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Boone Hillbilly
July 22, 2009, 10:35 PM
last night about 4am some low life trash came on my land and stole my brand new Honda 4 wheeler and a brand new $500 stihl weedeater. They were mere feet from my bedroom and even closer to my childrens bedooms. Not really sure how I feel about this or how to react.. hadinsurance on the ATV but of cours enot on the Stihl.. State troopers took a report but said they are backed up like 2 years on cases like this. They tried to take my daughter atv as well but couldent get it out of gear as it is eletric shift.

Any advice here would be great...

Donn_N
July 22, 2009, 10:40 PM
Advice: Get replacement value insurance on everything you are going to leave easy accessible to thieves.

Boone Hillbilly
July 22, 2009, 10:44 PM
You can insure a weedeater? I have a gun shop in my home as well and it was mere inches from the cameras view.Drugs are bad here and I would say thats what made it happen..

pacerdude
July 22, 2009, 10:46 PM
Im very sorry for you. Im glad you and your family (especially your children are safe). When my car was broken into I felt stuck, because it happened 30 ft from where i slept. Anyway, i assume you already have a pistol or shotgun for home defense. And i pray you never have to use it. God bless you man!

Boone Hillbilly
July 22, 2009, 10:51 PM
I have full autos..lol.. Just makes ya think, hey I have all this "stuff" to protect us and didnt even know anything was wrong.. Dog never even barked.. Did ya want to find the person that sole from you?

OttoJara
July 22, 2009, 11:02 PM
I have had 1 truck stolen, and 1 that they tried to steal. Both have been into and I am always checking to make sure the alarms are set now. Each time, I have wanted to find the SOBs and kick some a$$. Boone, are you in NC?

JohnKSa
July 22, 2009, 11:05 PM
Since this is the tactics forum and the legal tactics would be VERY different for a robbery vs. a theft I will point out that the crime was not a robbery, it was theft.

Robbery is a violent crime and always involves the robber confronting the victim. Robbery is often legal grounds for use of deadly force.

Theft is a nonviolent crime and involves the criminal taking something (without breaking into a building) without the victim's knowledge. Theft is almost never legal grounds for the use of deadly force.

Boone Hillbilly
July 22, 2009, 11:10 PM
Theft is a nonviolent crime and involves the criminal taking something (without breaking into a building) without the victim's knowledge. Theft is almost never legal grounds for the use of deadly force.

If I was to walk outside as this was happening, would you try and detain the crook? Where I live it woudl take police 20 minutes min. to arrive. I am in Boone county WV:)

JohnKSa
July 23, 2009, 12:02 AM
I do not know the law everywhere, but I feel pretty safe in saying that you would have been within your rights to walk out and confront the person if you found him on your property without your permission.

You would probably be legally justified in arming yourself prior to taking such an action, but I suspect that's a bit less certain.

Had he attacked you when you confronted him you would likely be within your rights to defend yourself, possibly with deadly force under the proper circumstances. This gets a bit shakier since you are the one who chose to initiate the confrontation. It's possible that the law in some areas may hold you responsible (to one extent or another) for anything that happens as a reasonable consequence of your decision to create a confrontation where none existed. You may be legally required to retreat (if that is an option) rather than defend yourself in some areas.

On the other hand, had he chosen to simply leave, even with your property, it is likely that you would have little to no recourse in terms of preventing him from doing so that did not expose you to considerable legal liability. In some areas you would have some legal options, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule. In general, there's not a good way that will always be legally "safe" to stop a thief from leaving if he decides to leave.

Detaining a person who does not willingly stay put can present a lot of legal liabilities. If you say "Don't move!" and he doesn't then you're probably ok for as long as he stays put. If he tries to leave, it's likely that you don't really have many options for stopping him that don't put you in legal jeopardy.

Shadi Khalil
July 23, 2009, 12:10 AM
If I was to walk outside as this was happening, would you try and detain the crook? Where I live it woudl take police 20 minutes min. to arrive. I am in Boone county WV

To confront or not to confront is a hotly debated subject over in this forum. It's a tough call to make. Do call the cops then just sit there? Do you confront them and risk a shoot out? Do you let them know you are armed, calling the police and then barricade yourself? If the cops are 20 mins away, barricading yourself might not be the best idea.

Sorry about the the 4 wheelers. I hope the cops get the guys and you get your stuff back in one piece.

stephen426
July 23, 2009, 12:11 AM
I know some people are going to start ranting about protecting property with deadly force and how it is "morally" wrong to do so and stupid to risk your life. I'm not of that mindset.

If my car alarm goes off, you better believe that I'm going to inspect what's going on. I will be armed in case the person breaking into my car is armed and threatens me with bodily harm. I will not shoot to defend property, but I will shoot to defend myself. If they leave, then so be it. I will not make it easy and I will not just let them take the things I work hard for.

IdahoG36
July 23, 2009, 01:53 AM
I know some people are going to start ranting about protecting property with deadly force and how it is "morally" wrong to do so and stupid to risk your life. I'm not of that mindset

It may be "morally" wrong in a court of law these days, but not in my eyes. I prefer the good ol' days where horse thieves were strung up from a tall tree. That sent a strong and clear message to other would be thieves.:D

bamafan4life
July 23, 2009, 02:04 AM
Best thing to have is a barking dog and motion sensor light's on the permisses. I,m going to install some on my Asap.

bamafan4life
July 23, 2009, 02:13 AM
If I was to walk outside as this was happening, would you try and detain the crook? Where I live it woudl take police 20 minutes min. to arrive. I am in Boone county WV



I'd shoot there tire's out on there vehical's (or your's) so there would be no way to escape. I heard of a guy who's house garage was being robbed, he just walked out with his 12 gauge and shot the tire out the bad guy's truck. and ran back inside and called the cop's the guy's left on foot the police got the truck and found out who it was. Good idea if that's you'r situation espacally since you have full auto's now that sound and muzzle flash is real intimdating and not worth the hassle for a weed eater.

