Glitter Bomb against Package Thieves

Stealing packages from unattended porches is a rapidly rising crime, as more of us order more things by mail. One person hid a glitter bomb and a video recorder in a package, posting the results when thieves opened the box. At least, that's what might have happened. At least some of the video was faked, which puts the whole thing into question.

That's okay, though. Santa is faked, too. Happy whatever you're celebrating.

Posted on December 25, 2018 at 6:13 AM • 36 Comments

Comments

ChrisDecember 24, 2018 11:55 PM

> That's okay, though. Santa is faked
God damn it Bruce you just tell it how it is huh?

Merry Christmas to you too :)

J.PDecember 25, 2018 3:14 AM

As someone who doesn't live in the United States, I am quite unable to understand why customers allow unsigned deliveries onto their porches. Where I live, there are generally two delivery options available.

The slightly more expensive option is delivery to my home door, which requires that I personally receive the parcel and sign for it. The other, more affordable option is delivery to a self-service pickup point. Several courier services have dense networks in my vicinity. I simply receive a locker code that I use to fetch the parcel from the machine.

WaelDecember 25, 2018 3:36 AM

Riiiiiight! Made my day!

At least some of the video was faked, which puts the whole thing into question. That's okay, though. Santa is faked, too

Par for the course, given the following observations:

  1. The guy looks like Jim Carrey -- non-starter; show-stopper!
  2. Obviouly code-cutting at it's best (video went viral)
  3. Ex-NASA, eh? I bet he left NASA shortly after his 1999 f**k-up incident
  4. Not only a code-cutter, but a Video-cutter, too!
In the code below, from the video:

// WAITS FOR CASE SWITCH BEFORE ALLOWING PROGRAM TO CONTINUE
// LID MUST BE IN PAACE FOR  SECONDS BEFORE ARMING IF LID IS REMOVED, TIME IS RESET.
pinMode(ACCINT1, INPUT);
pinMode(ACCINT2, INPUT);
//ACCELEROMETER SETTINGS
adxl.powerOn(); // Power on the ADXL345
 [...]
  
if (isMoving == 1) {
  if (recordingTime < timeLimit ) {
    if (isRecording == 0) {
      if (isRecording == 0) {
        phoneSTART();
        SerialUSB.println("Innactivity in...");
        while (activityTimer > 0) {
        SerialUSB.println(activityTimer);
        delay(1000);
        activityTimer--;
        videoTime = millis() - onTime;
        SerialUSB.println(videoTime);
        if (videoTime > videoLimit) {
          activityTime = 0;
          videoTimer = 0;
          isMoving = 0;
          phoneSTOP();
        }
        isMoving = 0
      }
    }
  }
 }
}
He should have:
  1. Used a "Boolean" rather than an "int" for isMoving and isRecording
  2. The exprerssion:
     if (isMoving == 1) {
          if (recordingTime 
         should be replaced by the easier to follow logic:
         if (isRecording == 0 && isMoving == 1 && recordingTime < timeLimit) { ... 
  3. I don't like comments in all caps.
Umm. Arduino code, I guess... from here or similar. I say this Bool Sheet© pegged the freaking scale! Happy Holidays, everyone ;)

Clive RobinsonDecember 25, 2018 8:02 AM

@ Bruce,

That's okay, though. Santa is faked, too.

As some one who does not believe in deities, I'm not woried by that (though there is evidence that there was a deeper and much darker meaning behind the spirit of the green man/wood[1], if you've ever walked alone in a wood or forest and had the strange feeling you are not alone, then that's the spirit your feeling, not normal healthy paranoia ;-)

But it is ironic, we bring children up to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and God. As they grow the two deities they have evidence of from Xmas presents and a dollar under the pillow, we emphatically tell them do not exist, yet expect them to keep believing in the one they have no evidence for (in fact the opposit if you watch the news most nights).

Anyway what ever your beliefs I hope the Winter Solstice Festival turns out plesantly for you all.

[1] And other traditions, the sixpence in the puding or bean in the cake/tart etc, has a realy dark history behind it. Back in times past the finder of the bean was treated as a King for the day, then the following sunrise which was the solstice, you were taken to the fields and your throat slit so your lucky blood would renew the fields for the comming spring. Mistletoe likewise has dark origins of sacrifices, all jolly good fun not.

