Booby-trapped property in North Philly leads to arrest

Police say the former owner of a decrepit North Philadelphia industrial site has been arrested in connection with booby traps set up to deter burglars seeking scrap metal.

Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan said officers were helping evict the man Monday when he showed them two non-functional trip-line devices intended to set off repacked shotgun shells loaded with plastic pellets and gunpowder. Police said they weren’t lethal weapons but could cause injury.


Officers removed them but returned after one of the new owners was hit in the back with one of the pellets after another device went off. He wasn’t injured. Three other operational devices were found.

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Sullivan said the former owner faces reckless endangerment and simple assault charges. Police plan to return Tuesday to search further in the 10-building complex.

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