Skan21
July 23, 2009, 02:38 AM
I had a friend who's car was broken into so often that he just left the doors unlocked and the windows down. It was in Columbus, Ga. His radio and everything had been long ago stolen, so he never left anything of value inside it. Probably happened 5x before he started leaving everything open. The next time, they just stole the whole car and dumped it across the border in AL. He just used the insurance money on a new car, and moved. Let this be a lesson to ya; Don't live any closer to Ft. Benning than exit 7.

BikerRN
July 23, 2009, 03:13 AM
Since this is the tactics forum and the legal tactics would be VERY different for a robbery vs. a theft I will point out that the crime was not a robbery, it was theft.

Robbery is a violent crime and always involves the robber confronting the victim. Robbery is often legal grounds for use of deadly force.

Theft is a nonviolent crime and involves the criminal taking something (without breaking into a building) without the victim's knowledge. Theft is almost never legal grounds for the use of deadly force.


Thank you John for posting that.

I immediately picked up on this but as I continued reading I saw that you addressed this error. :)

As for leaving your dwelling to confront, I know what I would do and I'll leave my house when it's on fire, and probably not until then. I really do have a "bunker mentality" when it comes to crimes committed on my property. Besides, insurance and the deductible is cheaper than a lawyer for a shooting. Even a "justified" one is costly.

The reason I mention shooting is because anytime you confront someone, and at least one of you has a gun, that's what it has the potential of turning into.

Biker

JohnKSa
July 23, 2009, 03:41 AM
As for leaving your dwelling to confront,I'd like to think that if I'm ever faced with a choice like that I'll stay inside & call the cops. It's certainly the wise decision, regardless of what's within one's legal rights.

Just because a thing is legal doesn't make it smart....I will not just let them take the things I work hard for.Barring unusual circumstances if they leave with your stuff (and don't pose a threat) then you will just let them take the things you work hard for or you'll be guilty of a far more serious crime then they are.

There seems to be considerable confusion here.

The fact that a situation/confrontation starts out with person 1 in the right and as the victim doesn't mean that person 1 automatically retains that status throughout the entire confrontation. If he oversteps the laws governing the use of deadly force then the other party becomes the victim and person 1 becomes a criminal.

I suppose that one can argue (probably unsuccessfully) that's not the way it ought to be, but the courts are unconcerned with such philosophical matters. A murderer is a murderer under the law even if the confrontation initially began when his car was being broken into by the person he murdered.

Beauhooligan
July 23, 2009, 05:40 AM
Again this was theft, not robbery, not even burglary, as burglary means you enter a premise (structure) with intention to commit a crime. If I rolled down onto a crime scene where say two men had been trying to steal power equipment, and another had them down on the ground at gun point, my first priority would be removing the armed man from the equation. When a cop shows up and you are standing in your yard in your undershorts with a shotgun pointed at other people, THAT might be the most hazardous few moments of your life. We don't know "who is who", and the armed man is going to be in serious danger if he does not comply right freaking now to our orders to drop the weapon and stand down, he just might qualify for a body bag and a toe tag. That has happened far too often, and the pro-gun crowd should have caught onto this much, much sooner. Here is some ABC information for all who do not already know it: YOU CANNOT USE LETHAL FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES. You can only use lethal force to prevent the immanent death or severe injury to yourself or others, unless you have been in jail/prison and like the life, and the guys who want to sign on as your proctologist. So, if your car alarm goes off in the driveway in the middle of the night, CALL 911. You can arm yourselves in your house in case the perpetrators begin to threaten you or others with immanent death or severe injury; but if he's stealing your car, or just your car stereo outside your home, call 911 and wait it out. If the perpetrators come in your house the situation becomes 300% more complicated, but generally, if the intruders are not threatening you with immanent death or severe injury, killing them is pretty much the same. So, if you live where the average response time to your 911 call is 20 minutes and don't know what to do? My advice is either move closer to law enforcement, or buy more insurance on the things you leave outside! I lived in Tenant, Ca. for 5 years (look that up on the map, it's at the base of Mount Shasta) and I didn't have to lock anything up, as nobody knew we were there, and the locals didn't steal from one and other. But I did buy replacement insurance on my snowmobile and motorcycles just in case. I never had to call 911, so I don't have a clue on what the response time would be; probably a half hour or more, and on a day when it had been snowing; who knows?. I had a Deputy Sheriff living a half mile away, so I would have called Jack instead of dialing 911.

Theft is not a reason to kill, unless you want spend and lose everything you have ever made trying to keep yourself out of prison. If you try to stop theft with a gun and it escalates into a killing situation, remember who put the situation into killing mode. If you go outside your home with a gun in American cities and the Police arrive, you may be the one who gets to meet the Coroner. You CANNOT be too careful when it comes to lethal force, if you care about your life and how you will spend what is left of it. I hope you live your lives fully, and well, no matter what others try to steal from around your house. None of that stuff is worth dying or going to prison over.

I did not make the rules concerning the use of lethal force, I just enforced them for a while, tried to stay alive while doing that, and testified in court about it quite a bit as we had a lot of killings in my home town while I wore a badge. If in time the laws have changed, and I am wrong, please tell me.
Good Luck!:)

Charles S
July 23, 2009, 06:09 AM
Here is some ABC information for all who do not already know it: YOU CANNOT USE LETHAL FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES.

Texas Law Section 9.34.

