He put bait boxes--including a game called pop up pirate--on his porch four nights before Christmas. Right away, his surveillance captured porch pirates coming in--and grabbing the bait.
Once that happened, though, they promptly dropped it -- leaving their own smoke trail behind.
“This gives a little bit of power to show that you can do something,” he said.
Night after night, would be thieves are explosively deceived, but multiple people tried stealing the boxes--for four consecutive nights.
Smalley believes the message sent to the fight-or flight part of the brain here is a serious shock to a person's sense of right and wrong.
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“They know what they’re doing is wrong, and so when that noise goes off they don’t really want to stick around for the consequences.’
And he says every one of the people who grabbed the boxes seemed well dressed. Some had expensive accessories.
“This isn’t just our homeless people,” he said. “The first one had a Gucci bag.
He believes it's up to individuals to stand up to petty thieves, saying city leadership--and law enforcement--are not making chronic theft a priority.