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Old February 21, 2012, 07:05 PM   #1
Sorrowful Jones
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Deadly Force Smash & Grab Robbery's

In the Houston Tx area there have been a series of "smash & grab" robbery's, mostly in jewelry stores. The crooks come in with hammers, smash the jewelry cases, grab the merchandise, and are gone within a couple of minutes. Videos show these guys seem to totally disregard clerks and/or customers, and do not appear to be brandishing weapons (except the hammers).

I would like to get your thoughts on these:

1. What would you do if you are the store owner/employee and you were armed??
2. What would you do if you were a customer and you were armed?

Personally, I would love to see the crooks dead on the floor, but I am not sure it would be justified (since the hammers were only being used to break the glass).

Thoughts???
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:30 PM   #2
C0untZer0
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I'd get the shatterproof glass for the cases.

If they wack the case and it doesn't break and then they threaten bodily harm with the hammer, then its BLAM BLAM

But I think this is in the wrong forum...
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Old February 21, 2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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I would read the law. My fuzzy recollection is that Texas allows the use of lethal force to stop a burglary or to prevent a thief from escaping with stolen property. IF my recollection on this is correct, a proprietor (or I suppose any customer) could draw down and open fire.

If I were a customer, I don't think I would shoot a thief over a smash-and-grab. Not worth the legal aftermath to protect someone else's property (which is likely insured anyway). If I owned the store ... then I might consider shooting.

IF legal.
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Old February 21, 2012, 08:21 PM   #4
Tom Servo
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Personally, I would love to see the crooks dead on the floor
Really? Over something that will likely be replaced by insurance?
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Old February 21, 2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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I'm licensed to carry a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense, and if necessary, the defense of others. It doesn't make me a "junior deputy" or anything like that, and it doesn't give me the same rights/responsibilities as law enforcement personnel.

As such, if it's my assessment that the thieves are just interested in doing the smash/grab/run thing, then no, I'm not going to intervene. I do agree with you that whether or not the loss will be insured doesn't really enter into it.
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Old February 21, 2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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doesn't give me the same rights/responsibilities as law enforcement personnel.
Law enforcement is under pretty similar rules. In most states they can not shoot someone out of hand to protect ordinary property. There must be a threat presented in order for them to be allowed to shoot.

There are other ways of stopping a smash and grab robbery without using deadly force. However I would think that an unarmed thief is taking a big risk that some unknowing and well armed shop keeper won't know or won't care.
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Old February 21, 2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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I live in Houston, and I carry. I would probably stop the threat. The video of these robberies are disturbing. They come in swinging hammers, and pushing innocent bystanders away. Who knows if they are going to hurt someone? And in Texas, I would be completely justified for stopping the threat. Deadly force CAN be used to stop a felony.
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Old February 22, 2012, 04:04 AM   #8
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I'd say if the robbers went directly toward display cases, not my problem.

OTOH, if they moved toward me or anybody for whom I felt responsible, while behaving aggressively and wielding a hammer, then "shoot until threat behavior ceases" might very well apply.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:25 AM   #9
teeroux
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and do not appear to be brandishing weapons (except the hammers).
A hammer is a deadly weapon no if, and, or buts about it this would still be considered armed robery.
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Old February 22, 2012, 08:27 AM   #10
Aguila Blanca
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Texas Penal Code, Title 2, Chapter 9, Subchapter A:

Quote:
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.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


Sec. 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or

(2) the actor reasonably believes that:

(A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property;

(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or

(C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
The OP is asking about Texas. Under Texas law it appears that it IS lawful to use deadly force to stop a robbery or burglary ... even if you are not the owner of the property.

So it seems all that is up for discussion is whether you, personally, would shoot someone to stop a robbery, since the question of legality has been answered by the law.
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Old February 23, 2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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So it seems all that is up for discussion is whether you, personally, would shoot someone to stop a robbery, since the question of legality has been answered by the law.
That is not a legal question then, but a moral one. Good luck discussing that logically.
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Old February 23, 2012, 09:14 AM   #12
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Really? Over something that will likely be replaced by insurance?
As much as I detest a thief, I have to agree with Tom. Now if they turned the hammers towards me or another person in the store, that is different.

