Shotgun security: Booby trapped MS business goes viral

Shotgun security: Booby trapped MS business goes viral
Joe McCoy demonstrates how his trap deters intruders

CLARKE COUNTY - One Clarke County business owner has put his personal touch on a homemade alarm system.

"I tie a string to the two front doors and other places, big strings so people can see it and the string goes to a pulley that goes to a trigger on a shotgun," said Service Station owner Joe McCoy.

McCoy has owned the service station on Highway 45 near Shubuta for over 40 years and has had trouble with thieves in the past.

"I have been broken into seven times, anyway from driving through the shop door to throwing cement blocks through the windows," said McCoy.

McCoy has security cameras up in multiple locations in and around his business, as well as an alarm, but just have not managed to do the job.

For the past few years his homemade booby-trap seems to be working. McCoy does give credit to the local authorities at the Clarke County Sheriff's Department, but says he is in the middle of the country and it's just a long way for people to respond.

"Every afternoon when I close I put it up, take it down when I get here in the morning. Since I put the shotgun up, I haven't had any break-ins," said McCoy.

This past weekend, someone passing through Mississippi posted pictures of the trap on popular website which sparked a lot of conversation about the legality of the setup.

"Generally people don't have a right to enter your business outside normal business hours and you can protect it with cameras, dogs, but anything that involves deadly force is definitely illegal," said attorney Alex Ignatiev.

Ignatiev says an unloaded weapon may not be illegal, but act as a deterrent.

"I'm not going to second guess someone who's willing to point a shotgun at the door of his business, whether it's loaded or unloaded i was always taught that whenever a gun has got something, some weight on the trigger its ready to be fired, you better treat it as its loaded," said Ignatiev.

According to McCoy thieves take anything they can get their hands on.

"Bread, milk, drinks, cigarettes, CBs (CB Radios), rocking chairs, groceries, anything they can load on a pickup, just get anything, any and everything, change drawer with all the change in it, they have stolen it before, if they can load it, they get it," said McCoy.

McCoy has one simple messageā€¦

"Come when I'm open, when I can take your money, not you take mine," said McCoy.