Man fed up with package thefts leaves prank parcels on porch

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 16:46:40-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the age of Amazon Prime, some frustrated homeowners are equipping their houses with surveillance cameras to catch package thieves in the act.

One Utah man decided to take things a step further, however. Randy Dark was fed up with people taking packages off the porch of his Salt Lake City home, according to KSTU-TV. Not only did he set up some cameras, but for weeks he has been pranking the bad guys.

“I want to see how often is this happening where I live, and it turns out it happens all the time,” Dark said.

Several security cameras give Randy a glimpse of what’s happening when he isn't home.

“I put these cameras up thinking I’m going to have the odd chance catching someone doing something bad, I didn't realize I would catch someone doing something bad every single week,” Dark said.

Time and time again, the cameras catch the criminals in action.

“I was mainly surprised it happened to me because I didn't feel like my neighborhood was that kind of place,” Dark said.

Ryan has given up having things delivered to his house, but now he makes sure there's always a package on his porch.  Little do the bad guys know, every person who comes to his door is caught on camera.

“Every time it's a new person,” Dark said. “Sometimes two of these events would happen a day.”

So Ryan started putting packages on his porch with random junk in them. Then, on Wednesday, he decided to do a little more than that.

“I had left them a note that said, 'Hey, I caught you on camera, don't come back,'" Dark said.

He also left the thieves with a treat, if you can call it that.

“A package of gummy bears that are sugar-free for diabetics, pretty extreme upset stomach if you eat too much of them,” Dark said. “Not a whole lot of satisfaction in that because you don't know if they ate them. They might have just chucked them.”

Police don't recommend the pranks, because you never know who you're messing with.

“I wouldn't encourage it because these guys know where you live, I wouldn't encourage it,” said Detective Cody Lougy with Salt Lake City Police Department.

“That's why I’m just putting notes in and why I won't do the gummy bears again, because I don't really want them to come back,” Dark said.

Dark says this is far from over, and he plans on setting up another camera angled to get a license plate in the hopes that will be the key in catching the criminals. Until then, he said he will keep leaving the packages on his porch with a note inside.