Jeep Owner Builds Elaborate Shotgun Shell-Exploding Contraption To Fend Off Parts Thieves

gif: Jaireme Barrow/YouTube (screengrab)

Thieves kept stealing Jaireme Barrow’s Jeep Wrangler parts right off his front porch, so the Tacoma, Washington native fought back by building a trap that sets off a 12-gauge shotgun blank and scares the living bejesus out of idiot burglars. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt anyone, but it’s the last noise any would-be thief wants to hear.

(Note: We do not encourage you to do this. Someone could get hurt.)

I chatted with Barrow over Facebook, and he told me he’s caught package-snatchers in the act four times with his video camera, and that he just “wanted to even the playing field.”

Photo: Jaireme Barrow

So he built the contraption you see above, which is fully contained in an ordinary cardboard box that he places on his front porch. The aluminum part in the picture holds the 12 gauge blank shell, and there’s also a small plate (not seen in the photo) holding down the firing pin. Fishing line is attached to that plate on one end and to the front door handle inside the house on the other. He explains how this all works, saying:

When [the fishing line] is pulled the plate is moved releasing the pin and firing the blank.

The bricks shown in the picture below are there to add weight to the package, and wood acts to prevent the device from shifting around, Barrow told me.

Photo: Jaireme Barrow

It’s not a perfect system, though, as he admits to needing a sign on his front door reading “package armed” to make sure he doesn’t accidentally set off his own trap on accident.

Still, he sees this rig as a good solution to his problem, and maybe even a way to make a bit of coin, telling me: “I’m going to re-engineer it to make it marketable to possible sale to the public.” He did add he has to make sure that’s legal first.


So when some miscreant tries stealing his parts, here’s what happens, as it did for one would-be thief:

And here’s a clip of a different burglar scurrying for his life after hearing the thunderous explosion from Jaireme’s trap:

Barrow says he usually attends Easter Jeep Safari in Utah, one of the world’s biggest annual off-road gatherings. As I plan to attend, I asked him if he’ll be there next year. His response: “I’ll be there, if I get all my Jeep parts lol.”


With that shotgun-shell rig he’s put together, something tells me I’ll see him in March.

h/t: Paulo Acoba

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).