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Old July 23, 2009, 11:40 AM   #26
Donn_N
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You can insure a weedeater?
Of course. Homeowners or renters insurance will cover everything you own.
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:03 PM   #27
Brian Pfleuger
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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.
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:07 PM   #28
Buzzcook
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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.
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:09 PM   #29
curt.45
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I like the "shoot the tires out" idea even if it maens shooting the tires off your own stuff druing the theft
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:12 PM   #30
Brian Pfleuger
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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.
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Old July 23, 2009, 09:13 PM   #31
LICCW
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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?"
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Old July 23, 2009, 09:43 PM   #32
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Never mind. No need to beat a dead horse.

Last edited by csmsss; July 23, 2009 at 09:50 PM.
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Old July 23, 2009, 09:52 PM   #33
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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.
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Old July 23, 2009, 10:22 PM   #34
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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
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Old July 23, 2009, 10:24 PM   #35
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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.
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Old July 23, 2009, 11:53 PM   #36
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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]

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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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:22 AM   #37
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Amazing story!! That's a lot to consider to say the least. Thank you for sharing.
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Old July 24, 2009, 07:34 AM   #38
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Well, all I can say is that there are always exceptions to any rule.
Yes, but you stated the "rule" as an absolute,
Quote:
YOU CANNOT USE LETHAL FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES.
and it is not an absolute.

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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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 08:17 AM   #39
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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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 10:18 AM   #40
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Thanks, Beauhooligan

Your post should be required reading for everyone who owns a gun for the defense of home and family.
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Old July 24, 2009, 10:34 AM   #41
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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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 11:33 AM   #42
Boone Hillbilly
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Originally Posted by Master Blaster
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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:42 PM   #43
Daugherty16
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A lot to think about

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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:47 PM   #44
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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.

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Old July 24, 2009, 01:01 PM   #45
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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. :/
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Old July 24, 2009, 01:21 PM   #46
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MY son who is a cop has a neat saying, 911 there in minutes when seconds count
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Old July 24, 2009, 06:44 PM   #47
orionengnr
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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.
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Old July 24, 2009, 08:35 PM   #48
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An other vote for motion sensor lighting - thieves HATE bright well-lit places at night
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Old July 29, 2009, 10:05 AM   #49
booker_t
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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!"
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Old July 29, 2009, 10:33 AM   #50
OldMarksman
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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.
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