But a few families in the United States have found a way to fight back with a uniquely powerful weapon: baby poop.
Couples in Missouri and Florida have struck back against the porch pirates by stuffing their seemingly valuable packages with dirty diapers, then leaving them out for thieves to take.
One family in Hazelwood, Mo., said they put together the nasty surprise after two packages were stolen off their porch in less than a week.
“I felt violated. It was not a good feeling,” the mother, who asked not to be named, told NBC News.
She says she and her husband wanted to get revenge on their serial porch pirate, so they turned their child’s soiled diapers inside-out, sealed them into an Amazon box and left it at their doorstep.
Doorbell footage shows the thief returning the next day to snatch the diaper-laden package.
“She got a special surprise from my daughter,” the woman said. “The best way to deal with things is to have a good sense of humour about it.”
The couple turned the footage over to police, who made an arrest on Sunday. The suspect has not been identified.
Another couple in Tampa, Fla., used the same strategy after several of their packages, including food and baby gifts, went missing off their front porch.
Sharly Saleep says she prepared a special delivery for the porch pirate using three-day-old diapers, courtesy of her nine-month-old daughter.
“I wanted them to get a taste of their own medicine,” Saleep told ABC News. “It was really disgusting, but I figured, you know, if they take it, they deserve it.”
The package disappeared within a few hours, Saleep said. She and her husband turned security footage of the incident over to Tampa police.
“Whoever these porch pirates were, they fell for it,” Tampa police spokesperson Sarah Michelson told ABC News.
Police in Hazelwood said they don’t endorse dirty-diaper vigilantism for dealing with porch pirates.
“We do not particularly encourage the transfer of bodily fluids,” a spokesperson told NBC News.
It’s not the first time angry shoppers have left a nasty surprise for a porch pirate. Many people have left “glitter bombs” for porch pirates in the past, and a homeowner in Pennsylvania filled a box with old kitty litter last year, much to the surprise of his package thief.
“Whoever it was got cat for Christmas,” the man said.
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