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Rockford Scanner™: Many Asking If They Can Legally Booby-Trap Their Boxes, For Porch Pirates





Chief Lynde responded saying pretty much what Chief O’Shea said.
You can read Chief Lynde response below:

We cannot provide legal advice, but booby traps would be extremely risky and have led to felony convictions in Illinois in the recent past. As an individual, one has the right to use surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting, locks, or with the proper precautions, even a dog to keep people from committing a crime on their property. People have the right to defend their own property, but booby traps indiscriminately defend property and can cause harm, including death, to someone who is lawfully on the property.


We talked to Chief O’Shea and he said to definitely do NOT booby trap the boxes.  

Chief O’Shea said the following:
Willfully or knowingly causes harm to another person, especially when premeditated, is a chargeable offense. And booby trapping implies the use of explosives which could also lead to Federal charges.

Chief O’Shea suggests everyone to get one of those one way porch lock boxes where the delivery person sets the package inside the lock box on the porch and closes it and the homeowner has the key to open it. Or the use of remote cameras/garage doors (if feasible) to open the garage at time of delivery and close it after. Or deliver to a work address, again if feasible. Or even use a neighbor who is home during the day to see if they can grab the packages or even get them delivered to their house since they are home.

Obviously outdoor cameras help us identify the offenders so would promote getting those as well.

Remember that property is replaceable, lives are not.

His department is working on the cases and recommends anyone who has information to contact the police with information.  You can find the contact numbers at: CLICK HERE

If you do not want to talk to the police directly, you can email us and we can relay the information for you anonymously. Send us an email at

As you know mail theft has been a serious problem recently. 

Many victims and citizens are wanting to take the situation into their own hands, because they feel the local police are not doing anything about the situation.   

We have had many people ask us if they can legally booby-trap their own boxes on their own porches. 

We do not have an answer for this.   However, I have reached out to the local police and asked. I am awaiting to hear back from them.

So hopefully I will have an answer for everyone soon.

As soon as I do, I will update this. 



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