As far as being shoved, yes, it is a type of assault, but one I would not shoot someone over.
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Old February 23, 2012, 02:30 PM   #13
Dashunde
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Quote:
1. What would you do if you are the store owner/employee and you were armed??
2. What would you do if you were a customer and you were armed?
I would do absolutely nothing - not even if my states statues seemed to encourage such (questionably) heroic acts.
There isnt a thing in any of those cases worth shooting 1,2 or 3 people for, including the ideological concept of "protection of property".

In addition, it would be tactically foolish.
3 guys with hammers, in close quarters, are likely to beat you dead before they all bleed out.
Rest assured they'd being doing the math on whether you with one gun could really take all three of them - if one jumps they're all probably going to.

And I agree with Scott above - I carry for myself and to protect loved ones.
I'm not LE and will not act as if I am.

Last edited by Dashunde; February 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM.
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Old February 23, 2012, 04:58 PM   #14
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redraider
And in Texas, I would be completely justified for stopping the threat. Deadly force CAN be used to stop a felony.
That isn't correct. Deadly force can be used in response to certain, listed crimes (which include both felonies or misdemeanors), provided you meet all the other criteria in the statute (see Aguila Blanca's post for an example).

However, the mere fact that it is a felony under Texas law isn't enough to justify deadly force. Otherwise, I'd be able to use deadly force to stop aggravated perjury, which would tend to make for an unworkable system of justice.
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Old February 23, 2012, 05:01 PM   #15
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Some of you are confusing robbery with burglary.
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Old February 23, 2012, 05:26 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by MTT TL
That is not a legal question then, but a moral one. Good luck discussing that logically.
Precisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbob
Some of you are confusing robbery with burglary.
Which is immaterial, since the statute allows the use of deadly force in response to either.
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Old February 23, 2012, 11:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Some of you are confusing robbery with burglary.
Robbery is the theft of items in someones immediate control.

An employee behind the counter of an open store with the keys to a box containing jewelry is in immediate control of the jewelry.

If someone breaks in later when its closed or if a person is not behind the counter in control of the items it is a burglary.
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Old February 24, 2012, 12:36 AM   #18
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The shop keeper possibly will spend less in insurance premium to replace the merchandise than I will lose to lawyers and lost work time dealing with the aftermath and I highly doubt he would offer to pay for the attorney fees. If attacked, defend, other wise be a good witness.
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Old February 24, 2012, 02:23 AM   #19
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That isn't correct. Deadly force can be used in response to certain, listed crimes (which include both felonies or misdemeanors), provided you meet all the other criteria in the statute (see Aguila Blanca's post for an example).

However, the mere fact that it is a felony under Texas law isn't enough to justify deadly force. Otherwise, I'd be able to use deadly force to stop aggravated perjury, which would tend to make for an unworkable system of justice.

Totally justifiable use of lethal force in florida under two directions of defense.

One is that a reasonable person has reason to fear death or GBH from such a person committing such an aggravated and violent felony robbery that self defense would be justified...

Another avenue is that florida gives citizens the power to detain persons they personally witnessed committing certain violent felony crimes... of which, aggravated armed robbery (hammer is a lethal weapon as well as universal jewelry case key) is just one of many...

But simply stating the reason you used lethal force was because the robber had busted your glass fronts and took your wares is not so justifiable...

Brent
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Old February 24, 2012, 12:00 PM   #20
Don H
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I tend to be reluctant to turn a property crime into a possible shoot-out, especially when there are a number of bystanders about. In addition to the moral and ethical issues there are liability issues to consider. To take the chance of financially impoverishing myself and my family to safeguard someone else's property doesn't strike me as a particularly wise decision.

Please note that this POV is based on the assumption that there is not an active threat to the safety of others, in which case other sections of law apply.
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Old February 24, 2012, 08:31 PM   #21
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Deadly Force Smash & Grab Robbery's

What if the stores owner did not have insurance? What if the stores owner had been repeatedly robbed? Many repeat robberies happen because the thieves got away with the crime. What will happen if the robber knows no one will shoot him because its a "shame" to kill a thief for just stealing a few rings or necklaces? How many times will an insurance company insure a store that is robbed time after time? Is it immoral to protect your property and stop robbers?
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Old February 24, 2012, 09:10 PM   #22
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Robbery is not really a property crime; there's violence or threat-of-violence (perhaps implied) against the people being robbed. A robber getting killed is a good thing.

Burglary is a property crime. You can debate the morality on this one.
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Old February 24, 2012, 11:26 PM   #23
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This thread started on shaky ground, and is taking a morbid turn into vigilantism. Closed.
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