What does "getting the drop" on somebody have to do with anything? Many people have died after "getting the drop on the bad guy."
It all comes down to - does the risk (physically, criminally) justify the reward (keeping your stuff, catching and punishing the bad guy)?
Say for instance you confront him, he hops out of your truck with a black shiny object in his hand and you feel you are in danger. You shoot and kill him, 45 seconds later the police pull up. Turns out it is your neighbor's 17 year old kid with your car stereo in his hand. Maybe he was the one that had broken into your truck the other 3 or 4 times. Legally you were justified in protecting your property, you truly believed you were in danger. Was it worth it to shoot him? Guess it's a personal decision only that person can make.
Say it is the same neighbor's kid. You come out of your house carrying your new car stereo you are going to install. He approaches you and waves a knife at you and says "Give me the radio or I'll kill you!" Now it's about a whole lot more than your stereo.
If not you, then who?