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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Catching someone breaking into your car at home?
 
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 Catching someone breaking into your car at home? 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:20 pm 
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I believe it might be more productive to yell out of a window in the direction of the perp: "Hey, come inside, there is lots of good stuff in here." :roll:

In all seriousness, reluctant participant and all that, I would stay inside, call 911, and wait. If the person happens to steal something and get away that is what I pay my insurance premiums for.

Actual case: About 1975 or so I heard a strange sound from outside my house. I looked out a second-story window and watched as a person who had parked in the middle of the street walked up to the back of my vehicle and started to unbolt my CB antenna. [Remember, it was the 1970's!]. I grabbed my Ruger SA 45 Colt from another room, ran back to the window, and actually thought about firing a round into the boulevard near the guy. It never happened and I have had many years to contemplate my planned course of action. It would have been immeasurably unwise, to say the least. Today, should someone be stealing my entire vehicle, I would call 911 and wait.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:33 pm 
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The spear thing was a joke for sure. The camcorder thing was not. I have kept my handicam handy just for things that pop up of this nature. The only thing better than being a good witness is being able to hand the cops a tape showing the offender's face. If you can tape the BG from indoors cool.

Quote:
Homeowner goes outside and points the gun. Reasonable force? Possibly.

Thief then points a gun back at the homeowner. Homeowner fires.


I don't think I follow. Of course none of us want to have to shoot someone, beyond that if "Thief then points a _______" you are looking at a clean shoot. Weapon near hand of dead thief with dead thief's finger prints . .. what more could you ask for in a justified homicide? BG obviously threatened with a weapon, and obviously the time to retreat isn't there anymore. Of course if the last images on the camcorder are BG drawwing weapon & you dropping camcorder to dodge, draw and fire those images should make it hard for the jury not to see your point.

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 Post subject: Re: Catching someone breaking into your car at home?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:35 pm 
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mrokern wrote:
Andrew Rothman wrote:
mrokern wrote:
MN law does not allow for protection of property, and the clause about preventing the commission of a felony in your place of abode doesn't extend to your driveway.


It's actually a little more nuanced than that. Minnesota law doesn't permit the use of deadly force in protection of property, but it certainly allows "reasonable force" to prevent a property crime. See MN Stat. 609.06 and 609.065.

Pointing, but not shooting, a gun may be reasonable force under some circumstances. It's up to a jury, should you be charged with a crime like assault or making terroristic threats against the poor dear, who was almost certainly just starting to turn his life around.

This doesn't mean that I think you should go outside and point a gun. What if the thief has one, too? Do you really want to get into a shootout over a CD player, or any other property?


True; so the scenario plays out (which is what I think you were pointing out):

Homeowner goes outside and points the gun. Reasonable force? Possibly.

Thief then points a gun back at the homeowner. Homeowner fires.

Man, I don't want to be facing a jury after that...

Personally, what governs my thought is:

Don't carry a weapon unless you are willing to present it. Don't present a weapon unless you are willing to use it. Don't use a weapon unless you are willing to kill with it.

That slope from present to use is just far too steep, and you are right...a CD player isn't worth it.


I will have to agree with you here, a CD player is not worth it!

I am waiting for my permit to come in the mail!

I know most of the LEO's in my town and even a few of them I have graduated with! I would not want to present a weapon unless I tend to use it of course but, I would want the LEO to deal with them and that would be the only way i could think of to have the LEO's to catch them. I think I will stick to calling the LEO's and maybe recording them thru the window! I don't want any more trouble than is already presented!

Thanks for the insight everyone!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:53 pm 
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A way to speed up police response:

1) get an anonymous cell phone.

2) when detecting crime, call 911, reporting location, but not indicating your identity, nor that it's your property being stolen.

3) indicate that you have shot the perp.

4) hang up, turn off phone, and go home.

The law will be there in double time, and in force. Hopefully in time to catch them red-handed... :roll:

Seriously, the laser pointer idea is a good one.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:16 pm 
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chunkstyle wrote:
Seriously, the laser pointer idea is a good one.

My gun has a nice laser pointer on it! :twisted: (kidding)

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Last edited by PocketProtector642 on Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Macx wrote:
The spear thing was a joke for sure. The camcorder thing was not. I have kept my handicam handy just for things that pop up of this nature. The only thing better than being a good witness is being able to hand the cops a tape showing the offender's face. If you can tape the BG from indoors cool.

Quote:
Homeowner goes outside and points the gun. Reasonable force? Possibly.

Thief then points a gun back at the homeowner. Homeowner fires.


