Jefferson Co man’s way of stopping theft may land him in jail - KMOV.com

Jefferson Co man’s way of stopping theft may land him in jail

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A Jeff Co resident bought this shipping container to stop thieves who have stolen from his home, but officials say it is against county code to have such a container on his land. Credit: KMOV A Jeff Co resident bought this shipping container to stop thieves who have stolen from his home, but officials say it is against county code to have such a container on his land. Credit: KMOV
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A man’s plan to use a shipping container on his land to stop burglars may land him in jail.

Mike Moritz decided to put a shipping container on his land to protect his possessions after thieves stole a $10,000 mower, power washer and other items.

“I had to spend a lot of money on cameras, a lot of money on a shipping container just for peace of mind, or you’ll never have peace of mind because there’s so much crime in this area, that you’ll never know if you’re next,” said Moritz.

However, Jefferson County codes do not allow a storage container on residential property.

“Our unified development ordinance strictly prohibits that in residential zoning districts,” said Eric Larson with Jefferson County.

Moritz said he painted the container a subtle gray color so it wouldn’t stand out. He also said none of his neighbors have complained. Moritz added he would not have bought a storage container if typical residential sheds were stronger and if there wasn’t a problem with burglaries.

“With zoning regulations, there would not be a way to make an exception. If someone were to contemplate a conditional use permit, you’d have to change codes and change ordinances and things like that,” said Larson.

Moritz has the option of putting siding and a roof on the container, but he says that would cost too much.

“The law needs to be modified or something so people can have things more secure and they don’t have to worry about their equipment getting stolen,” said Moritz.

If Moritz does not move the container by August 8, a judge could order him to go to jail.

Moritz said he has a buyer lined up for the container, and will sell it unless the Jefferson County Council changes the ordinance.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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