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Old June 19, 2009, 07:37 AM   #1
BillCA
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Passive Non-Compliance

This is based on a situation in which a friend of mine in another state experienced. I'd like to get your take on what you'd do.

You are at home and it is "trash night". You decide to take out the trash, then put the trash can out by the curb. You're still wearing your CCW pistol, covered with a shirt or light jacket. Additionally, you live in the suburbs, so this is not a rural area.

When you leave the house to dump the trash, you hear strange noises from the driveway. When you look, you see the passenger door is open and one leg sticking out below the door of your still kind-of new 2008 car. Next to the leg is your car's CD player and a piece of dashboard trim. You can hear the whirring of a ratchet tool from inside the car.

You slip to a window and tell a family member what's happening and to call 911. When you return, you decide to confront Carl Carthief to prevent further damage to your car.

You tell him not to move and to raise his hands slowly. He looks over his shoulder, sees you have your weapon (if you'd use it at this point) and says "No." Then resumes his disassembly of your car. Again you repeat the commands and he raises one hand slowly, then drops your car's stereo on the ground. He tells you to go commit some anatomically impossible act and returns to wrenching on your car. Whatever order you give him, he simply replies "No" or tells you to go away and stuff yourself.

Your wife, thinking she's being "helpful" yells from the window that she's called the police and that "they said it'll be about 30 minutes!" [thanks a lot, dear]. You hear Carl Carthief chuckling inside the car and then your car's steering wheel airbag unit lands next to the radio and CD player.

Now what?
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Old June 19, 2009, 07:43 AM   #2
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I don't think you can shoot the guy with the gun, so what about shooting him with a camera?
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Old June 19, 2009, 07:55 AM   #3
scottaschultz
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Why are you even waiting to decide what to do with your gun? Fire a shot, or two or three, into the air. That way he knows it isn't a cap gun or water pistol. And since you are in urban area, this might also alarm some of your neighbors. Perhaps a few more calls to 911 might hasten their arrival... perhaps. If the "gentleman" continues to help himself to your car's interior, just go up to him and place the barrel of your gun against behind his ear and remind him that thus far, you have asked him politely to leave.

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Old June 19, 2009, 08:01 AM   #4
zxcvbob
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Slam the car door on his legs? (there's a lot of leverage there)
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:09 AM   #5
Mr. James
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What an intriguing scenario! Well done.

You can't shoot him (at least not in most states), and I don't believe you would be morally justified in using lethal force even if the law gave you the green light.

I suspect I'd do the stupid thing, such as trying to forcibly evict him from the vehicle, probably accompanied by a torrent of profanity. But that would reflect exasperation and anger, not clear thinking. Alternatively, I might give him a liberal marinating with pepper spray to see if I could make the current location too unpleasant for him.

With that helpful update from the wife, you don't have a strong hand to play here.

Perhaps the smartest thing to do would be to document the entire incident on video/photographs for Johnny Law when he finally is able to show up. At least you could enter the footage in America's Funniest Videos, and maybe win enough cash to repair your ride!
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:11 AM   #6
TailGator
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just go up to him and place the barrel of your gun against behind his ear
This guy has already shown that he is pretty brazen - I personally wouldn't approach him. He hasn't been frisked yet, and his ear is, along with the rest of his head, in a pretty cramped area where I would have to join him. I'd rather he have my car than my life.
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:24 AM   #7
scottaschultz
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This guy has already shown that he is pretty brazen
You've shown him that you have a gun and asked him to leave. He says NO. That's not brazen, THAT'S STUPID!

If you're not going to shoot the guy (OK, maybe that wasn't the smartest suggestion), then start putting a few rounds into the stereo and airbag and whatever else is sitting on the ground. Make it worthless to the guy. But count your rounds carefully just in case you have to place the last few into the "gentleman".

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Old June 19, 2009, 08:34 AM   #8
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Baseball bat across the shins, that oughta stir things up
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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Why are you even waiting to decide what to do with your gun? Fire a shot, or two or three, into the air.
What goes up must come down and you're responsible for what happens when they do.

Quote:
If you're not going to shoot the guy (OK, maybe that wasn't the smartest suggestion), then start putting a few rounds into the stereo and airbag and whatever else is sitting on the ground. Make it worthless to the guy.
Firing the gun at all may be considered use of deadly force. And rather than shooting up your stuff, why not just pick it up and take it into the house?
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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Now what?
Pick up your stuff and take it in the house.
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:44 AM   #11
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Fire a shot, or two or three, into the air.
Where I live, and in most if not all of the other populous counties in Missouri, discharging a firearm like that would be unlawful.

It's also very likely that I would run afoul of a state law (exhibiting the weapon in an angry or threatening manner--there's an appellate court case finding on that).