Deadly Force to Protect Property

"A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect his property to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, theft during the nighttime or criminal mischief during the nighttime, and he reasonably believes that the property cannot be protected by any other means."

"A person is justified in using deadly force against another to prevent the other who is fleeing after committing burglary, robbery, or theft during the nighttime, from escaping with the property and he reasonable believes that the property cannot be recovered by any other means; or, the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the property would expose him or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. (Nighttime is defined as the period 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.)"

seg44
July 23, 2009, 07:12 AM
personaly, if you are going to steal from me ? you had better be armed, will call the law, after the fact ! but he will not leve with my property ! if he comes in my house late at nite, will see if he can brake out as fast as he got in. take care, be safe

Double Naught Spy
July 23, 2009, 08:14 AM
Theft is not a reason to kill,...

That really depends on one's own perspective, morals, and the law. As noted, at least one state in the US allows for the use of lethal force to protect property under the right conditions.

I did not make the rules concerning the use of lethal force, I just enforced them for a while, tried to stay alive while doing that, and testified in court about it quite a bit as we had a lot of killings in my home town while I wore a badge.

Then your legal training on all US law was lacking, wasn't it? Fortunately, you were never queried on your understanding of all US whilst on the stand or you would have been discredited. Hopefully, nobody ever was wrongfully convicted by your testimony.

Dwight55
July 23, 2009, 08:23 AM
There are some inexpensive things you can do to deter theft activity.

Motion sensor lights will light up the place, . . . maybe scaring them off, . . . and you can also screw in a plug in adapter, . . . plug in a noisy bell or siren, . . . when the light comes on, . . . so does the bell or siren.

You can run a weather proof speaker out near the area, . . . a wire into your house to a small amplifier and a microphone, . . . and if you have been awakened, . . . you can tell em you see em and are ready to shoot em (maybe bluff em into running away).

You can also leave a 5 gallon can of gasoline out there (nice pretty new one, all shiney & stuff) that has a quantity of ether or diesel mixed in well. They use it on their vehicle, . . . the damage it does may not be worth comeing back to mess with you.

A gate across your drive, . . . chain the stuff to trees, . . . anyway, . . . make it hard, . . . noisy, . . . whatever to get your stuff. They'll find easier prey.

May God bless,
Dwight

TIMB
July 23, 2009, 08:25 AM
I feel for you, just had my car broken into couple days ago, glad no one was harmed. I've had people tell me I should have done more than lock doors, nothing burns me more than that. At what point does it become the victims fault. Sorry about the rant.

stephen426
July 23, 2009, 08:48 AM
So, if your car alarm goes off in the driveway in the middle of the night, CALL 911. You can arm yourselves in your house in case the perpetrators begin to threaten you or others with immanent death or severe injury; but if he's stealing your car, or just your car stereo outside your home, call 911 and wait it out. If the perpetrators come in your house the situation becomes 300% more complicated, but generally, if the intruders are not threatening you with immanent death or severe injury, killing them is pretty much the same.

In Florida, deady force can be used to prevent a forcible felony. Grand theft auto is a felony (as well as a great video game!). I'm not saying I would just walk out at shoot the guy on the spot. I doubt most people are cool enough to just walk off with your stuff when you have a shotgun on them. Most probably option is they will surrender and maybe wait to get picked up by police. Second most likely option is that they run away (without your stuff) and you leave it at that. The third scenario is you are dealing with an armed person who is stupid enough to draw on a drawn gun. In that case, one less bad guy.

I understand there are risks, both legally and physically. I just can't subscribe to the mentality that we should just do nothing and insure everything. Imagine if most gun owners had that mentality and that it was widely known by criminals. Everthing that was not chained down would probably be gone (maybe even things that were chained down too!). I like it better when criminls are scared to steal things because the home owner might walk out and shoot them.

Boone Hillbilly
July 23, 2009, 10:24 AM
I worked myself to death to buy that bike and trimmer. Now I am living in the state of mind that someone is coming backto steal the other things I worked for. If they have the nerve to steal out of my yard that has more lights then the 4th of july then something tells me they would not hesitate to kick my door in and try and grab some guns, they know I have them there a sign in the front yard with my hours.

As for force, it should all be like TX, bet there is less theft there because of that law. I know every cop in the county so I woudl say it will be found some time or another and will probably be trashed. I dont want to harm anyone but cannot let them keep stealing my things. Thanks for the replies guys they have given me some ideas...

Donn_N
July 23, 2009, 11:40 AM
You can insure a weedeater?


Of course. Homeowners or renters insurance will cover everything you own.

Brian Pfleuger
July 23, 2009, 12:03 PM
If they have the nerve to steal out of my yard that has more lights then the 4th of july

I recall hearing some times ago that lighted areas can actually INCREASE crime. It turns out that criminals need to see too, and using a flashlight in dark areas is a sure fire attention getter. When the lights are already on it can actually be EASIER.

Buzzcook
July 23, 2009, 12:07 PM
Check your home owners insurance. It's possible that the weed eater is covered. You should have a receipt, or credit/debit card statement.
Call your agent.

curt.45
July 23, 2009, 12:09 PM
I like the "shoot the tires out" idea even if it maens shooting the tires off your own stuff druing the theft

Brian Pfleuger
July 23, 2009, 12:12 PM
Check your home owners insurance.

Home owners insurance almost always has AT LEAST a $500 deductible. It should anyway, unless you want to pay far more than the deductible in the premium over time. A homeowners policy is for when your house burns down, not for a stolen weed-eater. That said, you may be able to get an inexpensive rider or separate policy. Even so, paying $25 a month will still buy you a brand new $500 weed-eater every 20 months. Not to mention that when you submit a claim for the weed-eater it will make your premium go up. Using insurance is a lose-lose for small/individual items.

