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View Full Version : Got a good scenerio for you guys -What to do?


Dust_Devil
June 1, 2006, 03:02 PM
I live in a 2nd floor condo that has only one flight of stairs leading up to it. Now I was thinking what if I arrived home one night and caught a burglar trying to break into my front door or even had already broken into my home and is now exiting with stolen goods and here I am at the bottom of the stairwell looking up at the burglar who is staring down at me and the only way he can escape is down the stairwell and past me.
Now if he is not showing that he is armed and no proof that he is a direct threat to my life, what are the legal measurements I can take from preventing someone from breaking into my home or leaving with stolen property while we are both outside my home and to protect myself and prevent this burglar from just walking down the stairwell and just pass me up and getting away.
I don't think telling a burglar to stop where he is while I call the police is something the burglar is going to cooperate with and I may not be physically able to obtain the burglar.
Since there is no other route of escape without first coming face to face with me as he must pass me at the stairwell and not know what the burglar may do and have the right not to run away like a coward from my own home can I hold a gun on the burglar right outside my home
and/or threaten to shoot him, but never actually using deadly force, if he doesn’t stay where he is in order to capture him while then calling the police or do I have to act like a moron and let the burglar either keep breaking into my condo or just come out of my condo with stolen property and down the stairwell past me and escape while I'm there with a weapon and just have to allow this criminal just walk past me with a smile because he didn’t threaten my life in order for me to take my gun out?

oldmaster111
June 1, 2006, 03:15 PM
I think the smart thing to do would be to announce very loudly that you have a gun and if the burgler will put down your stuff, you will let him or her leave, but if they try to harm you,you will respond with your gun. Say it loud enough and you may get a neighbor to call the police for you. If the bad guy or gal will leave your property on the stairs, rather than get in a bad situation, I would let them go while holding my hand on my pistol for safety. After they leave, call the police and give the best description you can.

threefivesevenmag
June 1, 2006, 03:23 PM
I am not sure about property law in Arizona.

If he is coming down the stairs towards you with stolen merch just make him aware that you have called the police. Try to do this from some form of concealment or cover if at all possible.

Hopefully you will have called the police, but if not...since you are coming upon the perp leaving your dwelling, make the same announcement. If they flee, then no harm done and you'll probably get your stuff back or most of it. If he charges you, well then I would say he didn't have your physical well-being in mind and I would draw. If he continued past an instant, fire.

Make sure you don't say anything like "You're dead", etc because it can be used against you in court later. Just announce the police thing and tell the perp to stop. If they flee, let them flee. If they attack, fight back.

Hopefully all this is done with some form of cover as I stated earlier. If possible, when initially calling 911 (if you have not made the perp verbally aware of your presence) also have your hand on ready for the draw.

I guess you could react in a million different ways. I still wouldn't shoot somebody who was running away with my TV. Now, if they were going to harm me with the TV or meant me harm and didn't flee, that's another story.

If you come upon the perp in your actual dwelling, I would fire. I wouldn't chance a perp(s) fleeing past me in my single door opening with no room for me to escape.

Check your laws on property and morally ask yourself what you are willing to live with. Deadly force is deadly force and should only be used when truly necessary.

stephen426
June 1, 2006, 04:05 PM
Unless he is planning to walk this stuff back to his place, he probably has a car. I would call the cops and give them his tag number and let them handle it. Yo have to be sure that the bad guy does not have an accomplice that will whack you over the head as you are holding his buddy at bay.

If I am already halfway up the stairs and the burgler starts walking down, I would draw my weapon and tell him to put his hands where I can see them. I would probably also be yelling like a mad man for my neighbors to call the police. I would probably be on my cell as soon as I found out I was burglerized. If he is cool enough to keep walking away with my stuff, I will follow him to the car and give the license plate to the police. I don't always carry mace when I carry my gun, but if I had it on me, I would spray him for sure.

The best thing is to have a good alarm system since the chances of you walking in on a burgler is slim to none. Smart crooks will case your place out a few days in advanced to establish your patterns. They could just wait for you to leave and have plenty of time to cart all of your stuff off.

Dwight55
June 1, 2006, 06:21 PM
There are really too many what-if's there, . . .

Are you wife & kids inside as he tries to break in?

Is he on the way in or on the way out?

What does he have of yours that is valuable enough to risk your life for?

Probably go to plan A: call the cops, . . . be a good witness, . . . unholster and hide watching until LEO's get there, . . . this the kind of confrontation scenario that gets people killed on both sides for a TV and a DVD player.

May God bless,
Dwight

leadcounsel
June 1, 2006, 09:15 PM
If it's property and would be difficult or dangerous to interfere, get a description and let it walk.

If you feel capable of handling the situation, then confront the person. You are legally able to use non-deadly force to prevent a property crime in most states.

If that person draws a weapon then the situation has escalated to allow you to use deadly force to protect yourself (now it's more than just about property).

And, if you're not sure if your life is in danger of immediate severe physical harm, it can ALWAYS appear to YOU that your life was in danger of immediate physical harm as long as you aren't the aggressor, that you didn't threaten with deadly force first, and that your belief was reasonble under the circumstances. Many states don't require that you back down from a threat. Just make sure there's only one side of the story the cops will hear, and make sure that when they arrive you tell them you want to press charges against the assailant for attempted assault or murder.

