Man allegedly fakes booby trapping his truck

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

WRIGHT CITY, Mo (KMOV.com) -- A man could be facing criminal charges, after police said he pretended to booby trap his Ford Ranger with explosives to prevent someone from stealing it.

The devices included what appeared to be a stick of dynamite connected to truck's cigarette lighter and a grenade from the rearview mirror.

It was later discovered the explosives were not real, but they alarmed neighbors, caused an evacuation of the apartment complex, and induced a response from several law enforcement and fire agencies including the bomb squad from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the FBI.

The man, Joseph Shepherd, 36, was contrite in an interview conducted on Sunday, one day after the incident occured.

He said he was taking medication for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses, and he thinks some new medication may have caused him to dramactically react to comments he heard from neighbors about someone using his truck.

Police were summoned to the parking lot where Shepherd lives, an  apartment complex for low-income and the elderly and disabled at 660 Westwoods Drive, about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. They swiftly evacuated about two dozen residents and escorted them to wait at the nearby Lion's Club.

Wright City Police Chief  Doug Saulters said the bomb squad used a water cannon to neutralize the explosives; the evacuation lasted about five hours before police felt it was safe for residents to return.

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