Short story: Not worth it.

LICCW
July 23, 2009, 09:13 PM
One point should be mentioned: There will definitely be a wrongful death lawsuit should you choose to confront a thief outside your home and end up killing said thief. Remember, in wrongful death civil suits only a majority is needed for an award. I can just hear the lawyer of the family for the deceased scumbag telling the jury of your peers "Did Blah Blah Blah have to die over a weed wacker and a 4-wheeler? Couldn't the situation have been resolved any other way? After all, Mr Scumbag just wanted to borrow the items, he would have returned them, but now he won't have the chance. Don't you, the jury think his family is entitled to every cent the palintiff has?"

csmsss
July 23, 2009, 09:43 PM
Never mind. No need to beat a dead horse.

OuTcAsT
July 23, 2009, 09:52 PM
I will be armed in case the person breaking into my car is armed and threatens me with bodily harm. I will not shoot to defend property, but I will shoot to defend myself.

In that event, there is no difference.

No matter how you slice it, if you fire that weapon, you did so to protect property. If you were primarily interested in protecting yourself, or your family, you would not go outside.

What you describe is called "circular" logic, or a "self-fulfilling prophecy". IMHO, YMMV.

Hellbilly5000
July 23, 2009, 10:22 PM
I would notify all the pawnshops in the area and any atv/cycle shops and provide them with the appropriate vin numbers and serial #'s so if they do pop up they can be returned promptly and the idiots get arrested

also look into cameras for the exterior of your home that are motion activated

Sixer
July 23, 2009, 10:24 PM
Home owners insurance almost always has AT LEAST a $500 deductible. It should anyway, unless you want to pay far more than the deductible in the premium over time. A homeowners policy is for when your house burns down, not for a stolen weed-eater. That said, you may be able to get an inexpensive rider or separate policy. Even so, paying $25 a month will still buy you a brand new $500 weed-eater every 20 months. Not to mention that when you submit a claim for the weed-eater it will make your premium go up. Using insurance is a lose-lose for small/individual items.

Short story: Not worth it.

This!

On top of that, THEFT is a "chargeable" loss... so if you're gonna file a claim, make sure it's worth the possibility of higher premiums in the future.

Beauhooligan
July 23, 2009, 11:53 PM
Quote:
Theft is not a reason to kill,...
That really depends on one's own perspective, morals, and the law. As noted, at least one state in the US allows for the use of lethal force to protect property under the right conditions.


Quote:
I did not make the rules concerning the use of lethal force, I just enforced them for a while, tried to stay alive while doing that, and testified in court about it quite a bit as we had a lot of killings in my home town while I wore a badge.[/QUOTE]


Then your legal training on all US law was lacking, wasn't it? Fortunately, you were never queried on your understanding of all US whilst on the stand or you would have been discredited. Hopefully, nobody ever was wrongfully convicted by your testimony.

Well, all I can say is that there are always exceptions to any rule. That Texas allows you to shoot a felon after dark is an aberration in general law that I have never encountered previously. I will still say with a pretty good level of confidence that if you shoot someone who is stealing from you, not someone who is also threatening your life while he is stealing from you, you are in very dangerous territory. I made an arrest of a man who shot an unarmed criminal who was stealing his 750cc Honda, and under California law I had to arrest him. The DA pressed for voluntary manslaughter and won a conviction. The citizen was rewarded with 3 to 5 in prison. But, there are exceptions. I also handled a case where a 65 year old disabled widow shot and killed an unarmed 23 year old burglar who had a multiple violent felony sheet, and the DA chose not to prosecute as the perp presented sufficient threat of physical harm to the lady that her act was considered justified. After a handcuffed prisoner fell on me and broke my back for the second time and I had to end my law enforcement career, a large Hispanic man dressed in nothing but jockey shorts and wielding a machete broke into our house at 0330. Mary Ann called 911, and I confronted him and ordered him to drop the weapon and leave. He grunted something unintelligible and advanced on me. I told him to stop or I would kill him. He took one more step and raised his weapon and I shot him twice in the chest with a S&W Model 19 and CCI 125 gn Lawman ammo. The paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. Despite the circumstances and my previous career I was still taken into custody, cuffed, and taken to the PD; but was released 6 hours later. I still hired a lawyer, who represented me in my subsequent meetings with an Assistant District Attorney. There were no charges filed. Despite that, I still expected a civil suit from the intruders family. Fortunately, the man was never identified; not by prints, facial, DNA, even reaching out to Interpol, nothing to this day. I had to have a company come in and remove and bag out my family room carpet as blood soaked carpet is hazardous waste; another $1200 outlay. I did, after 2 years, get my Model 19 back. I had been involved in shootings in the Navy in the Mekong Delta, and with the PD, but this one hit me especially hard. I had nightmares about what had happened for months, and had to seek counseling. That helped a great deal, but I never felt safe at night in that house until we put up bars on the windows and steel gates over the sliding glass doors. I still have occasional nightmares where I have to watch that poor idiot spasm and spit out his last breath in my house, and listen to my wife cry as the cops took me away. I had absolutely no choice, but if tonight I catch someone stealing my Corolla from my driveway, I'm calling 911 and letting the cops deal with it. I worked long and hard to buy that car, but it is not worth shooting and watching another criminal idiot die by my hand over it. :confused:

Bentonville
July 24, 2009, 12:22 AM
Amazing story!! That's a lot to consider to say the least. Thank you for sharing.

Double Naught Spy
July 24, 2009, 07:34 AM
Well, all I can say is that there are always exceptions to any rule.