I don't think I follow. Of course none of us want to have to shoot someone, beyond that if "Thief then points a _______" you are looking at a clean shoot. Weapon near hand of dead thief with dead thief's finger prints . .. what more could you ask for in a justified homicide? BG obviously threatened with a weapon, and obviously the time to retreat isn't there anymore. Of course if the last images on the camcorder are BG drawwing weapon & you dropping camcorder to dodge, draw and fire those images should make it hard for the jury not to see your point.


Are you REALLY looking at a clean shoot, as a non-LEO, in the eyes of the law?

A prosecutor could argue that as soon as you left the safety of your house and pointed the gun, you lost your reluctant participant status and escalated the situation.

Would it stick? Hopefully not with a good defense lawyer, but it's not a headache any of us need.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:39 pm 
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Macx wrote:
Spears are quiet.


So are crossbows. All kidding aside...

I'm thinking, "Garage attached to utility room/laundry room, utility room attached to kitchen, all the way up the continuum to hallway attached to bedroom."

If Mr. #@*% Scumbag breaks into the garage, he has already broken into an occupied dwelling.

What I find extremely disiturbing is that the law requires us to cower in fear while our sense of security is violated and things we've worked for for a significant portion of our lives are taken from us...

Yeah... the situation we're in now is completely disgusting.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Macx wrote:
Spears are quiet.

But, um . . .

yeah . . . .

Call 911, break out the camcorder . . . go film the guy, follow him updating the police (via cell) and get the plate on camera if he runs to a getaway car. You aren't assaulting him and if he attacks you can certainly retreat or if retreat isn't possible and his attack is sufficient. . . plug the guy.


Sorry if this is a little off subject but I had something similar happen. When I read this post it made me think of it again. It had nothing to do with personal property loss or damage. But it did involve harm to another individual.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving south on 35E around universtiy in St Paul. This grayish blue pontiac was in front of me. It started to swerve and almost caused an accident. At first I thought the male driver lost control but when I looked again, he was trying as hard as he could to punch the girl in the front passenger seat. He was so adamant about hitting her, that he almost wreck the car twice.

I called 911 on my cell phone. I gave them a description of the vehicle with license plate number. Before I was able to react and due to traffic he exited on Universtiy. I felt bad and some what responsible that I couldnt follow him and I was unable to tell which direction he went.

I wanted to keep following him and give the police an update and have this jerk arrested. Afterwards, I wondered what would have happened had I followed?

Would he recognize me following him? If so, Would there be a confrontation? Would I have to use my weapon? Could they say, I followed him so I could use my weapon? Maybe the girl claims nothing happened? A ton of different scenarios went through my mind.

Sure breaking into a car or a lost of personal property is a totally different issue and might be viewed differently. But in this scenario, I am not sure had something like what I described ocurred, how would that be viewed? I certainly dont want to be a test case for either personal property loss or assaults.

I dont know. Calling 911, absolutely! I felt at least I did my part and did something. Following someone? Maybe. Would I be forced to react if this guy came after me? Yes. What happens after that is the unknown scary part.

I agree with mrokern.

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Man, I don't want to be facing a jury after that...

Personally, what governs my thought is:
Don't carry a weapon unless you are willing to present it. Don't present a weapon unless you are willing to use it. Don't use a weapon unless you are willing to kill with it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:22 pm 
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If the goal is to get the perps to leave the property, few things are as effective as stepping out onto the porch and racking the slide on a Remington 870. Most LEO's will tell you that the sound of a shotgun slide racking a shell is equivalent to " 'nuff said!" Placing a laser dot on the perp's face would be a nice touch too. [Note I didn't say the laser pointer has to be mounted on the shotgun - you don't need to point it at anyone -- the acoustics are most impressive!]


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:26 pm 
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Reading these posts brings to mind an incident that happened many years ago when I was just 18.

My girlfriend at the time (wife for the past 27 yrs), and I rented a place in the country east of Mazeppa MN. Some relative of the landlord was pissed because the landlord refused to rent/give the place to him.

One night we were sitting there watching tv and I heard a vehicle drive by slowly and continue on.

About 10 minutes later, I hear gun shots and hear bullets hitting the house. :shock: I jumped up, hit the lights and tv........grabbed the flashlight and shotgun (only gun I owned at the time) and headed out the side door (foolish I know).

I heard a couple more shots and could see a couple people down at the end of the driveway (bright moonlight). I aimed and cranked off a couple rounds and they bailed.

Since I had no phone out there, we drove into town and found the town cop (Deputy?) and told him what happened. He followed us back to the house and when we got there, found that the shooters had come back and shot up my friends car (he was storing it there while he was away at Basic Training).

They took a report and that's the last I heard about it. :roll:

If I had hit one (or more) of them, would that have been a righteous shoot?
************************************************************

Another incident that happened, about 8 years ago while I was gone (wife was home).

