July 17th, 2006 12:20 AM
Car Theft in progress at home
Hey all. I am new here and to handgun ownership and within a couple months, CCW.
I love this website and especially this forum. I believe knowledge is the best firepower you can bring to any situation. I have been reading scenario after scenario, learning as much as I can.
I have a question about car theft.
My truck stays outside as the third vehicle and I put a Viper alarm system in it b/c of such. I would like to know what I/you all should/would do if you awoke in the middle of the night to the alarm going off and look out the front of the house and see one or two guys at the truck trying to hotwire it.
First, I would tell the wife to call 911, but then what?
Do I draw my weapon and try to protect my property and scare off the BG's? Do I do nothing and hope the police can catch them and retrieve my truck, hopefully unscratched?
I wouldn't want to go out there unarmed with like a baseball bat or something and come to find out that they are armed.
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Maveri9720; July 17th, 2006 at 10:11 AM.
July 17th, 2006 12:33 AM
I'm not sure what your state laws on protecting property are, so you may want to check that out ASAP. I know here in Alaska, we are allowed to protect our families and property. I was thinking what I would do is, call 911, then go outside and tell the BGs to get away from my vehicle, and make sure the 911 dispatcher hears what's going on. If they don't comply, then I would probably have them stare down the barrel of my 12 gauge shotgun. I would only actually shoot them if they decided to come after me instead.
July 17th, 2006 03:39 AM
Fire a warning shot and express how they should start running? In Idaho protecting ones property is legal, but is my car worth it? I think not. So I'd call 911 and maybe a little target practise while waiting.
USN 78-82/USAF 82-93 Medically Retired
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
DAV Life Member
NRA Life Member
July 17th, 2006 04:46 AM
That happened to me. I was up watchin a movie at ~1:45 one night. I hear my alarm go off and I went charging out in a pair of swim trunks and sneakers - .40 out and racked. As I was coming down the stairs of the apartment complex I saw a kid about 19 or so walkin out of the parking area. Let me just basically lay it out that my apartment complex was in such a location and the parking set-up that he had NO business being near anyones car there since I knew everyone.
He got a fairly loud "STOP RIGHT THERE" from me. He took off runnin when he turned and looked at me. A car peeled out about the same time (I assume thats where the tools were) I don't know if he saw my gun, but he took off. I went back to my car and noticed that two of the lugnuts on my tire were missing in such a fashion that I knew someone had tried to steal my tires.
Cars got broken into and stuff was rountinely stolen in that complex. But I'll tell you the Gods honest truth - my car alarm never once went off again.
July 17th, 2006 07:02 AM
First,I don't believe that your case would be considered a "car jacking". I feel that this term is related to a vech. with someone actually inside the vech.
If someone shoots a BG(?) for breaking into their vech in the middle of the night,IMO,in any state,they are goin' to jail.
Fire no shots,in the air or otherwise. Also (check your local laws)just the fact that you pointed a firearm at them could be grounds for the LEO's to arrest you.
If by chance the BG turned around and pointed a firearm at you, or made advances toward you with a "deadly weapon" and you could prove that you were in fear of your life,this might change everything. Remember though,that you have went outside and "intentionally" confrounted the BG's so I'm not sure how this would play out in court.
Cases such as this is one of the main reasons that I feel that forums such as this are very important to us. It lets(makes)us hash over in our minds,some of the gazillions of "what if's". It allows you to get input from your fellow CCW'ers.
This,understanding that we(I) do not have all the right answers and we here,mostly,simply state our opinions,as I have in the above.--------
July 17th, 2006 07:45 AM
RSSZ...I respectfully disagree. IIRC, in 1994/1995, in Texas, a man heard someone stealing his car from his driveway--he shot and killed the person taking his vehicle.
Reality: The "thief" was a repo man taking the car back after the car owner failed to make payments to the bank. The repo man was positioning his tow truck to tow the vehicle away when the owner came out of his house. Apparently the payments were made, but the repo man was doing the job he was told to do (miscommunication between bank and repo company??)
