Prowler cuts power...

This is a discussion on Prowler cuts power... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This happened to a close friend 20-30 miles away last weekend. We discussed the situation in detail so I think this is a pretty accurate ...

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Thread: Prowler cuts power...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Prowler cuts power...

    This happened to a close friend 20-30 miles away last weekend. We discussed the situation in detail so I think this is a pretty accurate description.

    A "BG" (white male in 20s to early 30s, medium build, baggy clothes) had been spotted prowling the neighborhood twice recently, and apparently had been reported to the police, but no action had been taken yet.

    The next night, my friend was sitting in his living room, alone, when the power to the house died, however, he could see out the (very large) front window that all of the neighbors had power. He had heard "ruckus" as he put it, at their back door, near the power meter a few minutes ago.

    What would you do at this point, with the information given? You don't know if it's the same "BG" that had been prowling earlier, or if there are several of them, or maybe it's just a computer glitch at the power company and all will be well momentarily.

    In my opinion, my friend's course of action was wreckless and could have ended badly, but he got lucky. He went out the front door with his "baby eagle" .40 cal C&L, proceeded to "sneak" around the back, and caught the "BG" (it was, in fact, the same prolwer as before) beginning work on the back door with a crowbar. The "BG" ran at the shout of "FREEZE!". No shots were fired. Police were notified shortly afterwards.

    I believe the best tactical answer is, "stay inside, wait, and call the police immediately".
    However, the course of action my friend took probably prevented loss of life - as I see it, if he had waited inside and the BG breeched the door, the most likely conclusion is a double tap, but the route he went ended peacefully. Although now the BG is free to come back, potentially with friends, or at the very least, burglarize someone else's house.

    How do you see it? How does the situation change if there had been family present in the house?
    Assume that you do have a cell phone.

    If you waited inside, is B&E with a crowbar justification to shoot? If he successfully breeched the door, would you confront ("STOP OR ILL SHOOT") or shoot first and ask questions later?
    I think cutting my power, forcing my back door open with a crowbar, and entering is enough to be "in fear of my life" and I probably wouldn't wait to see if he wanted to borrow some sugar. But is it a legal shoot? Probably varies state by state.

    Interesting stuff.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Last edited by Pete Zaria; November 25th, 2007 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Added detail

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  3. #2
    Member Array 1911packer's Avatar
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    Call police, take a defensive position with gun in strong hand, flashlight in the other and wait for either the LEOs or the BG to show.

    Going looking for trouble is a bad idea, IMHO.

  4. #3
    New Member Array Tiny's Avatar
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    Interesting scenario. In my younger days I have been known to go outside and confront the BG, now with a family to protect, I am staying inside and calling the police. If said BG comes into house before police arrive, then the ending will be violent for one of us.

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    A crowbar is a weapon...

    As you already pointed out, your friends actions were a bit reckless. He had no idea what was waiting outside for him. Had he shot the BG, he would have a much tougher time in court than if he waited until the BGs intent was clear as a bell.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    In Texas, yep, it is legal to shoot. It is your choice whether you give the warning of stop or I'll shoot, but that won't be heard at my house.

    And yes,most times your better off staying inside your house instead of going outside to confront the BG.

    Had he immediately called the police and waited inside to see if the BG was successful in his attempt to enter the house, the BG might be caught now or not able to continue his burglaries in the neighborhood.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array dang.45's Avatar
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    It seems the best course of action would be to stay inside, call 911, and see who arrives first. It was his house, so he can easily move to whatever entry point the BG is using, and he presumably knows where all the cover &/or concealment is throughout the house. This gives your friend a large tactical advantage, I would think.

    As to whether or not to give some type of verbal warning prior to shooting - I'd be tempted to say no, but only if I could be 100% sure the person coming in had no right to be there, or could positively ID the target. I'd hate to take even a minuscule chance of ventilating someone I knew...
    "It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had a right to choose: his own." - John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Agreed with the above...he couldn't be sure of how many BGs as well. Call 911 and get it on tape.

    Rick

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    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    My first thoughts were "why did the guy leave the relative safety of the house, a known environment?" and "What if the one lone prowler that he was alerted to got some friends to come along with him that night to help carry the loot and/or deal with anyone they met inside?" and "Why was calling the police the last thing done instead of the first?"

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Damn, talk about quick responses!

    So I was on the money, waiting inside is the best tactical option.

    If you knew for a fact there was only one "BG" (such as security cameras) would confronting outside be a more attractive option?

    Waiting for him inside kind of implies that he's going to be leaving in a body bag if he forces entry - I assume we all agree that cutting power and B&E with a crowbar in hand establishes intent well enough to justify the shoot?

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Had he immediately called the police and waited inside to see if the BG was successful in his attempt to enter the house, the BG might be caught now or not able to continue his burglaries in the neighborhood.
    Maybe I am misinterpretting, but I am disturbed by this line of reasoning (also noted on other threads) that a justification on use of force is to prevent other crime(s) happening elsewhere (thus being a saviour of others). I sure hope that is not used as a defense...I believe you will lose in court...and borders on vigilantism (sp).