DocDecember 25, 2018 8:17 AM

Some of yall must be truly sad pitiable people...but I wish you a Merry Christmas anyway.

albertDecember 25, 2018 10:32 AM

On package thieves:

ht tps://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/12/christmas-hucksterism-last-mile-supply-chain-safer-think.html

Merry, Happy, Whatever...

. .. . .. --- ....

ALDecember 25, 2018 10:40 AM

A lawyer was on television saying, don't even think about doing it. If that package is opened in a car, and causes an accident, you could be liable.

Whether you should be liable or shouldn't be doesn't matter, what matters is that you could be liable.

WaelDecember 25, 2018 10:52 AM

@Clive Robinson,

As they grow the two deities they have evidence of from...

What two deities are you referencing? Did you mean to write "two evidences" instead?

Dr. I. Needtob AtheDecember 25, 2018 1:05 PM

AL, you could always build one and put in on the porch of a neighbor who annoys you. Two birds, one stone!

Clive RobinsonDecember 25, 2018 2:32 PM

@ Wael,

Santa for the prezzies.
Tooth fairy for the dollar.

As for the other one,

    Oolon Colluphid is the author of the "trilogy of philosophical blockbusters" entitled Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway?. He later used the Babel Fish argument as the basis for a fourth book, entitled Well, That About Wraps It Up For God

Aside from the Douglas Adams argument there is a quote from Quintin Crisp that highlights a problem with "who owns God",

    When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?

But, remember if God made man in his likeness then he must have a sense of humour, which would explain alot...

WaelDecember 25, 2018 3:05 PM

@Clive Robinson,

But, remember if God made man in his likeness

That's a misconception that was likely caused by a mistranslation of older languages. Translated twice at least, with a mixed adulteration of the author's views and convictions. God has no "like" - there's nothing like unto him: whatever image of God you have in mind, it's not like him. The real meaning of "God created Man in his own image" is: God created Man the way he designed him (i.e. in his own image) -- not to look like God. The stressed "if conditional" is false.

That About Wraps It Up For God

Evidently it's the other way round! It got wrapped-up for Mr. Adams.

WaelDecember 25, 2018 3:21 PM

@Dr. I. Needtob Athe, @AL,

AL, you could always build one and put in on the porch of a neighbor who annoys you. Two birds, one stone

(2+1): Now that's what I call Third Order Thinking. Similar order of thinking to this or to LAV -- the LinkedIn Attack Vector exploitation.

GodelDecember 25, 2018 4:06 PM

Apparently it was his half-wit mates that faked a couple of the incidents without his knowledge, but he outed himself and corrected the video. The other incidents were genuine.

A few police have been doing this in conjunction with Amazon with bait packages, although unfortunately only with GPS trackers instead of glitter bombs and fart spray distributors. In one case the bait package was stolen only three minutes after it had been placed so the police initially thought that the alarm must be an error.

The fart spray was a clever addition to the glitter bomb as it provoked the thieves to get the device out of their car or apartment as quickly as possible, enabling it to be safely recovered without a confrontation.

WeatherDecember 25, 2018 4:19 PM

Reminds me of those fake golf balls when hit turn to dust.

Serious note ...
When you get buried you go down after million years to sulfur and magma.
You get cremated you go to sky and heaven.

God bless humans

Clive RobinsonDecember 25, 2018 4:29 PM

@ weather,

You get cremated you go to sky and heaven.

Nagh, you just add to global warming as you spew noxious gases into the heavens to create acid rain and destroy trees etc, definitely not nice...

Me I fully intend to be buried in a light rush basket in my back garden and be used as plant and worm food, now that's environmentally friendly recycling.

What goes around comes around.

WeatherDecember 25, 2018 4:41 PM

@clive
Is it the topic or what it leads to.
No steel,plastic,concrete, eelecitry
But heaps of horses farting ;)

some guyDecember 25, 2018 6:16 PM

I believe at least some of the reasons were faked; the creator said some of the "victims" were acquaintances or friends of friends. That said, as far as I know the device really does works
, which is all that was amusing about this anyway.

gordoDecember 26, 2018 12:01 AM

@ Wael,

My apologies - I tend to include reference links when I post.

The verses speak for themselves.

WaelDecember 26, 2018 2:09 AM

@gordo,

My apologies - I tend to include reference links when I post.

Yes, I noticed. No, I was not complaining about you posting a reference. Just letting you know that I was well aware of them long ago, and showing them will not make me change my comment. Uh! perhaps you're telling me to include a reference. Here is one about imago dei, not to say that I agree with everything there!

