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Former NASA engineer punishes package thieves with glitter bomb, fart spray

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Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 18:19:19-05

By Jordan Smith 

CHICAGO (RNN) – Mark Rober made a career out of building things.

The former NASA engineer once built a dart board that moves to make every throw a bullseye. He also spent nine years building hardware that is now roaming the surface of Mars.

So, when someone stole a package from his doorstep earlier this year, Rober began working on his latest contraption – a bait package that punishes thieves with glitter and fart spray.

With the help of a friend, Rober built a device complete with a circuit board, four smartphones and GPS device that will trigger the phones to record when the package gets removed from his porch.

When the lid gets removed, two switches on the side activate a cup on top that spins and sprays glitter everywhere.

Four smartphones would still be quite a prize for a porch pirate. To discourage thieves from discovering the hidden phones, Rober included a motor that would fire the fart spray five times every 30 seconds.

“No joke, you can clear a room with one spray of this stuff,” Rober said in his YouTube video.

The GPS allows Rober to always know where the package ends up. Even if he doesn’t recover it, the video gets uploaded to the cloud.

With the help of a little shrink wrap and a delivery label, Rober managed to plant a convincing bait package on his doorstep.

“If the thief wasn’t in such a hurry, they’d see that the package is actually coming from my childhood hero and inspiration for this project, Kevin McCallister,” Rober explained.

It is even addressed to “Home Alone” villains Harry and Marv.

Rober put his device to the test. Sure enough, someone took it and drove off to a parking garage. He later found it abandoned in a parking space.

He watched the video and saw glitter and fart spray fill up the suspect’s car.

Plenty of others stole the bait package and suffered the same fate. Rober even let his friend get in on the action and planted it at her house.

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