Shotgun Trap Scares Parcel Thieves: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Thief escaping after rigged parcel explodes (courtesy

In the video below, a package thief gets his comeuppance via a parcel rigged with a blank shotgun shell. This is the second year that Tacoma, Washington inventor Jaireme Barrow has booby-trapped his boxes. In the spirit of the holiday season, has [finally] picked-up the story and described Mr. Barrow’s device . . .

He gathered 12-gauge shotgun blanks, fishing line, bricks, a wooden box-like, a small box, aluminium carrying vessel for the blanks, a small plate and a card-box box to create his masterpiece.

When the fishing line is pulled the plate is moved, the pin is released and a blank is fired.

Much hilarity — and internet fame — ensues. So much so that Mr. Barrow is now selling his shotgun-shell-based “safety boxes” for $50 – $70.

The Sun says Mr. Barrow’s boxes are accompanied by a note warning thieves the “package is armed.” What could possibly go wrong?


  1. avatar AlanInFL says:

    It could have been a 16 ton weight.

    1. avatar Leadslinger says:

      Mail order from ACME, right? 🙂

      1. avatar Supermike says:

        An anvil dropping on his head would’ve been funnier… 🙂

  2. avatar Hank says:

    Hey could just so happen to be that shipment of black powder I ordered… Criminals will quit criminaling like that if they start gettin hit by IED’s when they do it.

    1. avatar Sal Chichon says:


    2. avatar JJ48 says:

      I’m not sure I agree. If these people actually put that much thought into their actions, would they even be thieves in the first place?

  3. avatar Jolly Roger Out says:

    I can’t wait for the first time somebody arms a drone with a Taser and posts the video of a package thief getting zapped with that.

    1. avatar How_Terrible says:

      The first time someone tasers someone else from a drone I’d hope that they have the good sense not to post the video on YouTube. In fact they shouldn’t even make a video of it, and if they do they should thoroughly erase it before anyone else sees it. If you attack anyone with a drone you will almost certainly get convicted of some variety of assault.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        Ah, but that’s what LiveLeak is for!

      2. avatar Mahatma Muhjesbude says:

        It IS illegal to arm drones. Even with supposedly Non-Lethal devices. So you will be charged and convicted, And you will also get sued for everything you have if they hurt themselves or die when they fall, even if the person is actively committing two criminal acts like this mope was doing, trespassing and attempted theft of property., oh, and maybe a federal postal violation as well.
        Actually, This blank shotgun shell device is already for sale on the internet along with all kinds of other perimeter ‘alarm’ systems.

        I seem to recall that even this device .might be illegal also if it has potential to blind someone. Boobytrapping is generally quite illegal almost everywhere. So as someone said here be very careful of what you are doing with exploding devices. Rigging something like that large area blasting BEAR Repellent pepper spray would work and might not be illegal because I’ve seen such devices sold in shotgun news and elsewhere specifically designed for trip wires to prevent burglaries?

      3. avatar Mahatma Muhjesbude says:

        I forgot to mention that, as usual, only We, the Sheeple, can’t arm our drones (there’s a super cool youtube video of the ultimate armed personal drone about 5 feet in diameter by this Russian dude or actor), But the North Dakota Sheriff’s department can have them because their state legisnaketure gave them permission and when questioned about the ‘probable cause’ and warrant issue of randomly flying them around any where they want over private property without a warrant, the moron said something like, “we have to fly them over private property, TO GET THE PROBABLE CAUSE?!” I haven’t kept up on whether or not that was challenged. But I doubt it. They haven’t even shut down the cell phone ‘Stingray’ 4/A violations and even went one further with the new DRT cell surveillance devices which can now allow any police any time to listen in on your actual real time conversations…without a warrant!
        Well, we are in a fast emerging Police State, after all… And most of us don’t even bother to contact our Reps to voice our opposition to all this anti-Constitutional totalitarian creep…

    2. avatar Noishkel says:

      Well actually the drone industry is probably going to have trouble again. Some POS statist reactivated the legal requirement to register drones with the FAA with a clause in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, which President Trump signed a few days ago. This had been killed with a lawsuit in 2015, but now they’re demanding federal oversight of ALL flying drones again. It’s going to really screw over the entire industry by hampering the growth of the technology with bureaucratic BS.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

        Yeah. I remember back in the ’70s when we all had to get FCC licenses for our 5 watt CB radios. And then when that grew unwieldy we just had to identify ourselves by a K or W followed by our ZIP code. Yeah, “Breaker one-nine, this is K90210 looking for W01243. C’mon back, W01243.”

