Curses upon mailbox thieves

We’ve had a mailbox thief in the neighborhood for years. I’ve been picked for an Xbox 360 that the rural carried decided to hang off the mailbox in a bag. My neighbor had his entire stack of outgoing Christmas cards stolen before they were picked up. Another neighbor had an outgoing check stolen from the mailbox, altered, and cashed in the next state. They have filed multiple police reports but nothing has been done. I have resisted filing a report because I’m the only person of my race living in the neighborhood, and I don’t want this issue to become about race. I just want my dang mail.

Well this time they got my Arduino starter kit. I had a SainSmart Mega with a herd of newbie attachments, resisters, etc delivered to my mailbox and it got picked within an hour of delivery. THIS MEANS WAR!! I called the cops, filed a complaint, and contacted my post office. The cops told me plainly that they have 165 square miles to patrol between the two of them, so watching mailboxes is something they just can’t do. I’m hoping the postal inspectors might have a different view on the matter.

Anyway, the point is, I’ve been chomping at the bit for a month to get started on Arduino, and this joker has set me back at least a month. I hope his crotch bursts into flame. Grrrr!

Get a security camera, figure out when they're doing it. Then discourage them from continuing the practice.

Send yourself a nice honeypot after hooking up the camera to speed up the result.

wizdum that is the sort of discouragement that anyone that steals a mans Arduino deserves but I'm not sure about the rubber type

Pedro147: wizdum that is the sort of discouragement that anyone that steals a mans Arduino deserves but I'm not sure about the rubber type

I believe in second chances, sometimes. Also, the report of a shotgun has a tendency to make people reevaluate their life choices, rather rapidly. Rehabilitation and all that.

I have got an idea! Put something that is worth a good amount of money... say another xbox… by the mail box with a gps tracking system inside. Then when it gets stolen call the police and tell them were the box is!

[quote author=Drew Davis link=topic=186780.msg1383811#msg1383811 date=1378660307] I have got an idea! Put something that is worth a good amount of money... say another xbox… by the mail box with a gps tracking system inside. Then when it gets stolen call the police and tell them were the box is! [/quote]

You wouldn't have to go that far; just go and get a pre-paid Android smartphone, download and install Lookout (https://www.lookout.com/), then find somebody who has a Galaxy 4 or such who doesn't need their box or whatnot, place it inside (and tape or glue it shut), put it inside a bag from a mobile carrier sales shop, and set that out by the mailbox. They just might be stupid enough to fall for it...

cr0sh: [quote author=Drew Davis link=topic=186780.msg1383811#msg1383811 date=1378660307] I have got an idea! Put something that is worth a good amount of money... say another xbox… by the mail box with a gps tracking system inside. Then when it gets stolen call the police and tell them were the box is!

You wouldn't have to go that far; just go and get a pre-paid Android smartphone, download and install Lookout (https://www.lookout.com/), then find somebody who has a Galaxy 4 or such who doesn't need their box or whatnot, place it inside (and tape or glue it shut), put it inside a bag from a mobile carrier sales shop, and set that out by the mailbox. They just might be stupid enough to fall for it... [/quote]

If you live in the US, Ting.com is a cell provider that sells cheap android phones outright, and lets you cancel at any time. Just buy one of their sub $100 phones, use one of the plentiful $50 off coupons, and then just terminate the account after you're done. The support people at Ting are awesome, they might even set up the phone with lookout for you, prior to shipping. Just in case the thief steals you phone before you want him to. Google also has their own phone tracking built in now.

how about the postal service starts selling electronic mailboxes, basically the postman wears or places in pocket some kind of Near Field Communication device, and have the box only unlock when the postman comes within a meter and then as they move away the box automatically locks up....

It could have a solar panel and a small battery, a small solenoid to activate with the rfid it would not be that complicated... or one step further would be to provide unike key identifiers to each box meaning only the postman on your route can open your box no other postman would have your key, your key could be set or programmed via the postbox itself... all i'd worry about is someone stealing the postbox then!

The problem with the security camera idea is that I live a quarter mile from the mailbox, around a curve in the road. And there is a cornfield with corn higher than the mailbox in the way. To set up a security camera, I would have to supply a computer, car battery, power inverter, and a webcam, install all of this in the cornfield, and hope it doesn't rain.

I went by the post office today. $124 per year for the smallest size PO box they have. Grrrr.

Trail camera?