The verses speak for themselves.

In English!

gordoDecember 26, 2018 9:36 PM

@ Wael,

Yes, the discussions surrounding "image" and "likeness" have been going on for some time, now! "As of October 2017 [with] the full Bible [having] been translated into 670 languages" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_translations ), the discussions are sure to continue!

Looking at the Wikipedia, "Image of God" entry, it would seem that, Ecclesiastes not withstanding, my view is "medieval" and not "modern". I find it interesting, as well, that the Wikipedia entry does not touch on "the new man".

Regarding the "design" question, your post also reminded me of a verse from Isaiah 55, "saith the LORD ... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Undoubtedly!

In any case, this is not the venue to carry these kinds of discussions on for too long, but interesting nonetheless!

AndyDecember 27, 2018 9:13 AM

@Clive Robertson

Me I fully intend to be buried in a light rush basket in my back garden and be used as plant and worm food, now that's environmentally friendly recycling.

You understand that is very similar to what we derive from the Hebrew scriptures, right? "From dust you came and to dust you shall return." In a Jewish burial the casket is made only of wood, with no metal parts, the body is prepared only by washing and is clothed in a shroud of natural fibers. All for the same purpose as what you plan -- return to the earth what came from it.

Kol haKavod! :)

Andy

Clive RobinsonDecember 27, 2018 1:38 PM

Andy,

I hope I have this right,

Shalom berakhah ve-tovah, Yasher koḥakha.

(may peace, good fortune and a long life be yours).

65535December 27, 2018 5:17 PM

@ Vesselin Bontchev and Wael

“…the video was staged.” - Vesselin Bontchev

Wow, I looked at the edited nine minute video and it is quite different from the eleven minute version.

Yes it was staged. I guess that is why the police never came – even if the video maker Mark Rober said he called them and got no response. Rober probably did not call the police or file a false police report.

From your buzzfeed link:

“Hate To Break It To You, But The Amazing Glitter Bomb Package Video Is Pretty Much Staged... At first, Rober's video made it seem like people were taking the packages off porches in Illinois, but later added a disclaimer to the video that this was not his actual house [Pittsburg is an is a suburb city in Contra County California in the Bay area – Wikipedia] ]. On Wednesday… Peter Logan emailed BuzzFeed News to share some strange things he noticed using Google's Street View feature and Zillow...the third thief, who opened the glitter-fart bomb inside her home, went outside to throw it out, her side yard and outdoor space seemed to be right next door to [Rober’s friend] Cici's house…"He [Rober the youtuber] admits to the deceptions where he was caught but promises the rest is the truth. I'm not sure what to do with that," Logan surmised…”-Buzzfeed

Ht tps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/briannasacks/glitter-bomb-package-thief-video-not-entirely-real

San Francisco California, Bay Area, cough YouTube Google area, not the State of Illinois USA. Ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburg,_California

It seemed too good to be a true video. Well it is was not – just a prank video that made it to the top of YouTube… assuming no padding of “Likes” or up-votes and so on. A hint is no police action assuming Rober called the police in the first place. Oh, Well.

@ Wael

“3, ExNASA, eh? I bet he left NASA shortly after his 1998 f**k-up incident and 4. Not only a code-cutter, but a Video-cutter, too!”-Wael

That is a real mistake by NASA or it’s contractor the JPL in California.

"...Mars Climate Orbiter burned and broke into pieces... all because someone failed to use the right units, i.e., the metric units...A NASA review board found that the problem was in the software controlling the orbiter’s thrusters. The software calculated the force that the thrusters needed to exert in pounds of force. A second piece of code that read this data assumed it was in the metric unit—“newtons per square meter”.-Simscale

Ht tps://www.simscale.com/blog/2017/12/nasa-mars-climate-orbiter-metric/
[links bronken for safety]

And

Details from Wikipedia

"...officials at NASA have stated that NASA itself was at fault for failing to make the appropriate checks and tests that would have caught the discrepancy."-Wikipedia

Ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter#Cause_of_failure

Yes, that is a fairly large $125 million FUBAR. I can see why coders like Rober were fired from NASA after being well paid for their work.

Youtuber-NASA tech Rober seems to be a utter failure or a con-artist. I wonder how close Googelmaps-youtube and NASA/JPL are tied together? That is disturbing.