Just my .02.

CraigJS
June 1, 2006, 09:48 PM
Dust Devil,
Using your senerio if I had the drop on him, I'd draw my weapon, tell him to put the stuff DOWN slowly, then to sit down SLOWLY, NOW! I would most likely then back away/down the steps. When I had enough distance, I'd tell him it's best for him if he just leaves!! After he leaves (hopefully) then I'd call the cops.. As far as drawing my weapon, I'd tell the cops I did it because I was in fear of my life, assumed he had some sort of "tools of his trade" that could be used by the BG that I had just cornered ( crowbar, hammer,screwdriver etc.) Being sure to remind the LEO's that I had allowed him the option of flight, and NOT fight! If he chose fight, "SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND"!!:D

warwagon
June 1, 2006, 10:32 PM
Punch the SOB in the nose, his hands are full, what's he to do?

Seriously, the above posts give good info,if not a threat,don't draw on him, I know the temptation, but in this time, it is just not worth the liability/criminal risk.

A cell phone is your friend at that time.

Hope it never comes to that,

Blair

HangFire83
June 2, 2006, 07:26 AM
My apt. is much like the condo set up. Narrow stairwell with the door to the apt. at the bottom. Only way in or out is throught the stairwell. I have thought about this scenario myself.

My live-in g/f just lost her job and his home during the day now pursuing online college classes. We noticed screwdriver marks in the door where someone may have tried break in. I told here that if she hears someone at the door and I didn't call to say I'm on my way home, then she needs to lock herself in the bedroom with the guns and call 911. Stay put until you hear the police and they give you the all clear. We have a bag with a spare key and a layout of the apartment that we can throw out a window to allow the police in and let them know what room we are in.

Great advice everyone.

Mikeyboy
June 2, 2006, 09:15 AM
Punch the SOB in the nose, his hands are full, what's he to do?

Lol....I did that as a teen when I watched some skinny junkie guy open a neighbors window and reached in a pulled out a TV. I was umm, talking to my girlfriend in my car and we watched the whole thing go down. I told my girlfriend to wait in the car. I sneaked out of the car and as the poor guy had his hands full walking down the street, POW I punched him square in the face. Unfortunately he dropped the TV, breaking it, and he took off running. Another fun day in the city, glad I moved to the burbs.

Hard Ball
June 2, 2006, 10:00 AM
There is no one answer, It depends too much on the laws in the area youu live in.

CraigJS
June 2, 2006, 10:42 AM
WarWagon, how do you know that he is "no threat"? He's already commited at least one felony, you have him cornered on the steps or are between him and his escape route. We have no brandishing laws here in Minnesota. And I have given him the option to leave (with out my stuff) without him being harmed.. Liability/criminal (?) risks, I'll take my chances!! I'm not drawing on him to save my stuff, but because he's at the atvantage on the stairs, above me with perhaps heavy objects to hit or to throw down. Even a 19" portable TV thrown at you in a stairway isn't anything to laugh at. If the TV doesn't kill ya, hell the fall backward or over the railing could!

Rangefinder
June 2, 2006, 11:13 AM
You cannot use lethal force to defend property. I think this has been said already. So shooting them for trying to get out the door with your favorite DVD's is out--tempting as it might be. However, there is no way of knowing if the guy is also armed (unless he's robbing you in his underwear). So yes, I would draw. Holding someone at gunpoint is precautionary against unknown variables of the situation, and it can be easily justified under such circumstances. Most people aren't going to rush a gun to get away with trying to steal a DVD Player. Worst case, he may throw whatever he has in his hands at you and jump over the side if that's even an option.Most will likey do as they're told while running through lists of friends to bail them out and stories they might be able to use, and hoping that outstanding warrent in Orange County doesn't show up even though they know it will... Command him into a controlled position on the landing (face down, fingers interlocked behind the head, feet crossed). Then go for the cell phone and the cops.

garryc
June 2, 2006, 11:25 AM
If you come upon the perp in your actual dwelling, I would fire. I wouldn't chance a perp(s) fleeing past me in my single door opening with no room for me to escape.
Do that in Ohio and you are going to prison, duty to egress

Mannlicher
June 2, 2006, 02:27 PM
frankly, I would move out of his way, and let him go. Get his tag if possible, and call the cops. The last thing I need in my life is a court appearance for capping some burgler. I am not a cop, and don't feel its in my best interest to be restraining, challanging, or holding anyone. Too many bad things can happen. Now, if my life is threatened, or the life of a loved on, then the guy is toast.

PythonGuy
June 2, 2006, 02:46 PM
CraigJS said:WarWagon, how do you know that he is "no threat"? He's already commited at least one felony, you have him cornered on the steps or are between him and his escape route. We have no brandishing laws here in Minnesota. And I have given him the option to leave (with out my stuff) without him being harmed.. Liability/criminal (?) risks, I'll take my chances!! I'm not drawing on him to save my stuff, but because he's at the atvantage on the stairs, above me with perhaps heavy objects to hit or to throw down. Even a 19" portable TV thrown at you in a stairway isn't anything to laugh at. If the TV doesn't kill ya, hell the fall backward or over the railing could!

Oh how the fools ramble on, bye all, its been real......

CraigJS
June 2, 2006, 03:03 PM
Yes PythonGuy, GOODBYE!