Big Mouth Billy Bass scares off would-be burglar

Dylan Stableford
Big Mouth Billy Bass scares off would-be burglar

Who needs expensive security systems when you have a singing fish?

That's what some Minnesota retailers might be asking themselves after authorities say a would-be burglar who broke into a fish and tackle store on Sunday was scared away by a wall-mounted Big Mouth Billy Bass.

The motion-activated, singing plastic bass, hung near the door of Rochester's Hooked on Fishing shop, spooked the intruder with its rendition of "Take Me to the River," according to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.

The intruder left without taking anything, Sgt. Tom Claymon told the Star Tribune.

"There were plenty of things to take, but nothing was missing," Claymon said.

“Not a doggone thing,” Tom Allen, the shop owner, told WCCO-TV.

The faux fish trophy was invented in 1998 by Joe Pellettieri and became popular among fish-and-kitsch fans in the early 2000s.

Allen said his Big Mouth Billy Bass is mounted by the door on purpose so he knows when a customer enters the store.

“I haven’t thought of him as scaring off burglars,” he said.

When Allen showed up to open the store on Monday, he discovered there had been a break-in.

“I saw the door had been damaged and the dead bolt had been bent to a 45-degree angle,” Allen said.

But it appears the bumbling burglar was greeted by the crooning fish and fled.

“I think [Billy] did his job and scared whoever it was," Allen added, "and they ran."