Robert only ever wanted a beautiful home and an even more beautiful wife. As soon as he got these things, he vowed to always protect them, no matter what. Robert never imagined that his family’s safety would be jeopardized while living in a tranquil neighborhood.
However, when that day came Robert knew he needed to act quickly…
Robert’s longtime friend Tom paid him a visit one morning. He shared stories and updates about what was happening in the neighborhood. Tom had a tendency to overexaggerate, so Robert knew not to take him too seriously. However, his stories all shared one common denominator… They were all concerned with theft and a shortage of security.
Robert couldn’t shake the feeling that something was not right. He needed to do something immediately.
One night, Robert was abruptly woken up by loud music. He tried to locate the source of the music when he realized that the music was coming from outside his house.
The music started to get increasingly louder with each second. Robert knew something was not right and he had to act fast.
The moment Robert started to investigate, the music stopped. “Did the music stop because I noticed it? Is someone watching me?” Robert asked himself. He peered outside the window to see what happened.
He knew he needed to find out where the music was coming from, however he found something much more daunting outside.
He could not believe what he was seeing. A group of strangers were in his backyard! Robert inspected each of the trespassers in an attempt to identify them.
“What are they trying to do?” Robert asked out loud, which woke his wife from her slumber.
Suzan woke up confused and asked him what he was doing. Robert did not want to alarm her and simply said, “Oh, I just felt a bit thirsty. I’m going to grab a drink. Go back to sleep.”
As soon as he could hear his wife’s breathing slow down, indicating she is asleep, he quietly took his keys and went downstairs…
Robert locked the bedroom door. He desperately wanted to keep his wife safe. He considered his options, and decided to call the authorities.
However, what he heard next made him completely forget about calling the police.
He overheard a conversation about how they intend to rob him of all his possessions. He felt anger and frustration wash over him. He could hear the group of people laughing as they approached his house.
In a fit of rage, he threw his phone on the ground.
The phone falling on the ground caused a loud noise which made the group outside fall silent. They knew that someone inside the house had heard them. Acting fast, he contacted the authorities.
The men outside whimpered with various cries while on Robert was on the phone, diverting their focus away from the overall plan.
His heart was filled with optimism as he heard the men’s anxious noises, knowing that all of the traps he had set outside were succeeding. His devious methods gained him and the cops some time.
Just as he started to feel more calm, he heard someone trying to open his front door…
Just in time, the police sirens sounded from a distance, making the intruder leave the door knob altogether. With all his newfound confidence, Robert marched straight towards his front door to bask in his victory.
Robert was always ready for a challenge. After all, he was a Vietnam veteran – he had his own knowledge of canny traps.
Robert had fought in Vietnam. His training had been grueling, but it had hardened and sharpened his mind.
Even in his twilight years, he still possessed all the knowledge and muscle memory that he had developed all those years ago to stay alive. Even now, he still used all his knowledge for his favorite hobby.
Since Robert had learned that robberies in his town had spiked, he decided to spend all his spare time building elaborate booby traps for his yard.
So, while the unsuspecting thugs had thought they could rob an old man blind, they didn’t realize that they had picked the wrong yard to infiltrate.
Robert had laid the entire yard with tripwires and other traps. He had used all the natural obstacles on the perimeter of his yard – like the trees, fences, and bushes) to channel any threats that arose into a single location.
There, intruders would come into contact with his favorite “log trap” as they approached the house.
Robert had two tall trees on his perimeter, which he used to hang his trap. Two criss-crossed ropes held two heavy logs in place, which were set to swing at face level like pendulums when the trip wire was activated.
Unfortunately, the men must have somehow bypassed this trap. But, unluckily for them, there were more where that came from.
In strategic places all over his property, Robert had also built small pit traps. He shallowly dug out the earth in a few spots and lined the bottom with uneven rocks.