Yes, but you stated the "rule" as an absolute,
YOU CANNOT USE LETHAL FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES.
and it is not an absolute.

I would notify all the pawnshops in the area and any atv/cycle shops and provide them with the appropriate vin numbers and serial #'s so if they do pop up they can be returned promptly and the idiots get arrested

Notifying pawnshops is not a good idea. They will reject said items and then the chance of recovery is reduced. If the pawnshops take the items in pawn, at least in most states the goods (via the #s) are checked against the hot sheets and items that match are put on hold. If the pawn shop knows an item is stolen, they can't take the item in pawn.

LeopardCurDog
July 24, 2009, 08:17 AM
Post some "Reward" signs around where the lowlifes hang out. You'd be surprised (maybe not) at how fast one of these turds will rat out a friend.

Lots of lessons here. Thanks for posting.

TailGator
July 24, 2009, 10:18 AM
Your post should be required reading for everyone who owns a gun for the defense of home and family.

Master Blaster
July 24, 2009, 10:34 AM
If you own or carry a gun and plan to use it for home defense, you need to read and understand the laws of the state you live in. Every state has different laws.

As far as bieng sued goes in Delaware, unless you are tried and convicted of a felony for the shooting, you have immunity from any civil lawsuit brought by the criminal person you shot or their family. Of course if you missed and the bullet hit a neighbor you could be sued for negligence even if the shooting was justified.

Boone Hillbilly
July 24, 2009, 11:33 AM
As far as bieng sued goes in Delaware, unless you are tried and convicted of a felony for the shooting, you have immunity from any civil lawsuit brought by the criminal person you shot or their family. Of course if you missed and the bullet hit a neighbor you could be sued for negligence even if the shooting was justified.

That the way it should be everywhere. Lowlifes that break te law and are found guilty should have no rights at all.

Daugherty16
July 24, 2009, 12:42 PM
Beauhooligan, thank you for sharing that experience. There are a lot of lessons in there for those of us who have never had to draw down, let alone pull the trigger on someone. I too took umbrage at some of your original presentation of the laws, but understood and agree with what you were saying - property is very nearly never worth killing or dying over. To those who didn't get it, here's a man who served in SE Asia and as a LEO (read: he's pretty far from being a metrosexual wuss), and still had a traumatic reaction to his being forced to shoot to protect his family despite doing everything right.

To whoever mentioned the horsethief hangings - in the old west a man's horse was very literally his lifeline - akin to someone stealing your jeep and your water if you were in the middle of the sahara. I'd shoot to protect my jeep and my water in the middle of the Sahara because without it I would likely die. The argument would be that taking the jeep or the water would pose a threat of imminent harm or death - but only in that situation. A quad and a weedeater - no matter how hard you worked for it or how much you love it or need it for employment even - simply fails the imminent threat test. Even in Texas, despite the law, at least IMHO.

To the OP - a LOUD P/A system piping a police band radio into your yard after you've told them to cease and desist at 140 decibels, together with some strong flood lights might have got them to run away. But that's prophylactic, and may not work, but certainly won't work if you don't awaken. You should probably be thinking more about preventative measures - like alarms or dogs with better hearing. A Rottweiler sleeping in the quad would have been a deterrent, i'd bet. But a confrontation? It might be a boost to the ego, and it might turn out all right, but you'd be needlessly placing yourself in a dangerous situation. There are too many ways you could go from being a victim in the right to a criminal breaking the law - even standing accused of murder - and devastating your life and your family. It's also possible you might be killed - all over a vehicle.

BikerRN
July 24, 2009, 12:47 PM
Beauhooligan, thank you for posting your expirience.

That does more to shed some light on what really happens compared to the fantasy some people have. Some people seem to have a fantasy that it's "glory and fame" along with feeling great and such.

Your writing reads like a Cliff Note version of "In The Gravest Extreme", by Massad Ayoob. That is a book I believe everyone that has a gun for self defense should read every couple of years.

I have posted against going outside to confront someone many times, but nothing I say will better exemplify this reasoning than your post. Take care of yourself and your family and stay safe.

Biker

sakeneko
July 24, 2009, 01:01 PM
Thanks for telling that, Beauhooligan. I would have agreed with you before you ever told this story that shooting someone over a theft alone simply isn't the right thing to do, but you sure explained why better than I could have. :/

20ftup
July 24, 2009, 01:21 PM
MY son who is a cop has a neat saying, 911 there in minutes when seconds count

orionengnr
July 24, 2009, 06:44 PM
There will definitely be a wrongful death lawsuit should you choose to confront a thief outside your home and end up killing said thief. Remember, in wrongful death civil suits only a majority is needed for an award.

Sorry, wrong again. More than a few states have laws that protect the citizen intead of the scumbag. If the shooting is found justified, you will not stand trial for a civil suit.

oneounceload
July 24, 2009, 08:35 PM
An other vote for motion sensor lighting - thieves HATE bright well-lit places at night

booker_t
July 29, 2009, 10:05 AM
Agree with other posters, make it difficult to steal your property and criminals will find easier targets. Locks, lights, changing your routine all help. Good chance this person has been watching you for a while, they knew what you had, what it might be worth, and where you leave it. They might even be one of your neighbors.

I'm not blaming you for your loss, but seriously, why did you leave an ATV and $500 piece of equipment outside and unsecured? Items like that should be in a locked shed or garage.

With regards to insurance, homeowners' insurance can be extended to cover all items in your house, but most agencies require proof that you have those items to discourage fraud. Proof is simple though; list the items on your policy, retain the receipts, and take pictures of the items including any serial numbers. With digital cameras being so cheap, it's a good idea to do that with any item you own over $100 or so anyway. Just don't store all the photos on your computer, lest it be stolen too! Burn 'em to a CD or put them on a thumb drive and put that somewhere safe. I keep a 16GB thumb drive backing up all my vital personal records in a locked drawer at a location outside of the home, and update it every few months. I like having it at an offsite location, because if there's a fire that destroys my house, I still have those records.


