Several years ago, Juan Pineda found himself waiting for his wife's paycheck. And waiting. And waiting.
After more than a month, police called to tell him that the check had been stolen from his mailbox. While he did eventually get the money, he decided that from then on, he would be the only one opening his mail. This led to the invention of the Security Mailbox - a mailbox with a car alarm.
If the Security Mailbox is tampered with or bumped, a nifty alarm goes off inside the house. The mailbox is also capable of sending an alarm to a remote security center 24/7. The only ones with access to the box would be the owner or a mailman with a security card.
Adding convenience for those whose mailbox is at the end of a driveway the length of a city block, the mailbox also alerts the owner when mail is delivered. No word yet on if the alert will be in the form of a ding or a "you've got mail."
Pineda has secured a patent for his invention, but is still looking for a manufacturer to produce and market it. Presumably, he would also have the unenviable task of clearing his security card system with the U.S. Postal Service.
Still, he is convinced that the mailbox would help put a dent in America's fastest-growing crime - identity theft.
While researching his idea, Pineda found that mailboxes are treasure troves of personal information that thieves often loot for bills, credit card offers and checks.
By putting this information under lock and key - and an alarm for good measure - Pineda is making sure his personal information remains personal.