Business booming for Tacoma's blank-firing porch pirate deterrent

Business booming for Tacoma's blank-firing porch pirate deterrent

Jaireme Barrow uses a blank shotgun shell to scare away package thieves. Dean J. Koepfler, The News Tribune

TACOMA, Wash. — Jaireme Barrow got tired of people stealing his packages, so he came up with a loud, outside-the-box solution.

Well, not quite. It’s more of an inside-the-box solution.

The Tacoma native's blank-firing device that's rigged to a fake package on your doorstep is now available for purchase.

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The devices are available from TheBlankBox.com, starting at $50.

The one on Barrow’s porch gets set off about once a month, which he records with a doorbell camera.

Twice on recent Fridays, wannabe porch pirates have taken the bait.

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One was a man who was dropped off by a comrade nearby. The man went through Barrow’s fence and grabbed the package.

The shotgun blast scared the man so badly he looked like he’d been shot, Barrow said.

“It almost looked like he was trying to do the invisible box challenge,” Barrow said. “He was running through the air like Road Runner.

“That made my day. He looked back for maybe a split second, and after that, he was gone.”

The other unwanted visitor was a woman who was walking down the street and opened the gate in Barrow’s fence to grab the package.

When the device went off, she forgot about the gate.

“She figured the best way to get out of there was to jump right over it,” Barrow said. “She didn’t look back or stop running. I think she may still be running now.”

Also available on Barrow’s website: a T-shirt with the words “Don’t touch my package!”