"What's the difference between a drunk and a drug addict? A drug addict will steal your sh*t and then help you look for it!"

OldMarksman
July 29, 2009, 10:33 AM
Sorry, wrong again [(in saying that there will definitely be a wrongful death lawsuit should you choose to confront a thief outside your home and end up killing said thief. Remember, in wrongful death civil suits only a majority is needed for an award)]. More than a few states have laws that protect the citizen intead of the scumbag. If the shooting is found justified, you will not stand trial for a civil suit.

Varies by state. In many, the fact that a shooting is found justified under the criminal statures will serve as a defense in a civil trial. However, unless there has actually been a trial and acquittal, that finding will effectively have to be made in civil court.

Some states also specify that defense costs will be borne by the plaintiff if the shooting is determined to have been justified.

However, except in Texas at night, killing a thief is not justifiable unless the encounter involved actual self defense, unprovoked, as has been pointed out above.

Much wiser to stay inside and avoid the very real risks of getting killed our maimed, investigated and possibly charged, tried, and convicted for manslaughter, and facing civil liability.

bikerbill
July 29, 2009, 11:46 AM
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...

FyredUp
July 29, 2009, 11:53 AM
I have stated this opinion before and gotten flamed mercilessly for it, but I still believe and I will still stand by it.

1) I am not shooting, let alone killing, anyone over stuff. Stuff can be replaced whether covered by insurance or not. If it is valuable enough stuff it should be secured one way or another. It can be locked up, chained and locked, or locked inside of a building. Hell, when I stored my 1967 Mustang in the garage for long periods of time I removed the battery and locked the car INSIDE the garage.

2) If the BG is inside my house, 911 will be called, either by me or my girlfriend, as we move to arm ourselves. Once the call and arming ourselves has been accomplished, from cover, those 2 facts will be announced to the BG. If he chooses to stay and continue his treasure hunt, and does not attempt to enter bedrooms, he will leave my home intact. If he chooses to enter OR attempt to enter bedrooms then he may end up not so fortunate.

3) Deadly force, for me is used ONLY to defend my self, my loved ones, OR other innocent victims. Not to stop them from stealing my personal property.

I do not presume to suggest anyone else follow my guidelines. But I also expect that no one get huffy with me if I choose not to shoot and possibly kill someone over a car stereo or any other replaceable item.

taz1
July 29, 2009, 01:45 PM
our farm started getting visited at night so we started giving away free conabear traps with the free gas.:eek:

gave away 4 and suddenly they didnt want any more free gas.:)

JohnKSa
July 30, 2009, 12:05 AM
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property...It's not nearly that simple. Under certain circumstances, TX law allows the use of deadly force to prevent the loss or damage of property. However, even that much leeway is unusual in deadly force laws.

And, as pointed out, being within your rights doesn't mean that the course of action taken is wise, tactically sound, or proof from civil prosecution.

Trooper Tyree
July 30, 2009, 12:19 AM
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...

Hey, John, you should take Bill's advice, sounds like he really knows what he's talking about. Next time you see a thief on your property blast'em! Bill will be glad to represent you I'm sure. :rolleyes:

There's a saying that goes something along the lines of, Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, or in english, "Ignorance of the law excuses no one".

A real PITA but very true.

Crankylove
July 30, 2009, 12:55 AM
Deadly force, for me is used ONLY to defend my self, my loved ones, OR other innocent victims. Not to stop them from stealing my personal property.


My thoughts exactly. There is nothing I own that is worth me shooting, and possibly killing someone. If they are a threat to me or those around me, I will do what I have to, to protect myself and others.

If they aren't a direct and immediate threat, I will call the police, hope they get there in time, and whine and complain about the whole incident for a long time after, all the while glad I don't have somebody's death on my hands over a personal possession, no matter how worthless a human being they are.

Gunforall
July 30, 2009, 12:56 AM
Im sorry that this has happened to you, i have been robbed before to. My suggestion would be to invest in an alarm system of some sorts. What i mean by that is if you dont have the money for such systems like ADT etc., i would get security lights with motion sensors. There is also a cheap alarm out there that is tripped by magnents for windows and such. Things that are worked hard for should not be given up easily.

Originally Posted by bikerbill
Hey, John .. my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property ... I don't think I'd kill somebody over my old Miata ... just suggesting the law is on your side if you do ...

What bikerbill stated is true, and guess im on my own when saying i would blast a person even if they were stealing a shovel. Because if it was easy the first time why not do it again. People learn in two ways "Trauma and Repitition".

JohnKSa
July 30, 2009, 02:04 AM
Again, TX law does not state that you can: "shoot anybody stealing from you on your property". It is much more complicated than that.

There are CERTAIN circumstances that would legally justify shooting someone who is stealing from you on your property but it is a HUGE oversimplification to believe that shooting is justified by anybody stealing from you on your property.

It's far more accurate to say it's NOT justified and provide the exceptional circumstances that allow it than it is to say you're "within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property".

Here's the section of law involving defense of property. The applicable portions of the law take up about two pages of text and 500 words.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm#D

OldMarksman
July 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
...my understanding of Texas law is that you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property...

My lay understanding is that under t if one uses deadly force against a thief under the the following conditions...


The act happens during the night, and
The actor reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is immediately necessary to protect the property, and
The actor reasonably believes that the proparty cannot be protected or recovered in any other way....