End of the story: The car owner, IIRC, was either NOT charged or found not guilty and the court affirmed, in Texas, it is lawful to protect property.
Texas residents--if I've mangled the story, please correct me...I don't remember where in Tx this occurred...I remember the story from when I was in tech school.
Mike in VA
July 17th, 2006 08:09 AM
i remember that, but i believe texas is almost unique. in alabama you can use deadly force only to protect yourself or others from imminent death or grave harm. now, that is not saying a jury would not let you off- they might, since people around here do not like thieves. but legally speaking, according to my sheriff, only grave harm is reason enough. and morally speaking i cannot support shooting a sneak thief outside my dwelling. "an eye for an eye" is often misunderstood, but what it actually means is that punishment cannot exceed the crime. execution is too extreme for stealing under those conditions.
Six for sure...Uh, I mean Five. Five for sure..
July 17th, 2006 08:53 AM
I'd be real hesitant to shoot someone over my ride. I'd have to call 9-1-1 and let'em go.
If was in it (or my kids), though, and they were gesturing toward me with weapons, that would be whole different ball game.
July 17th, 2006 09:18 AM
That is a good question.
You have to be careful what you are getting into if you decide to go outside.
This is a true story of an event that happened recently here in Phoenix. It was told to me by a person who knew the victim.
The victim was inside his home as he heard his car alarm go off. He walked outside through his front door to investigate. As he stepped outside onto his porch, an accomplice to the car thief was hiding just outside the door. He hit the victim in the face with a baseball bat, knocking the victim unconsciousness.
The thieves got what they wanted and the victim ended up with 14 stitches and a concussion.
BTW, this all happened in a nice, upper middle-class neighborhood. Apparently, there were multiple accomplices in this case.
Your State law will dictate what you can do. I certainly would not fire any "warning" shots in the air.
I think prevention is important here. As a side note, it amazes me when people tell me about situations where their cars have been broken into or stolen while in the driveway. I asked them why they don't keep it in the garage and they tell me there is too much "stuff" in the garage, so there is no room to keep the car in there.
You mentioned this is a third car, so I am suspect you don't have any more room. I guess I am just bewildered by people who leave a $30,000 vehicle parked outside while they fill their garage with $500 worth of "stuff".
July 17th, 2006 09:27 AM
The states vary some. Texas is at one end where if it were dark outside you could shoot them down in your driveway. Otherwise it's sort of an interesting paradox. If the police do manage to arrive in time it will only be attempted theft of whatever degree based on the value of your rig. If they actually get caught driving it around then the crime and the subsequent time go up.
For example, my personal case. Several theives hitting the parking area I lived in. Two were successful in getting my car. I lived in Northern VA and they took the car to Maryland. Over $10K value, crossed the state line, felony Grand Theft Auto. Woo Hoo! the driver got seven years. The other two weren't so successful and ran off to get picked up a couple blocks away. Possession of theives tools (slim jim to pop the locks) got the one guy probabtion. Hmmm.
So since I don't live in Texas now, I cannot shoot them down in my driveway. So call the cops and make sure the BGs don't come into your home. Do be sure the cops have a good description of the vehicle and the tag & VIN numbers. Where I live now going out and yelling at them or whatever means you are now the cause of a confrontation. If there is gunplay and you shoot them you will likely be charged. Then you have to hope you have the better lawyer in court. Then there is the civil trial. Having been through that with my wife I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
So is your truck worth
A) Possibly going to jail after spending $10-20K on lawyers. (unless you live in Texas)
B) Losing everything else you may have to the very criminals who were robbing from you? (Unless you live in a state where if you are found not guilty in the criminal proceeding you cannot be sued in civil court)
So my tactic is call the police and watch from inside the house. If they try to break in the house the whole situation changes. I believe the BGs know that as well. Hopefully the police are just slow enough and just fast enough that the BGs are driving away when they arrive. That way they get the maximum penalty.
Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.
July 17th, 2006 09:36 AM
If I was in this situation and someone was breaking into my car I would call 911 and let the COPS handle it. The last thing I would do is go out of my house and try to be a hero. Why escalate this situation to a possible DEADLY force encounter by going out into an unknown situation. A car is just an object that can be replaced!
However if the burgalars try to come in my house they are eating lead!!!!
July 17th, 2006 09:43 AM
Car~Jacking is basically the Kidnapping of a person inside of a vehicle.
Car~Jacking is considered to be a Kidnapping crime.
Vehicle Theft and Attempted Car Theft are property crimes.
You need to check your State laws to see if you are permitted to protect personal property with deadly force.
In Pennsylvania you cannot.
Even in States where protection of personal property is permitted...Pray that nothing goes wrong and expect to a bit of time in civil court if not criminal court.
Also...hope that you do not ricochet a bullet into a neighbors window.
Also be confident in your ability to defend yourself in case the car thief decides to shoot back. There is a 50/50 chance that you'll catch a bullet if that happens & so you need to get it worked out in your mind if defending your truck is something that you're possibly willing to die for.
I personally am willing to risk my own life for my Wife (family) Loved Ones a downed LEO or an obvious innocent in deadly peril.
Like a complete and total Idiot - I would also probably risk dying to save my doggone stupid dog.
I am not willing to die for my car.
That is why I pay my insurance premiums on time...so that I do not have to run out half groggy in my underwear at 3:00 AM and defend my vehicle to the death.
Call me smart or call me a coward...I care not which one.
Call me whatever you want - While I CALL 911.
There is not a machine on this planet that is worth my life.
July 17th, 2006 10:03 AM
Wow, well thank you everyone for your opinions. This is what I love about this forum.
Here's what I found about the laws in GA:
-Defense from a forcible felony; A person is justified in using force which may harm or kill only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. You are not justified if you were the aggressor or you are/were/on-the-way-to committing a felony. (The state has pre-empted local cities and counties from further restricting this defense.)(16-3-21)
-Defense of habitation; (here habitation means dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business) A person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
A person is breaking\has broken into your home in a violent and tumultuous manner, and you think that the intruder is going to assault you or someone else living there.
A person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters the residence and you know it is an unlawful entry.
The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
-Defense of property other than habitation; Lethal force cannot be used to protect personal property unless the person using such force reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.(16-3-24)
So with that last statement, I am assuming I can't really do anything, until I have reasonable basis to assume the BG is going to commit a felony, correct?
And I also agree with the majority that I need to stay out of it and call the cops and stay vigilant until they arrive. I wouldn't try to go out there, as I would be walking into an unknown situation, half asleep. My truck is only worth 7K for so and that isn't enough for me to die for and w/o the law on my side to help me, isn't worth jail time either.
I would turn on all the outside lights I have and keep an eye on the situation and my entry points. Maybe, my two big dogs might've slipped out of the backdoor when I was trying to walk them and they got free and headed to the front of the house and ......
Last edited by Maveri9720; July 17th, 2006 at 10:09 AM.
July 17th, 2006 10:28 AM
Can Somebody Clear This Up?
Maybe with an actual "for instance" example.
"-Defense of property other than habitation; Lethal force cannot be used to protect personal property unless the person using such force reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. "(16-3-24)
July 17th, 2006 10:42 AM
Sigguy229, 10-4 your above post re.Texas.
For me,I would be affraid that if words were exchanged,it would put me in the position of giving away my position and how armed. Also by not saying anything/a verbal challenge, the "perp/BG" could in fact be(as above) repo,P.I.,LEO,a GG neighbor checking on your vech,or even some drunk that was at the wrong address.
For someone to shoot a person that looks as if they are stealing your(empty) vech.,I feel is wrong. I would not.
Also to put .45cal or buckshot holes in your own vech somehow seems counterproductive. ------
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