to lift it, an enormous boom rings out, terrifying possible "porch pirates."
"It's a blank shell. Just a loud noise," Barrow said before showing Smerconish surveillance footage of people making a run for it after encountering his invention.
"This thing is basically a viral video in a box," Barrow said.
Barrow said TheBlankBox is legal because "a blank shotgun shell is not considered an explosive," and likened his invention to "any other alarm system."
CNN sought comment from Tocama Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool, but did not hear back in time for publication.
A recent survey from InsuranceQuotes.com found that nearly 26 million Americans have had a holiday package stolen by so-called porch pirates.
That's why, Barrow told Smerconish, "it's awesome to be able to see karma served instantly."
"This is the only thing that has worked. It's nice to see them leave empty-handed," he said.