WaelDecember 27, 2018 6:21 PM

@65535,

I guess that is why the police never came

No! The police would not come for what's apparently considered petty theft incidents. A few years ago, someone broke into my car and took my MacBook Pro, my iPad, my passport, my work phone, and some clothes and some credit and debit cards,... There were a few security cameras that covered the area where my car was parked. I think it was $7000 worth of stuff I lost. The police would not even stop for me when I flagged them. I called 911 to send a police. They said they will not unless someone's life is in danger... They won't even look at the camera recordings. The dispatcher told me: "maybe the camera wasn't working"! They took my friend's stuff too (he was visiting from out of state.) Long story...

Youtuber-NASA tech Rober seems to be a utter failure or a con-artist.

You shouldn't use "a" with a word that starts with a vowel. Allow me to correct you:

Grammar rule: add "n" to the "a" to change it to "an"
Or (my rule:) prepend an "n" to the word following the "a"!

Youtuber-NASA tech Rober seems to be a nutter, failure or a con-artist.

Damn, I'm good :)

65535December 28, 2018 2:28 PM

@ Wael

“Nutter”
“Damn, I'm good :)” -Wael

Ha, ha.

Great play on words.

Yes, I’ve seen the no-show police in action. I hear you.

I had a high quality moped [motorized bike] stolen and the best the police would due, “you can file a police report by phone…” response. I file the police report via phone and nothing ever happened.

Next, towards the holiday season I drove to a large airport from Vegas to airport in California and parked my rental car.

When I came back to the airport garage structure the car’s driver’s side window was broken and thieves only stole papers, some sunglasses and ransack'd the interior of the vehicle. I called the airport police against the airport parking attendant advise… the police said they would come when they finished case with no definite time frame.

I did say I would wait in the airport until they arrived… which was 2 hours later... Although there were camera’s in the structure, the officer did file the complaint but noted the “camera’s” were not working.

Now that I think about it something extra legal could have happened, the police were lazy or the police are over-loaded with wave of crime… but it’s doubtful. That was the second time I was given the pole up the rear.

Now, as to Robers' 911 call, I am sure there are records on it… if it happened. I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But, his track record at NASA and YouTube seem to be less than sterling.

SteveDecember 28, 2018 4:39 PM

Let me add my voice to the chorus of skeptics.

I saw the first video and my first impression was "okay, cool hack."

My second was "someone has a lot of free time on their hands."

My third was "whoa, dude, you live in a high crime neighborhood to have that many packages stolen within that apparently relatively short period of time."

I'm not suggesting that nobody gets packages stolen from their front porch but without further corroboration, I'm not entirely convinced that the problem is epidemic as it appears to be in Mr Rober's neighborhood.

@65535: Regarding police and thefts... hey, a few years ago, I had a *car* stolen from my apartment complex parking lot and filed a report by phone. Never saw a cop. Never heard a thing from them. All in a day's work, apparently.

65535December 29, 2018 12:27 AM

@ Steve

“My second was "someone has a lot of free time on their hands. My third was "whoa, dude, you live in a high crime neighborhood to have that many packages stolen"

Yep. Cool entertainment video but not realistic.

“I had a *car* stolen… filed a report by phone. Never saw a cop. Never heard a thing from them.”

Yes, same here.

I don’t know what to attribute that to. It must be the golden age of crime, or persons should chain everything down or put GPS modules on all belongings for “push button” law enforcement, or it is simply not worth the jillion dollar man hours it takes to run a police department and find and return items below a certain amount of money - say $10K.

O’well as they say.


Security SamDecember 29, 2018 11:49 AM

Keep thinking that police priority
Is to make us feel safe and sound
The stolen goods have the tendency
To become property of their compound.

GeorgeJanuary 1, 2019 1:04 AM

@JP - In the US, few delivery companies use lock box or postal box sites, even in large cities. If you aren't home to sign for a package, you need to haul yourself to the local distribution center - during business hours - and pick it up. In the suburbs or in rural areas, that may be quite far away [in time if not distance] and extremely inconvenient for people without automobiles [or worse, without licenses to drive]. Many businesses frown on having personal packages delivered to the work place. So for many people, there is no alternative but to have the package left unattended.

EvilKiruJanuary 3, 2019 12:45 PM

@George: Amazaon now offers locker box service in select cities. Some locations are operated by Amazon while others are operated by Amazon partners.

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