Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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vandal catcher vending machine

A vandal proof non-vending machine which makes money off catching vandals
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You have this system of vandal catching (say a camera with a phone alarm connected to a guarding company, and a fake camera somewhere around the box). The machine says on it in big letters (presumably the vandals don't read, and if they do it gives them even more incentive):

THIS MACHINE DOES NOT SELL ANYTHING. IT IS HERE TO CATCH VANDALS. VANDALIZERS WILL HAVE TO PAY A $70 FINE.

Since there is nothing in the machine, even if it is ruined there is no great loss. And since the guarding system is hidden the vandals WILL get caught without hurting the system.

pashute, Sep 01 2002

[link]






       Short of selling them into slavery, how do you make money off of vandals? $70 is not going to begin to cover your court costs, and you'll probably never collect it anyway.
DrCurry, Sep 01 2002
  

       Fishbone.   

       This idea serves no practical purpose. Even if you catch some vandals, there will always be more, smarter vandals. In a sense, this is encouraging natural selection, and would bring out more skillful, smarter criminals.   

       //The vandals WILL get caught// Ski Mask.
BinaryCookies, Sep 01 2002
  

       Vandalizer?
phoenix, Sep 03 2002
  

       Why not attach a security system to a real vending machine? Wouldn't that be more useful, and remove the need for a separate fake vending machine? In fact, instead of paying for the research and development and manufacturing funding, why not employ armed guards. Or pay for broken machines to be mended.
pottedstu, Sep 04 2002
  

       I obviously didn't explain myself well enough.   

       The machine is VERY cheap to develop, because it does nothing. If it would do something (like shoot the vandals or run after them) it would cost money and time to research, develop and manufacture.   

       Oh well, I hate fishbones...
pashute, Oct 01 2002
  
      
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