        Good times, good times.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    I wouldn’t recommend stealing a package from my home… I’ve got motion sensors, cameras, and I just replaced my siding… it’s amazing what you can fit inside insulation and how easy it is to run current through aluminum.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “it’s amazing what you can fit inside insulation and how easy it is to run current through aluminum.”

      Run more than power through that siding.

      Folks who live under draconian Statist HOA restrictions have been known to load up aluminum siding with a transmatch to make a serviceable improvised shortwave antennas.

      Roof gutters work as well for horizontal polarization…

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yeah, I ran a lot of secondary lines through the insulation for some external sensors. Using the siding as an antenna is a bit beyond my EE skills.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          It’s *well* within your skillset…

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          You’d be surprised. I’m not big on wireless stuff. Ask me to hard wire a house or machine, no problem. Once you get into antenna gains, SN ratios, etc… my eyes sorta glaze over. It’s one of the reasons I still haven’t sat for my HAM license exam.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          At the end of the day, I’m a mechanical / aerospace / industrial engineer. (The former two are by degree, the last through experience.) With EE stuff I can whistle the tune, but I’m not going to be the expert that a true EE is. For example, op-amps make my eyes bleed.

  5. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Um this is probably illegal virtually anywhere. Just saying.

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      Yeah, I think there is actually laws against man trapping like this. At least with firearms. But that said, the fact that it’s a blank charge might protect him. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

      That being said I have often thought about fabricating a turret system loaded with capsicum paintball. I’ve seen a number of DIY system using airsoft guns.

      1. avatar Mark L. says:

        Revised Code of Washington 9.41.230(1)(c). Not an advisable practice in WA.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah you can get in a heap of trouble setting up boobytraps. A massive lawsuit and/or an overzealous prosecutor could wreck your life. Better to just shoot the felonious little cretin😄

    1. avatar How_Terrible says:

      Yeah, if you personally shoot a thief on your own property then you have a pretty legit case for a self defense claim. But if you aren’t physically present and a booby trap that you’ve set hurts or kills someone you would have a hell of a time trying to get a jury to buy your self defense claim.

  7. avatar Michael says:

    I made one…but mine uses a flare to alert the neighbours…we live in a rural area.

  8. avatar Kendahl says:

    Video surveillance equipment has become good and affordable. Where I live, some package thieves have learned this the hard way. Typical background for the thieves is a long criminal record and the thefts for which they were just arrested were committed while they were on probation or out on bail pending trial for an earlier theft.

  9. avatar AKM Sarah says:

    Hmmm, reminds me of those traps that kill agricultural pests like coyotes. Attach bait to a mechanism that when pulled fires a 12ga shell directly into the target’s mouth.

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      Coyotes get smart quickk.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        Yup, coyotes that get shot that way certainly learn to not do that again.
        Oh, wait…

      2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        that’s what the “hunter’s dream pecan paste” website said about chipgophers. their product was better than peanut butter because the munks would learn not to eat the peanut flavor.
        every time i drop another pelt in the davy crockett hat pile i remember that.

  10. avatar Johnny108 says:

    Bury the shotgun blank in pound can of Bullseye powder,
    and we could actually affect property crime in this country.
    Granted, “defensive use” waivers would be needed considering that a “Destructive Device” was used…….

    “I blast someone off my porch and now I’ve gotta squeegee it up! Don’t complain to ME about paperwork, officer!!”
    -unlikely, but, a nice thought, isn”t it?

