Car theft in progress at 4am

Car theft in progress at 4am

This is a discussion on Car theft in progress at 4am within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'll preface this by saying it happened to me, it's a true story to the letter, and it's the only time I've ever handled a ...

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Thread: Car theft in progress at 4am

  1. #1
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Car theft in progress at 4am

    I'll preface this by saying it happened to me, it's a true story to the letter, and it's the only time I've ever handled a gun expecting to likely fire on another person in any capacity. It happened over a decade ago, when I was 18.

    It was the late 1990's, out in cow country. It was a humid, too-warm evening, and the air was still. I was asleep upstairs in my bed, rolled face against the open window overlooking our gravel driveway. I slept fitfully in the heat, wishing for more breeze to push cooler night air my way.

    I woke up suddenly, fully, to the sound of a car engine turning over. I glanced at my clock; it was 4am. I knew the only key to my car was on my nightstand, and my family was asleep in bed. I was on my knee, sighting down my shotgun, ready to put five quick rounds of buckshot into my own car if it started moving. The car engine was still turning over, but not starting.

    I barked over my shoulder to my sleeping brother in the next room, "Get dad, someone is stealing my car!" as I maintained my position, determined that if my car was to be stolen it wouldn't make it far. I had no desire to kill anyone at this point, but was certainly ready to gut the vehicle.


    I abandoned my shotgun as soon as my brother went flying downstairs to rouse dad, and grabbed my .45 off the nightstand. Dad went out the side door, I went out the front, and we swept the yard quickly and approached the vehicle. It was still turning over madly, and unsuccessfully.

    From the moment I woke up, to the moment I pulled open the car door was likely under 180 seconds, but felt like an eternity. Opening the car door, checking under the car, and sweeping the property felt like hours. A quick jiggle of the keys in the ignition stopped the car from it's maniacal self starting attempt, and a mechanic determined the next day that a wire had worn through it's insulation and shorted out somewhere, causing the old Cutlass to malfunction.

    The scenario unfolded so quickly, no discussion or real plan was made. My dad and I both knew that firing on an unarmed person was out of the question, but we knew full well that if someone was stealing from us, so far from civilization, the person would be suicidal not to be armed to the teeth. By the time I reached the side of the car, I fully expected to have to kill whoever sat inside, and I felt no hesitation.

    Looking back, it wouldn't have hurt to camp out for ten minutes with a shotgun trained on the car, and waited until the battery died. But it would still have resulted in needing to approach the vehicle personally. The only LEO in our area would take up to an hour to respond, if they would show at all.

    So that is my story.


  2. #2
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    Sounds like it's a good thing there was nobody in the car. I suspect of you actually had fired 5 rounds of buckshot at someone driving off in your car in the late 90s, you'd probably just be getting out of prison about now.....
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Sounds like it's a good thing there was nobody in the car. I suspect of you actually had fired 5 rounds of buckshot at someone driving off in your car in the late 90s, you'd probably just be getting out of prison about now.....
    Indeed. I had a fairly high opinion of my chances of just riddling the trunk from my vantage point, and not killing anyone. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20 eh?

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    Member Array KTCameraman's Avatar
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    The laws are definitely different here in Texas. With our Castle Doctrine, it is well within the law to use deadly force to protect your property, especially ON your own property and ESPECIALLY at night.

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Snider;1925726] It was the late 1990's, out in cow country. QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    I suspect of you actually had fired 5 rounds of buckshot at someone driving off in your car in the late 90s, you'd probably just be getting out of prison about now.....
    That is if they found a body.

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snider View Post
    ...but we knew full well that if someone was stealing from us, so far from civilization, the person would be suicidal not to be armed to the teeth. By the time I reached the side of the car, I fully expected to have to kill whoever sat inside, and I felt no hesitation.
    Poorly done. If there had been a person inside armed to the teeth you'd have been shot. Much better - get a ~100 lumen tac light and sweep the car interior from a distance. Plus - bad idea to consider killing someone for sitting in your car, even with a Castle Doctrine in place. It's not a threat to your life until you made it so by going outside. Call 911, have patience and guard the car from a distance. No need to be hasty, was there. Glad you weren't harmed.
    eichhoma likes this.

  7. #7
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    Poorly done. If there had been a person inside armed to the teeth you'd have been shot. Much better - get a ~100 lumen tac light and sweep the car interior from a distance. Plus - bad idea to consider killing someone for sitting in your car, even with a Castle Doctrine in place. It's not a threat to your life until you made it so by going outside. Call 911, have patience and guard the car from a distance. No need to be hasty, was there. Glad you weren't harmed.
    We had our flashlights out and trained, but regardless it would have been wise to maintain distance and wait (as I said in my post). The high hope was that no one was laying down under the dash, as we would not have been able to easily see that. As I also said, hindsight is certainly a lot clearer.

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Thing is, when in a 'bad' situation, if you have distance, time, cover, it's best to stay inside, re-assess, have patience. I know it's hard, since you were in an alarm state. Your best weapon is your brain. I'm glad you took it as a 'lessons learned' situation. If I had to handle this situation (again hindsight) why not have someone go up to the opposite door and tap the window just before you open the driver's side door, or throw a dirt clod at the car - a distraction? I'm frequently reading about guys who go outside and confront and that's when they get into trouble. Oh, and add a video cam to your backup bag. Camera, tac flashlight, extra mags, OC spray, cell phone. Grab that bag when you go to check the house. Get that camera rolling early. FWIW.

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