HOUSTON — A man in Midtown is taking justice into his own hands to get back at package thieves.

Matt Pratt, a Midtown resident, said he tried installing cameras and warning signs to deter criminals.

It didn’t work.

After someone stole hundreds of dollars of packages filled with Christmas presents in December, he bought a booby-trapped package online for about $100.

The package fires a shotgun blank when someone picks it up.

Pratt said he warned his neighbors about the bait box.

A package thief fell for the trap the very first night he put it out at the end of December. The scare was caught on camera.

“These guys are criminals. They know what they’re doing isn’t right. I think it’s payback, but it is nothing that does any harm to these people,” said Pratt.

Even so, law enforcement officials say homeowners could get in real trouble if something goes wrong.

In Texas, it’s illegal to use a device that seriously hurts others to protect property.

“I don’t see a concern of someone getting injured, but I guess someone could trip and fall in the grass as they’re running,” said Pratt.

Pratt said he plans to use the bait package again.

 He also recently purchased a parcel box to securely accept packages at home.

RELATED: Amazon has a new way to prevent porch thieves from stealing your packages

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