...and the actor can produce sufficient evidence supporting his contention that all of the above conditions did in fact exist, he may successfully mount a defense of justifiability from the standpoint of criminal liability.

It is also my understanding that there is no provision in the Texas code that protects the actor from civil tort remedies if force or deadly force is used to defend property.

bababooey32
July 30, 2009, 09:24 AM
Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.



Doesn't seem all that complicated to me. Seems there are fewer cases where deadly force is NOT justified in a property crime (i.e. simple theft during the daytime).'

9.42.2.A says I can act to prevent the commission of most property crimes or to prevent the actor from fleeing after committing most property crimes assuming I cannot stop them any other way, and the use of LTL force would put me in danger.

I just don't think it is as complicated as some wish it to make.

OLD MARKSMAN: The "theft at night" condition is one of many possible property crimes covered by the statute. Arson during the day is covered, as is burglary and robbery during the day.

bikerbill
July 30, 2009, 10:28 AM
Hey, Trooper, my post was a question, not a suggestion .. as I said, I wouldn't dream of taking a life over property, unless other issues, such as danger to individuals, was involved ...

OldMarksman
July 30, 2009, 11:03 AM
OLD MARKSMAN: The "theft at night" condition is one of many possible property crimes covered by the statute. Arson during the day is covered, as is burglary and robbery during the day.

Yeah, but BikerBill spoke of "stealing" (that's theft). The OP was about an incident of theft at night somewhere.

JohnKSa
July 30, 2009, 11:45 PM
Doesn't seem all that complicated to me.You left out the first part of it. The deadly force section starts out with:

...if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41... You can't start with 9.42, you have to start with 9.41 and build on it.

Finally, do NOT forget about 9.42(3) which basically says you can't use deadly force unless it's the only way to recover/protect your property that doesn't expose you to the threat of serious injury or death. For example, if you could get the license plate number of the thief then you could call the police and you would reasonably believe that you would get your property back. Or if the property is insured you can recover it by other means than deadly force.

Also, burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery are not, strictly speaking, simply property crimes. They all involve either violence or significant threat to the defender in and of themselves.

What it comes down to in TX is that:

1. You can prevent arson with deadly force. That's largely because arson is considered a dangerous crime. Even if the original fire doesn't involve an immediate threat to life, fires have a way of spreading and even if they don't they can easily result in deaths or serious injuries before they're put out.

2. You can use deadly force to prevent criminal mischief at night and theft at night if:

You are in lawful posession of the property in question AND
You reasonably believe that only force will prevent the damage or loss of the property AND
You reasonably believe that immediate action is necessary to prevent the damage or loss of property AND
The force is used immediately or in "fresh pursuit" AND
You reasonably believe the person taking the property has no claim of right (no shooting the repo man) or you know the person took it by force, threat or fraud AND
You reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the crime or recover the property AND
You reasonably believe that there is no other way to prevent the crime or recover the property or that any other method would carry with it the risk of serious injury or death.


That is not nearly as simple as saying that "you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property", nor does it cover "most property crimes".

Beauhooligan
August 5, 2009, 12:20 AM
JohnKSa wrote:

Doesn't seem all that complicated to me.
You left out the first part of it. The deadly force section starts out with:

...if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41... You can't start with 9.42, you have to start with 9.41 and build on it.

Finally, do NOT forget about 9.42(3) which basically says you can't use deadly force unless it's the only way to recover/protect your property that doesn't expose you to the threat of serious injury or death. For example, if you could get the license plate number of the thief then you could call the police and you would reasonably believe that you would get your property back. Or if the property is insured you can recover it by other means than deadly force.

Also, burglary, robbery and aggravated robbery are not, strictly speaking, simply property crimes. They all involve either violence or significant threat to the defender in and of themselves.

What it comes down to in TX is that:

1. You can prevent arson with deadly force. That's largely because arson is considered a dangerous crime. Even if the original fire doesn't involve an immediate threat to life, fires have a way of spreading and even if they don't they can easily result in deaths or serious injuries before they're put out.

2. You can use deadly force to prevent criminal mischief at night and theft at night if:

* You are in lawful posession of the property in question AND
* You reasonably believe that only force will prevent the damage or loss of the property AND
* You reasonably believe that immediate action is necessary to prevent the damage or loss of property AND
* The force is used immediately or in "fresh pursuit" AND
* You reasonably believe the person taking the property has no claim of right (no shooting the repo man) or you know the person took it by force, threat or fraud AND
* You reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the crime or recover the property AND
* You reasonably believe that there is no other way to prevent the crime or recover the property or that any other method would carry with it the risk of serious injury or death.

That is not nearly as simple as saying that "you are within your rights to shoot anybody stealing from you on your property", nor does it cover "most property crimes".

When I wrote that there was no place in the US where you could kill a man over property, it caused a lot of folks from Texas to take a bite out of my posterior. I was told a lot of things, and not knowing a thing about Texas law, I just let it go and said, well maybe, I just don't know how things worked all over. I sure wish you had kicked in with your comment about then. I've done a bit of reading about the use of lethal force in various States and the Texas law always winds back to that "risk of serious injury or death" part. The one State that I would say had the most liberal laws concerning using use of lethal force would be Alaska, and I think that is because our biggest State is also the one where a person is most likely to be hours or days away from any kind of support from law enforcement agencies. Also, Alaska is the State where shooting someone who is stealing a man's boat or truck is closest to the old frontier standard of hanging a horse thief. He's a good example of this: you have run your aluminum boat across a lake to check your trap string on an island a half mile out. As you are coming back to your boat you see another boat with two men in it approach your boat. One man jumps into your boat and begins trying to start the outboard engine. If he takes your boat you will be stranded. The snow is already heavy, and real bad weather is coming in. The water is too cold to swim and being exposed to the elements for a long period of time may kill you. So, you drop your traps, sight your rifle on the man in your boat and kill him. If the man in the second boat responds in a life threatening manner, you also shoot him. As I thought about this while thinking of Alaska, by the time I finished writing it, I realized a trapper would be just as justified in shooting the thief if he was checking for deep winter pelts on an island in Lake Shasta; right here in good old California.