  11. avatar Bob999 says:

    I have a better idea. Fill a container with a non-toxic liquid that has a strong, overpowering foul smell that is difficult to remove from carpet. Make it so that when the box is moved this chemical seeps from the box after about 5 minutes and completely empties within a few minutes. I imagine their get-away car will never be the same. If the smelly chemical is persistent enough, the bad guys may have to spend a fortune to clean up the mess. If the bad guys decide to sue, they have to admit their crime, and I doubt even a leftist judge would sympathize with the criminal.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      You can buy the thiol that is skunk scent. The mythbusters did once with their testing of it.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Skunk scent, or that ‘ole standby, ‘Liquid Fart’…


        1. avatar Gunr says:

          “Liquid Fart” That’s the definition of a “Surprise”

  12. avatar anonymoose says:

    Yeah, you better run!

  13. avatar i1uluz says:

    The porch priate runs like a woman, has no concern for the family jewels when crossing the fence. Don’t fences hold legal standing as a statement to keep out even without signage stating trespassing?

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I assumed that was a woman.

  14. avatar VictorLouis says:

    Hard to believe it’s been 30yrs now, and he was…eventually…found not-guilty…

    The moment one of these thieves gets injured, in today’s climate, I shudder the thought…

  15. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    No package thieves out here. Sometimes the UPS driver can’t even find me. 🙂 They leave it at the post office more and more.

  16. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    It’s a shame we just can’t kill them (all thieves, really) outright.

    1. avatar Thieves are Vermin says:

      Hear hear. If there is zero doubt (100% lock on guilt) then yeah, exterminate the vermin.

      1. avatar Zhang says:

        This is definitely one thing Muslim countries do right that we could learn from. Theft is not a joke.

  17. avatar Ho Ho Ho says:

    Wait till a Fed Ex or UPS guy gets injured , that’ll be a nice payout .

  18. avatar Scott Wardwell says:

    That was more heart-warming than Dickens The Christmas Carroll.

  19. avatar JS says:

    Banned in Crappyfornia

  20. avatar DerryM says:

    I found his website and watched his videos a little earlier this morning. Ingenious device. Uses just the charge in the shotgun shell. However, he might incur some repercussions from local authorities, eventually.

  21. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Rig it with dye packs like at the bank, and possibly with some noxious odor as others have described above. Rigging up a low grade I.E.D., however, is probably unwise.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    If all the thieves were dead, who would represent us in Congress?

  23. avatar Rick3 says:

    I saw videos like this several years ago, and actually did some research/testing of several different but similar traps:
    One was connected to an railroad locomotive-type air horn
    Another was a timed-delayed system for popping a combination of fish guts, permanent dye, and confetti, designed to make either the perp or his getaway car easy to ID and hard to remove.
    I’ll leave the details up to the reader to figure out, but both worked VERY well in testing. Unfortunately, we live across the street from an elementary school, and I couldn’t bring myself to try them out “for real”… just in case some of those kids were just messing around.

  24. avatar David Thew says:

    Too bad he didn’t impale his nads on the fence as he was leaving. I hope he sh!t his pants, literally…

  25. avatar Manny says:

    Following Baltimore’s Major “they need a place to destroy” philosophy, you have to “respect their right to steal your property” without fear of personal injury. That’s why I don’t live in Maryland.

  26. avatar Joe in CT says:

    What could go wrong? Someone buys his box and uses a live shell instead of a blank.

  27. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Do we have property rights or not?
    Do we have the right to protect our property or not.
    If a criminal is injured while stealing from me thats my fault???

    There are to many people willing to give up their rights to protect the life of a thief. The purpose of “stand your ground” laws is you as a law abiding citizen have a right to be at the location, conducting legal activity.

    So a thief can’t be stopped because he might have a heart attack???

  28. avatar zebra dun says:

    Currently I have a back forth trespasser who bends and drops fences, leaves gates open and tears down no trespassing signs. If only he would find one of these back there LOL

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