    Rick

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit383 View Post
    Maybe I am misinterpretting, but I am disturbed by this line of reasoning (also noted on other threads) that a justification on use of force is to prevent other crime(s) happening elsewhere (thus being a saviour of others). I sure hope that is not used as a defense...I believe you will lose in court...and borders on vigilantism (sp). Rick
    Oh, I would never hinge my decision on this point - booger hook doesn't contact bang switch until my life or the life of a family member is endangered. Carjacking might be the one exception to this.

    But it's a nice added side-effect. Getting a cat burglar off the street, be it via police cruiser and handcuffs or body bag, seems to be a positive effect to me. If you have the legal (and moral) opportunity to do so, on your own turf, I would be inclined to say "do so".
    But no, I would never use such "vigilantism" as you put it, as a justification to take human life.

    I think the situation I mentioned is interesting because, the right "tactical" choice is clearly to wait inside and call the police ASAP. However, the route my friend took prevented having to shoot anyone, so it presents a slight moral dilemma. I guess it comes down to, you must look at the situation with absolute cold rationality and make strategical decisions based on logic, not emotion or adrenaline or empathy. I suppose that's a challenge all armed citizens face.

    Thanks for the info and discussion :)

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

  13. #12
    Ex Member Array Joe R's Avatar
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    My course of action is as others have recommended:

    1) Herd family to safety
    2) Give wife cellphone to call police
    3) Set up defensive position with handgun (M4 carbine if I have time) and light covering the likely point of entry. I already know where to set up a "death funnel" for intruders based on my floorplan.
    4) Await whomever shows up first.
    4a) If BG shows up first light him up and in the strongest possible way order him to the the ground. If he flees, he lives another day. If he advances or raises his hand, I will, as a reasonable man, fear for my life and that of my loved ones and will react accordingly. Ohio law gives one quite a bit of leeway in defending one's home.
    4b) If police show up first, secure weapons and give them as much intel as I can.

    I will let my wife deal with 911. At this point I must have all my attention and concentration free to deal with the threat. If I am alone, I will dial 911 and leave the phone line open with the phone on something (table, shelf, etc,) nearby. I will NOT sit there and let some 911 dispatcher try to control the scene. That is my job until relieved of it by police officers.

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    Member Array dang.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit383 View Post
    Maybe I am misinterpretting, but I am disturbed by this line of reasoning (also noted on other threads) that a justification on use of force is to prevent other crime(s) happening elsewhere (thus being a saviour of others). I sure hope that is not used as a defense...I believe you will lose in court...and borders on vigilantism (sp).

    Rick
    I look at this a bit differently. Someone who has undertaken to break into my house has already set into motion a series of events that could end up with him getting shot & killed. This was the BGs choice to initiate the situation, so anything that comes of his choice is something he should have considered before hand, and should have accepted as a possible outcome.

    I am going to protect & defend myself, my family, and my property. My goal is for him to leave under someone else's custody - police, EMT, or coroner, I don't much care which. I don't do this in order to protect others - I do it to protect myself! If all I do is scare him off, there is always a chance he'll come back armed, with friends, or when he's sure I'm not around. So, I'm thinking only of myself, my loved ones, and my property. The fact that my way of thinking will also help out other folks is merely incidental.

    As always, my top priority is to stay healthy & out of jail, so I will be fully aware of what actions I can take in the jurisdiction in which I live, and will take only those actions. But whenever possible, I will put myself into a position which will most likely end up with the BG leaving under someone else's care...
    "It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had a right to choose: his own." - John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    Thanks for the info and discussion :)

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    It is a good discussion...thanks for your reasoned response.

    Rick

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    I live in a rural area, far from immediate LEO response (15 miles from County seat, with county population of less than 20,000). I also have very poor cell phone reception.

    If BG is smart enough to cut the power, he probably would cut the phone as well or instead of.......

    1st line of defense
    The first thing he would have to deal with, is finding us. We live in the middle of nowhere & unless you know where it is, you won't run across it by accident. Our property is surrounded by wilderness, this includes thick brush, pines, cedars & hardwoods. It also has only one road in & out...if you don't come by road, you are in for a llllooonnnnggg walk thru thick hilly terrain.

    2nd line of defense
    The second problem is getting close enough to the house without being noticed. I have motion activated flood lights on all the barns & house. In order to get to the meter to pull it, you would have already set off several floodlights to get there.......However, I have something as good or better than guard dogs........I have geese! They can't be silenced as easy as a dog can. They also go off at anything unusual. Most of the miscreants that I have killed over the years, have been due to advanced warning of the geese. I have had loses of barnyard animals due to predation...I've lost chickens, ducks, turkeys etc.....BUT I have NEVER LOST ANY GEESE to predation....but a bunch of predators have died due to being warned by the geese.

    3rd line of defense
    Dogs-(note plural!) These dogs are very good at convincing anybody strange that they are on the menu. The dogs get released at the first sign of trouble & they do well at getting to the disturbance quickly.

    If a BG gets thru first three lines of defense, then he will still have to deal with......

    4th line of defense
    Well armed homeowners!...my response at this point is for me to know & the BG to find out....I will say however that I would do my best to keep him/them for escaping!
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

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