But most importantly, in my view, I would expose myself to extreme civil liability, with potential losses a couple of orders of magnitude greater than the value of the property, not to mention the insurance "deductible."
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:54 AM   #12
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I believe I might put my cell phone on speaker, call 911 and tell the dispatcher an ambulance was needed at my address for a shooting injury. Depending on the reaction of the thief, he may then lose a couple of toes.
I have a legal right to protect my property.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:03 AM   #13
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Where I live, and in most if not all of the other populous counties in Missouri, discharging a firearm like that would be unlawful.
And someone breaking into your car and stealing its contents IS lawful? At least I am trying to protect my property, not steal something that belongs to someone else. So which offense is greater?
Quote:
It's also very likely that I would run afoul of a state law (exhibiting the weapon in an angry or threatening manner--there's an appellate court case finding on that).
I can understand that might be the case if you do not have just cause in displaying your weapon, but you have just caught someone removing the contents of your car on your property. Don't you have a right to be angry and even a little threatening?

There are countless threads on this forum about people having absolutely no compunction about using their weapons against someone who has broken into their home. There seems to be this mentality of "shoot first and ask questions later" if someone is in actually inside your home, so why is there such reluctance to use the same response if you witness someone on your property committing a crime? You have no idea what their ultimate intentions are and if they are armed. Someone breaking into your car is a criminal, so why give them the benefit of the doubt that they are only there to steal your radio?

If I go outside and see someone helping themselves to the contents of my car, it will turn out very badly for them, I promise you!

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Last edited by scottaschultz; June 19, 2009 at 09:09 AM.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:09 AM   #14
skydiver3346
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This scenario:

Wow, this bad guy is really brazen. Even though you probably can't shoot for stealing a radio (in most states), this would be a great time to have a baseball bat close by. Maybe bust up his knee and/or give him an attitude adjustment. We will see what he says then.........

Of course, if he decides to attack you afterwards, draw you weapon while backing up and if he still approaches you: He is toast!
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:11 AM   #15
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No one's life is being threatened, no one is kicking in your front door.

The smart thing; call police and video tape him, from a safe distance and avoid confrontation. You have no idea how dangerous this guy is, or if he is armed. No property is worth risking your life for.

Gut instinct? I second the bat across the shins. Multiple blows in fact... Or spray his eyes/nose/mouth w/a jetstream of Peppermace, the entire can, and see if his attitude improves...
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:27 AM   #16
OldMarksman
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And someone breaking into your car and stealing its contents IS lawful? At least I am trying to protect my property, not steal something that belongs to someone else. So which offense is greater?
Doesn't matter. Both acts are punishable. Unless, of course, you were firing in lawful self defense.

Quote:
I can understand that if you do not have just cause in displaying your weapon, but you have just caught someone removing the contents of your car on your property. Don't you have a right to be angry and even a little threatening?
Persons who are engaged in a lawful act of defense pursuant to section 563.031, RSMo would have "just cause" to exhibit the weapon.

You may use physical force to the extent that you believe it necessary--but someone else will grade you later on the appropriateness of your belief and on the degree of force used, at which time everything will be completely out of your hands.

Could prove costly--better to file an insurance claim.

Quote:
There seems to be this mentality of "shoot first and ask questions later" if someone is in actually inside your home....
Unfortunately that's true, and anyone so acting unnecessarily stands to lose everything. The evidentiary burden for defense of justifiability isn't all that great, but the law does not give license to commit murder.

Quote:
....so why is there such reluctance to use the same response if you witness someone on your property committing a crime?
Unlawful almost everywhere, including where I live.

Quote:
You have no idea what their ultimate intentions are and if they are armed. Someone breaking into your car is a criminal, so why give them the benefit of the doubt that they are only there to steal your radio?
You got it all upside down.

Study this--all of it. Too long to paste.

http://www.useofforce.us/
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:32 AM   #17
pax
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Quote:
Even though you probably can't shoot for stealing a radio (in most states), this would be a great time to have a baseball bat close by. Maybe bust up his knee and/or give him an attitude adjustment. We will see what he says then.........
If it is illegal to use lethal force, it is illegal to use lethal force - and it would not matter what instrument you used to inflict said force.

Here's the definition of deadly force in Washington state, where I live. Betcha your state has a similar definition in the law books:

Quote:
"Deadly force" means the intentional application of force through the use of firearms or any other means reasonably likely to cause death or serious physical injury.
Whacking someone's kneecaps with a baseball bat is entirely likely to cause a serious, permanent, crippling injury, which is something that any "reasonable" person knows ("reasonable" by legal standards, not an insult toward anyone on the thread).

That makes the use of a baseball bat to kneecap your thief every bit as illegal (or every bit as legal) as it would be to shoot him anywhere on his body under the same circumstances. If it is illegal to inflict serious physical injury or to kill the man, it won't matter what instrument you use to do it - whether it's a firearm or a baseball bat, it would fit under the "deadly force" statute just as well.

