I was just recently (Christmas Morning) taken advantage of by a mail thief. I went out to open the gate at the road and found my mailbox open. I didn’t even know a package had been delivered as Amazon’s delivery schedule was a broad week long window. The thief got lucky and found a package in my box. Fortunately, it was only a package of aftermarket inkjet cartridges worth a piddly $50 and Amazon is great about replacing packages that get stolen. However, that is only good with Amazon packages. I decided that has to stop. I am pondering how to make my mailbox a little bit safer.
I am thinking about 2 things: Securing the box once something ha been put in and notification in more than one way that the box has been opened. The first part is pretty easy. I have mains power 10 feet from my box so I could do pretty much anything I wanted electrically wise to secure it… from a hard latch that holds under power to a magnet latch that grabs the door. I can run power out and up the center of the pole and make stuff happen. The notification part I want two fold. I want it to turn a small LED on the fence, either just in a random place that makes sense to me or on the post that the gate latch is on. That LED will reset when I acknowledge and unlock the box to retrieve my mail (OR review my footage to see who the ass-hat was that was checking my box for goodies). The second part is that I want the system to notify me either via email or via text that mail has been delivered (or that the door was opened by a would-be thief). The system will need to be unlocked remotely, even on a set timer, so that it will not inhibit the mail carrier from getting in to deposit mail and packages. I figure to add a remote unlock as well so I can push a button on my phone to reset the lock while on my home network IP.
I was pondering using a typical secure mail box design and customizing it to add the doodadds for automation so that it looks just like any other security box but in a larger format for bigger packages. I live in a rural area and people do all sorts of weird crap for mailboxes so mine won’t stick out too bad or cheese off the mail carriers for not using “approved” postal boxes.
Now if I could just fgure out how to make it legal to spray liquified dog crap all over the thief, I would be patenting that design.