Middle of the night the dog barked once and woke up the wife. Sensing trouble, she grabbed my 12 ga., hearing the dog growling in the kitchen (pissed off growl) and headed towards the kitchen (door).

The dog had some dipstick cornered by the door when she came into the kitchen. She held him at gun point while asking him a couple questions, then allowed him to leave. She then dialed 911 (he was between her and the phone...that's why she didn't call first).

Would she have been justified holding him at gun point until the Sheriff Deputies arrived? :?:

If it were me that caught him, I would've made him dial 911 and explain to them why he was in my house. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:39 pm 
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mrokern wrote:
Macx wrote:
The spear thing was a joke for sure. The camcorder thing was not. I have kept my handicam handy just for things that pop up of this nature. The only thing better than being a good witness is being able to hand the cops a tape showing the offender's face. If you can tape the BG from indoors cool.

Quote:
Homeowner goes outside and points the gun. Reasonable force? Possibly.

Thief then points a gun back at the homeowner. Homeowner fires.


I don't think I follow. Of course none of us want to have to shoot someone, beyond that if "Thief then points a _______" you are looking at a clean shoot. Weapon near hand of dead thief with dead thief's finger prints . .. what more could you ask for in a justified homicide? BG obviously threatened with a weapon, and obviously the time to retreat isn't there anymore. Of course if the last images on the camcorder are BG drawwing weapon & you dropping camcorder to dodge, draw and fire those images should make it hard for the jury not to see your point.


Are you REALLY looking at a clean shoot, as a non-LEO, in the eyes of the law?

A prosecutor could argue that as soon as you left the safety of your house and pointed the gun, you lost your reluctant participant status and escalated the situation.

Would it stick? Hopefully not with a good defense lawyer, but it's not a headache any of us need.


Well, pointing a camcorder is NOT the same thing as pointing a gun. leaving the house IF you have to to get a better camera angle is what I was advocating. If the criminal decides to escalate to a crime of violence, sure if you can get back in your door that'd be better .. . let 'em pound on the door til the cops get there. If you can't safely retreat without say getting shot or sacked from behind. . . then you have a clean shoot. I would think, of course this would be the place for the obligatory IANAL. We're splitting hairs between being the best witness you can be and when does that constitute being a willing participant. I hate to think that trying to be the best witness I can be somehow negates my right to self defense.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:27 am 
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If you followed the perp with a camcorder and he turned on you with a gun, and you shot him, wouldn't you be in violation of the reluctant participant clause?
If you indicated to the 911 operator that you shot the perp, wouldn't that be making a false statement to a cop?
You heard shots and got up to get the shotgun?


I would think turning on an outside light, shouting at the guy, or aiming a laser pointer where he would see it would do the trick, ten times out of nine.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:58 am 
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Quote:
If you followed the perp with a camcorder and he turned on you with a gun, and you shot him, wouldn't you be in violation of the reluctant participant clause?
Seriously?

https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/sea ... keyword=GO

But yeah, on the pages 39 and 40 of Joel's book the reluctant participant thing is covered. We have also covered that reasonable force to prevent property crime is legal. Now, I may be of the opinion that rubbing my spear blade vigorously on the Achilles tendons of my would be burglar is reasonable force. . . but chances are the jury wouldn't see tendon sawwing that way. A camcorder is on the other hand a pretty reasonable and non-violent, "hey if you don't want to be caught on tape, how about you show me something non-identifiable like the back of your head as you take off, hoser" It'd be pretty hard to argue that a camcorder is unreasonable force in stopping a burglary.

I wish it were clearer cut, but there will always be some gray area when being a good citizen and reporting crime/ being the best possible witness turns into a violent scenario.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:26 am 
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Binky .357 wrote:
Macx wrote:
Spears are quiet.


What I find extremely disiturbing is that the law requires us to cower in fear while our sense of security is violated and things we've worked for for a significant portion of our lives are taken from us...

Yeah... the situation we're in now is completely disgusting.


You only have to cower in fear if you're a P2C holder that thinks his only option is to use your gun and risk prosecution...

If you're paranoid or the non-confrontational sort install a 500w motion detector light. Petty thieves don't like to operate with a spot light on them. Dummy surveillance cameras are about $25 and wireless camera systems you can put in for $150 for a couple of cameras if you already have a computer with an open pci slot.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:17 am 
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As Kimberman pointed out, "Reluctant Participant" is a shorthand term for an aspect of self-defense case law.

Go read what he wrote -- he's the expert:

http://www.twincitiescarry.com/forum/vi ... 360#111360

It means that you are not the aggressor, not that you hide in a corner.

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