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Old June 19, 2009, 09:33 AM   #18
bababooey32
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Throw rocks at him...hit him with a shovel...turn the hose on him...a little weed killer in the eyes....I have 4 sets of golf clubs in my garage - certainly one of the 56 clubs would suffice to convince him to move on...slam door on legs...swift kick to the 'nether region.

Finally, I can shoot him if none of the above works. Here in TX I can shoot him if "the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means" (Texas Penal Code - Section 9.42. Deadly Force To Protect Property), which appears to be the case here.

Edit: Furthermore, Texas' Castle Doctrine extends to my vehicle:

Quote:
The bill creates a presumption of reasonableness for the belief of a person who takes such action that the use of force or deadly force to protect the actor was immediately necessary and provides that the presumption would be reasonable if the actor:

1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force or deadly force was used unlawfully and with force entered, or attempted to enter, the actor’s home, vehicle, or place of business or employment; unlawfully and with force removed, or attempted to remove, the actor from the home, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or was committing or attempting to commit certain serious crimes
emphasis mine

Last edited by bababooey32; June 19, 2009 at 09:46 AM. Reason: addendum
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:40 AM   #19
buzz_knox
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You're pretty much screwed. If you pick up the stuff, you are likely to get nailed. If you slam the door, while you may have a self-help defense for the use of nonlethal force in the recovery of property (depending on your state) but you also risk the accusation that you escalated the situation, especially if you end up shooting him.

The best option might be to go back inside, have the wife badger 911 while you turn on every exterior light, grab a camera and start taking photos, set off you car and/or home alarms to wake the world, and start working on your insurance claims.

The real problem is that this individual is not your typical car thief. He is willing to risk confrontation with an armed homeowner (who tend to be of greater concern to theives than cops are) over nothing. So, if you antagonize him, he might decide to pay a return visit no matter what you do. Unfortunately, while nature tends to cull such idiosyncratic predators (they get wiped out when their stupidity gets them into conflicts they can't handle), society tends to protect and promote them.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:41 AM   #20
Tucker 2
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1. Since the perps leg is stretched out below the door still, give the door a good kick holding it closed.

2. Get in the car, start the engine and drive the perp to the lock up. If he resists it's car jacking.

Footnote:

This is a good time to reconsider your choice of weapons. Turn in that plastic pistol for a steel one you could use as a club, should the need arise; like your momma told you to.

Last edited by Tucker 2; June 19, 2009 at 09:49 AM.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:45 AM   #21
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Pepper spray. Always keep it on me for just such a situation.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:48 AM   #22
skydiver3346
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Hey Pax:

Okay Kathy, let's get real here for a minute. You say you can't use a gun, use a bat, use any kind of "weapon" that might seriously injure a scum bag, (who is laughing at you while he is stealing your car radio right in front of you)???

Yeah, right... Like I am just going to ask him nicely to stop stealing my property. How bout this "PRETTY PLEASE stop stealing my property"....

I don't know about the laws where you live but here in Florida, I do believe you have the right to stop someone who is burglarizing your home/property. Maybe not shoot them but you still have some kind of right to stop the crime in progress. By the time the cops probably get there, this guy is long gone more than likely. Not only that, he will probably come back again as he knows you are a "WUSS" or chicken sh-- and you are easy takings.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:49 AM   #23
Dave P
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Don't let the punk take your stuff!

Sure sounds like a lot of folks would just stand there twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the po-po.

This sounds like a forcible felony to me, where I think I have the legal backing to stop him with force. Not lethal force, but a tire iron on the shin would surely get his attention.

If I was a little old lady, the advice for taking pictures would be OK, but come on guys - man up and stop this punk from stealing your stuff.

Great idea too about shooting your own stereo so the BG can't use it :barf:. Maybe shoot your tires out while you are at it, so he can't drive away - sheesh, gimme a break!
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:54 AM   #24
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Pee on him

WilddidsomeonesaypeppersprayAlaska TM
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:10 AM   #25
scottaschultz
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OK, so I walk outside with my weapon and see this fine upstanding young citizen helping himself to my car's sound system. According to the OP's scenario, the "victim" (and he is a victim because his mother is a raging alcoholic and his father beats him on a regular basis) is aware that I am armed but yet refuses to comply with my politically correct request to cease and desist. At this point, I think it is fair to assume that the only reason someone would refuse to comply with the request of someone pointing a (presumably) loaded weapon at them would be because they either a)have a death wish or b)can stop me from using my weapon before I get the opportunity to use it on him in which case I AM BEING THREATENED.

Either way, I am willing to comply with his wishes.

Why did I bother to buy a gun in the first place, take a CCW class and diligently practice so that I can place 2 COM shots + 1 to the head if not to protect my life AND property and that of my loved ones?

I absolutely refuse to stand by and take pictures of some low life scum bag breaking into my car and hope that the police might eventually catch the guy and put him in jail for 90 days just so he can come back and do it again!

Scott
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