It's pure Hades having to consider killing someone; I know all too well. But that does not mean that if it happens again tonight that I will allow myself to be the victim. I don't expect 911 to ever arrive in time to save my life. I know because I have been the cop running code 3 to a 911 call and have seen the horrors that can be done in the 4 minutes and 28 seconds that passed since we took the call. 4 minutes and 28 seconds can seem like an eternity. While I was on the Department a 911 operator took a call from a woman who had a restraining order on her ex-husband, and had called because the man who had almost beat her to death before the divorce, was now beating on her front door with a framing hammer; the operator gave the call low priority. The single officer arrived 21 minutes later, and the blood in the kitchen was already congealing. The ex-husband was caught two days later trying to board a flight to Tahiti. The woman's family's civil suit was denied on the grounds that the emergency system does not have an obligation to arrive in time to save you. I believe this was upheld by Appellate, and Federal Courts. Combine this with the verdict against the police officers that stood back by their cars and watched the Rodney King incident, and why they were not forced by law to "step in" and stop the beating, that the police have no obligation to stop a crime in progress, and if you are really depending on the 911 and police for you life, then you are either heavily medicated or simple minded. :confused:

rburch
August 7, 2009, 11:19 AM
I would only use lethal force to protect myself or someone else.

I would also caution anyone who thinks shooting out tires is a good option, to check the laws at their location first.

I really am sick of the criminals getting more protection than the victims, but not much we can do to change that.

It wasn't always like this, there's a well know story in my family about my great great Aunt. Apparently sometime during late 1950's, early 1960's, after she'd been widowed, she had her property invaded several times in the course of a month. Stuff taken, or vandalized.

Apparently the Sheriff in her county told her that if they came back she should call his home, and he'd come over and help her drag the bodies inside her home before they called the police.

Now somehow, the fact the sheriff told her this got out and became general knowledge in the county, and she never had any more trouble...

Now personally, if I hear someone taking the stuff outside my house at night, I'm gonna arm myself, and get a camera and try to get some info to help the police. I'm not gonna shoot out tires, or go confront the thieves.

I'm going to try to get plates, and pics of faces.

If they're inside the house, it depends, but far more likely to end in shooting, cause my family is there too, and that gives me less options of just letting them search and take what they want.

Poseidon28
August 10, 2009, 04:48 PM
The original poster is in WEST VIRGINIA. States are unique on the subject of
using deadly force to protect property.

No one's brought up Louisiana, which started from The Napoleonic Code, that holds property over people. Now, I've only got history on it, but, the law used to be that you could shoot any intruder on your land, period. Why? The law expected everyone to know trespassing was a shootable offense, including police officers.

That said, any discussion of this issue should be confined to the state you are in. Then, you need to look at the local case law, and, how those statutes have been applied.

Couple other thoughts. Police generally are the worst people to get legal advice from. They don't even have a four year college degree, as a general rule, much less a law degree, and, on top of that, usually the Police Chief seems to have his own idea of the law, regardless of statute. He is also usually an under educated police officer, that's come up through the ranks.

Your DA is an elected official, and, he's going to be the one filing charges.
In general, get your own attorney, do not talk to police, press, etc.

Your police chief is also an elected official. If you live in San Francisco, you better not even have a gun. Just go out, give the guy the keys to the ATV, and forget it.
My point is knowing your political surroundings, since both of the people that are going to make your life a living Hell are elected officials.

Anyone taking advice from people that are not in your area, and attorneys, familiar with your local area laws, and, the local political situation, ought to seek a shrink...

One thing, in particular. With a Class 3, I would find an attorney, and discuss your area, and using any full auto weapon for any sort of defense. Actually, I'd put a good one on retainer...

LanceOregon
August 17, 2009, 06:21 AM
hadinsurance on the ATV but of cours enot on the Stihl..

As others have said, check your homeowner's insurance.

--

LanceOregon
August 17, 2009, 06:46 AM
Here in Oregon it is legal to use deadly force against a burglar that is inside your residence, or is attempting to break into your dwelling. It would not be legal to use deadly force against someone stealing from outside your dwelling, such as stealing from your yard, a shed, or a barn.

A person really has to know their own state's law.


Oregon Revised Statutes § 161.219

Limitations on use of deadly physical force in defense of a person


Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.209 (Use of physical force in defense of a person), a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is:

(1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or

(2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or

(3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person. [1971 c.743 §23]



---

Jofaba
August 17, 2009, 06:54 AM
Didn't read this entire thread, so maybe it's already been said but...

It's a personal decision. Is the property being stolen worth the risk of confrontation? If it's insured, I'd say not. If it's not, can you afford to replace it, and do you NEED it? If it's farm equipment, I'm pretty sure every struggling farmer would say it's worth protecting.

But anything worth protecting is worth doing so prior to the incident as well. Get motion sensors, floodlights, and an alarm. Get cameras and have a monitor in the house. If you have enough valuables outside, put a joystick on the camera so you can pan and zoom. If the guy came in a vehicle, zoom in on the license plate and let him take what he wants.

If you have anything that's worth bringing a gun out for, you should put some theft preventative measures into effect.

Not lecturing you by the way, very sorry for your loss and glad that your family is okay. Just answering this request:

Any advice here would be great...

:)