Another Purse Snatcher Scenario

Another Purse Snatcher Scenario

This is a discussion on Another Purse Snatcher Scenario within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You're walking out of the local mall at night after doing some late night Christmas shopping, and BG runs by and snatches your wife's purse. ...

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Thread: Another Purse Snatcher Scenario

  1. #1
    Member Array CyanLite's Avatar
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    Another Purse Snatcher Scenario

    You're walking out of the local mall at night after doing some late night Christmas shopping, and BG runs by and snatches your wife's purse. You are of course in Condition Orange, but it's a busy shopping mall, the BG isn't a teenage punk, but rather a middle-aged white guy with a polo shirt and khaki's. He has not presented a weapon, however you don't know what he has.

    What do you do? Do you pull (your weapon) and pursue? Do you shoot him in the back (he is after all in the process of committing a felony robbery)?

    Your wife's purse of course has cash and personally identifying information about where you live, etc.

    (The assumption can be made you are in a "Stand Your Ground" state that allows you to act if a BG is "committing or about to commit" burglary/robbery in any degree)


  2. #2
    Member Array gruntingfrog's Avatar
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    Neither of these is a good option.

    Shooting the robber in the back is the absolute worst thing you could do if you enjoy your freedom (or have any semblance of respect for human life). I'm not a lawyer, but I would argue that the robber is not "committing" a robbery, but "has committed" a robbery by the time he is running away. The stand your ground doctrine would come into effect if your wife were hanging on to the purse and a struggle for its possession ensued. Then, the robber would be in the act of "committing" a robbery.

    The spirit of the law is that certain crimes such as robbery are inherently very dangerous, and if someone is about to commit or committing a robbery against you it is reasonable to assume that violence is about to occur. Therefore, you may respond in kind to protect yourself or your loved ones. Once the robber has whatever the object is and is fleeing, you're no longer in danger so you don't have justification to shoot.

    Pulling your weapon and pursuing is a great way to get a "crazy man with gun chasing people in the parking lot" call to Police. If you feel the need to pursue, which is VERY dangerous, leave your gun holstered. As I said before, it's easy to argue that the the dangerous portion of the crime that gives you justification to shoot is over the moment the robber flees so your weapon should not be drawn. If during your pursuit, the robber becomes a threat again (stops and turns with a knife, etc.), you may have justification to draw your weapon. However, keep in mind that if you choose to pursue you are the one putting yourself in harm's way, so the rules of engagement may change drastically.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    My wife doesn't carry a purse.

    (A purse snatching is one crime that is completely preventable.)

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    Until recently, I would have said Virginia law precluded deadly force to stop propriety crime.

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/254196

    A former J.C. Penney Co. store guard who fired a gun as a suspected shoplifter fled into the Valley View Mall parking lot was being stupid -- but not reckless, at least as state law defines it, a judge said Monday.

    ....

    The judge said the law allows deadly force during a citizen's arrest if the person making the arrest believes a felony has occurred.
    However, see discussion at:

    http://blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey/20...hook/#comments

    http://blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey/20...here/#comments

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...t-a-shoplifter
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    If he's a typical middle aged white guy, just trot after him. He'll be out of breath and clinging to a lamp post after 50 feet.
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  6. #6
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    If he's a typical middle aged white guy, just trot after him. He'll be out of breath and clinging to a lamp post after 50 feet.
    Flip it around. How about a 70 year old with COPD, a bad heart, & on a pacemaker doing the "chasing"?
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  7. #7
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    Keep the purse out of range of an easy grab, and stay alert. You should be seeing someone running at you in a mall parking lot. If not, you need to work on your SA.
    In the case of the OP's scenario, I believe that you're out of luck. Call 911, and keep the gun holstered.OMO
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  8. #8
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    Barring all preventative measures being successful, and that the BG now has the purse, I give wife my phone to make the call to 911, and I persue, without drawing! As yet, noone's life is in danger, so, I have no need for a gun.

    If I catch him, I take back wifes purse and smack him around a bit for the trouble, if not, at least I got a better look at him, dress, size, hair (face and head) and direction so that I can be a better witness.
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    First, I think that most on here, "in Condition Orange", would notice a male adult running at you and your SO and take preventative measures, such as moving in front of the SO.

    Going with what's given, many foot pursuits are won or lost in the first couple seconds. The faster you are on them the better your chances of catching them. In a full run, drawing a weapon is very difficult and would probably be apparent. If I caught up to him, I have found that a moderate push forward on the back will send most into a belly flop. That would significantly reduce the need for a struggle. Retrieve the purse and hold him for LE.

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    Not being sure of all state Statues, guide lines, and laws, i will say its never cut and dry to shoot an unarmed person, and even worst to shoot an unarmed person running away. I would begin a chase to at least a point of eye balling/following TARGET, before/while calling 911 and given the usual info. I don't want to run through a mall with my gun in my hand, unless i was in fear of my life, and running after or following someone doesn't describe fear of life unless circumstances did before the chase where a weapon was seen or indicated. If your going to play COPS and ROBBERS be ready for consequences like having to shoot in a mall hitting by standers/children.

    This kind of scenario in my opinion, the risk doesn't justify the results, i suggest, do your part in a safe manner, give the 911 person path of flight, description, and location updates. Liability/life Risk= purse snatch=?

  11. #11
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    The purse has been snatched and the BG is fleeing. There is no viable threat to you or your spouse/loved one. Call the police and give them the info they need. There is nothing in this scenario that would justify drawing and shooting the thief, especially in the back.

    The question I have for the OP is. Are a few dollars and ID worth taking someones life over? It isn't in my book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    The question I have for the OP is. Are a few dollars and ID worth taking someones life over? It isn't in my book.
    What if they come to your house while you're not there to defend your family?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyanLite View Post
    What if they come to your house while you're not there to defend your family?
    If they come to the house while I'm not there, that's their mistake. My wife is a dead shot with her pistol. A 12 gauge HD shotgun with 00 buck is also available, which makes an awful mess of anyone who gets in front of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyanLite View Post
    What if they come to your house while you're not there to defend your family?
    Even if there were keys in the purse, it's far less dear to re-key one's house than defend oneself in either a criminal trial or a wrongful death civil case -- or both.

    Of course, the OP said "The assumption can be made you are in a "Stand Your Ground" state that allows you to act if a BG is "committing or about to commit" burglary/robbery in any degree." However, in the scenario presented, the actual crime is over. You'd need to be sure that your State's "Stand Your Ground" law covers fleeing, after the crime.
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  15. #15
    Member Array CyanLite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    You'd need to be sure that your State's "Stand Your Ground" law covers fleeing, after the crime.
    Actually, in my state of Alabama, robbery includes the "immediate flight afterwards".

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