I live on a private road, and did not get mail delivery for the first 10 years or so. So I went the post office box route. However, you can’t have packages shipped via commercial carriers to PO boxes, and not every seller will do USPS mail delivery or send to PO boxes. For awhile, I also paid for a UPS box when I was a work at home programmer. Since then, the UPS shop closed its doors, but I now work for a company out of an office, and I have mail delivery there. There might be local UPS, Fedex, or other places that provide mail delivery similar to a PO box.

Note, if you use alternate addresses, you might need to have the credit card billing address be the same as the delivery address. Most times, you can register a billing address and a delivery address, but for a few vendors you can’t (bhphoto.com being the one that sticks in my mind).

Build a mail box that consists of a box and solenoid a small solar panel to keep a small 6v battery, it will open once then upon closing the box locks or even a door lock that locks on closing...

Cardynal: The problem with the security camera idea is that I live a quarter mile from the mailbox, around a curve in the road. And there is a cornfield with corn higher than the mailbox in the way. To set up a security camera, I would have to supply a computer, car battery, power inverter, and a webcam, install all of this in the cornfield, and hope it doesn't rain.

I went by the post office today. $124 per year for the smallest size PO box they have. Grrrr.

Raspberry Pi with a PiCam in a medium enclosure. Find a cheap used Ubiquiti wifi radio, and stick it on the back. A pair of small 12v SLA batteries (the pair gets you the 24v you need for the Ubiquiti radio) would run that set-up for at least 24 hours.

The easiest route would probably be a trail-cam though. Runs off AA batteries, takes a picture when it detects motion, built in eyelets for padlocks, designed to run for weeks.

You probably couldn't get away with using beanbag rounds or rubber bullets if the mailbox is 1/4 mile from your house. The nice police officer might ask you why you were sitting in the cornfield with a shotgun.... You could try fitting a home-made one of these into an Xbox box: http://burglarblaster.com/ Thief takes his new prize back to his house, opens it up, and SURPRISE! Nothing says GTFO like a room full of mace.

I saw my Postmaster General and filled out paperwork so that NO boxes are delivered to my door. That’s because I have an apartment so they leave the box out in the hall whether it’s supposed to be signed for or not. And you know what? STILL they left a box at the door but I heard that one and got it!

We don’t have a regular postman here so anything to my address may end up 2 or 3 blocks away.

What I do is get things sent to a long-time friend’s address in a good part of town. His mail always gets where it’s supposed to and boxes have sat on his front porch over two weeks till they got back from Disney World (the most bogus happiest place on the planet).

If you get a box sent to you, pay the extra for registered, insured mail. The PO don’t give 2 bytes for you but they respect the hell out of Insurance Companies!

If I didn’t have to worry about laws, the box they’d steal would have one very pissed off bobcat or at least a wasp nest inside. With any luck it’d get opened up in a moving car.

Build a dropbox. Fairly cheap and easy if you can weld. For ideas look at old bank nightsafes or clothing recycling type banks.

Edit And use an arduino for the codelock to open it.

If you know about the time your mail is delivered, I’d take a day and sit out and watch the box. Maybe have a blind of some sort set up so they don’t see you. Make sure you have a camera with a telephoto lens or binoculars and a pen and paper so you can write down their license plate number. Then you call the cops and let them do their work.

In our house also post & packages where stolen - and i put alittle wireless cam in my postbox (inside the house) which watches everything in an angle of nearly 180 degrees through a only 1 mm hole. was really cheap, about 30 bucks or so.

Then i put an urgent looking small package (from a sending before) in it on 8:30 a.m. (post comes between 9:30 and 10:00) After the post has passed it took only 6 minutes and the package (a litlle bit was shows from out the PoBox to make it easy ]:) ) was gone, but i saw who it was.

So, i "spoke" with the guy - and what shall i say: it's about 3 years ago and since that "conversation" the problem is solved.

And if you really know the person that gets your post: hey man, you are living in the US :% Get a gun and GOTCHA ]:D - might be legal in your country :grin:

Not even in Florida but maybe Iowa since they just made (or are making it) it legal for blind people to carry in public.

GoForSmoke: Not even in Florida but maybe Iowa since they just made (or are making it) it legal for blind people to carry in public.

Thats an interesting problem. You can't deny someone their rights due to their disability, so they are legally allowed to open carry like everyone else. I can't imagine there's that many blind people buying guns though.