Given the spate of amazon package thefts, has anyone invented a practical countermeasure?

I watced a video of a guy that made an elaborate glitter bomb but this seems more like a prank rather than preventative, and highly impractical.

Has anyone made anything to actually prevent this? Some one-way drop box? I’m thinking something like the clothing drop off bins for Goodwill except for amazon packages. That would be huge and ugly, but a start.

Also, is stealing Amazon boxes a federal crime like stealing out of a mail box? If not, it should be.

Amazon does have storefronts where you can pick up packages. I’ve seen a couple in Boston. Does anyone know if these can be found anywhere else?

I’ve seen any number of video camera systems that will record people stepping onto your porch. This, naturally will not prevent thefts by MAY make it easier to catch the thief and recover the item.

The only practical solution I’ve found is a PO box. A thief would have to be pretty brazen to attempt theft directly from the Post Office.



Amazon has a service separate from their stores.

Amazon Locker

When making a purchase, when you’re setting the delivery location you can opt for it to be delivered to a locker, you then go to pick it up after you get delivery notification. You are provided a code that you input into a kiosk and that opens the locker with your parcel.

You’d have to check to see if there is a locker close enough to make it worth your while, and some items are ineligible for that service (for example they might not fit in a locker, or might be shipped using a carrier that won’t deliver to one).

The law seems to cover all bases but seems to be specific to U.S. mail. Amazon boxes sent by U.S. mail would be covered, but it is not clear (to me, anyway) if boxes stolen from private carriers is covered by federal law.


Amazon In-home delivery. This works by having an electronic “smart lock” on your door. Basically you authorize an Amazon delivery person to come into your home and leave the packages inside.

Great. Then instead of running around the neighborhood the thieves can just get a job with Amazon.

From the link.

What could go wrong?

It would make more sense to have some sort of lockbox on my property where they can deposit deliveries. It wouldn’t be immune to theft but it would be a deterrent.

Amazon also has a program where the delivery person can (on compatible vehicles) unlock the trunk of your car and place the package in there. Not gonna work well with big flat screen TVs and little cars (which can complicate theft as well).

Apologies if this answer doesn’t belong in GQ, but it’s so great.

A NASA engineer built a dummy package containing four cell phone cameras that explodes with glitter and fart bombs when the thieves open it. It has GPS so the inventor is able to retrieve it after the glitter-covered miscreants heave it out on the side of the road. It’s had 26.6 million views.

Glitter Bomb Package Theft Deterrent

I used to live on a street where people would brazenly root through your mailbox while you were watching. Needless to say, package theft was rampant.

My solutions:

I rented a PO Box. I routed as much of my mail as possible to it.

Amazon locker type services. UPS also does this. Not as convenient (my PO Box is very close to my home, and also on my route to/from work) but secure.

Have the package sent to where I worked. Not always feasible, as not all employers allow this.

More high tech solutions have already been mentioned involving delivery people being granted access to your vehicle or front door. Not having a smartphone I’ve never used them.

I’ve used this several times with no problems.

Did you read post #1?

You probably don’t need something this fancy–just a delivery box which people can’t see in.

Yeah, but it kills a lot of the convenience of ordering online (or at least of delivery), if I have to go somewhere else to get the package. For brick-and-click stores, you can just site-to-store it instead of home delivery if you want that. Like carryout v. delivery (where buying in store would be eating in the restaurant, I guess) .

As the question seems to have been answered, I just want to say that the fart sprayer was a really nice touch wrt the ex-NASA guy and his little surprise for the thieves. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, I enjoyed that video too. The smell was an inspired idea as it made the thief eager to get rid of the parcel ASAP.

In the UK, a large number of local stores will accept parcels to and from the major carriers including Amazon. Some have a separate counter and some just use the normal checkout, but it is a godsend for people who are out all day. It’s good for the store too as many people will take the opportunity to buy something at the same time.

Hmmm, wherehave I seen this before…?