If an intruder were to walk into one, they could break an ankle. Robert had toyed with the thought of digging a few deeper pits, but what he was doing wasn’t exactly legal…
In the United States, a mantrap is defined as a mechanical security device, designed to catch poachers or trespassers. Mantraps that use deadly force are entirely prohibited.
In some cases, trespassers have even successfully sued property owners for any damages caused by a mantrap. The property owner is liable for any death or injury caused by mantraps – even when it happens to burglars.
Robert had chosen a trap that would be home-safe and unrecognizable to outsiders. He had connected a wire to a crutch and attached pepper gel spray that would take over any intruder’s senses if they tried to pass through the trap.
But the traps weren’t the only things Robert put the unsuspecting trespassers through.
Despite the fact that some of the intruders were able to escape the scene, what they did not know was that Robert had it all on tape.
He placed high-quality cameras in the most obscure of places. And the intruders caught on-scene and on tape would face hefty consequences.
The intruders were charged with attempted theft, trespassing, and attempted forcible entry. They then reported back to Robert, informing him that the reason behind targeting him was not personal because they were targeting the whole area.
These predators didn’t discriminate – Robert’s area was known to be filled with people from an older demographic, so any house would do.
After the incident spread in the neighborhood, Robert got elected as town mayor – for several reasons. One reason was his calculative mind that always thinks ahead.
One of his main achievements was promoting security in his townhouse meetings. Everyone now knows not to mess with the whole town, which is why it is always better to be safe than sorry. But Robert isn’t the only one who has taken his home security into his own hands.
Some victims of porch piracy think even the term ‘porch pirate’ is too cute a description to use for these common thieves.
For many people, they’re the worst this society has to offer. Especially for Christine Hyatt who, like Robert, has her own war story of misgivings dealing with these low-lives.
Currently, America is going through a porch pirate epidemic and Christine Hyatt is one homeowner that has suffered greatly at their hands.
With a daughter with diabetes, Christine relies on her packages to deliver some much-needed medical devices for her child. Yet, all too many times, her life-saving equipment has been stolen.
Christine claims that over 20 packages of hers have been stolen this year alone. Six of those packages contained her daughter’s medical supplies.
It made her become as revenge-focused as Robert and she sent up many prank boxes for the thieves. Their neighborhood is one of the worst-hit by porch pirates and it was leaving its mark.
When a neighborhood is tormented by porch pirates, it soon becomes an issue of safety. If you have thieves willing to drive around your neighborhood in broad daylight, targeting your house, then what else are they capable of doing?
It was a question that plagued Christine and a real motivation behind her revenge. But not everyone agreed.
A thread on Reddit debating the topic was surprisingly full of people jumping to the porch pirates’ defense. “It’s all fun and games until one of the would-be robbers sues for PTSD” one Reddit user typed.
Another user wrote, “I don’t get this. You’re placing your property out there. It’s not the thief’s fault if he decided to take it and then gain access to its contents”.
Apparently, some people think that unless your property is in your house, then it’s a free-for-all. Of course, this is absolutely false. If that were true then by this logic, parked cars or having chairs, lights, and plants in our yard means they are also up for grabs.
A homeowner’s property is anything within the territorial limits of that home. Front lawn, back lawn, side lawns – included!
Mostly, however, people online shared a mutual hatred for thieves and a huge disappointment in how the authorities failed to deal with them.
It left many people like Robert and Christine feeling like they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands and serve justice themselves. But what would you do?
The involvement of the cops and the legal discussions around Robert’s traps may have deterred some people from pursuing it further, but Robert was different.
There was no way he was going to stop what he was doing. Especially when he was catching criminals red-handed trying to steal from him. He was also confident nobody would get seriously hurt. And time and time again, his traps proved effective.
Robert does suggest, however, that if anyone was to copy his idea of building traps, they might want to cover their backs first – for legal reasons.
He learned that it was best to tack up a “no trespassing” sign and tape a note on his gate, warning people not to enter his property. This can protect the homeowner from lawsuits if any do arise.