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Houston business owners sleeping inside with firearms due to burglaries

1030 Views 27 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  GpTom
Houston seems to have a bit of a problem with business burglaries. One owner reported 15 burglaries in a year. Some have chosen to spend nights in their businesses armed with firearms in an attempt to stop these incidents.

Could get ugly, but understandable. 25 years ago I was building houses and overnight burglaries and thefts (appliances, copper plumbing & wiring, tools, building materials) were a regular problem. More than once I have spent nights on a cot with a good flashlight, 12-gauge, and pistol, and captured several intruders. Quite a few got away; deadly force cannot lawfully be used in defense of property here in Colorado even if I were so inclinded. Even 25 years ago prosecution was minimal, felonies reduced to misdemeanors and probation ordered for multiple offenders (even those currently on probation or parole).

Couple of the bozos I caught were employed on the delivery trucks bringing my materials, etc, to the job site, then coming back to help themselves.

9-1-1 calls when holding felony suspects at gunpoint typically resulted in 30 to 45 minute response times. If I had no bad guys to turn over to the cops I usually waited until morning, then called in a report so the patrol officers knew what was going on in the neighborhood.

My alternative was simply absorbing the losses. My insurance policy had a deductible of $1000, so the first grand was out of my pocket anyway, and repeated claims just about guaranteed cancellation of the policy. Offenders included teenage punks, young and middle-aged dopers and career criminals, occasionally a whole family involved (the younger kids could squeeze inside a smaller hole than the adults, and under age 10 there can be no prosecution under Colorado laws).

Glad I don't own a business in Houston now!

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I have spent a few nights pulling security duties on construction jobs etc. the much appreciated extra money for a growing family.

The tools and building materials are very quickly and easily sold .

I found that being seen helped greatly with keeping the people away.
 

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Society is breaking down in large democratic run cities. One good spark and violence will explode.
 

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Society is breaking down in large democratic run cities. One good spark and violence will explode.
And the results are not going to be good. I'm concerned about a complete breakdown in civil order. That would edit: user result in some sort of attempted total control of our lives.
 

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When we lived in Houston I saw crime regularly when shopping and this was not in a bad section at all, not rich but middle class and nice stores. The employees would just stand there and let folks walk out with clothes, many did look like they had been on a journey, looked like they had not had a bath nor clean clothes in a long time. Apparently in the stores I shopped at this was okay, {Ross/Marshall’s} I don’t get it and it made me nervous. We did meet some very nice folks in Houston but I don’t want to live anywhere that crime is like that, it’s not normal IMO.
 

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Houston seems to have a bit of a problem with business burglaries. One owner reported 15 burglaries in a year. Some have chosen to spend nights in their businesses armed with firearms in an attempt to stop these incidents.

Could get ugly, but understandable. 25 years ago I was building houses and overnight burglaries and thefts (appliances, copper plumbing & wiring, tools, building materials) were a regular problem. More than once I have spent nights on a cot with a good flashlight, 12-gauge, and pistol, and captured several intruders. Quite a few got away; deadly force cannot lawfully be used in defense of property here in Colorado even if I were so inclinded. Even 25 years ago prosecution was minimal, felonies reduced to misdemeanors and probation ordered for multiple offenders (even those currently on probation or parole).

Couple of the bozos I caught were employed on the delivery trucks bringing my materials, etc, to the job site, then coming back to help themselves.

9-1-1 calls when holding felony suspects at gunpoint typically resulted in 30 to 45 minute response times. If I had no bad guys to turn over to the cops I usually waited until morning, then called in a report so the patrol officers knew what was going on in the neighborhood.

My alternative was simply absorbing the losses. My insurance policy had a deductible of $1000, so the first grand was out of my pocket anyway, and repeated claims just about guaranteed cancellation of the policy. Offenders included teenage punks, young and middle-aged dopers and career criminals, occasionally a whole family involved (the younger kids could squeeze inside a smaller hole than the adults, and under age 10 there can be no prosecution under Colorado laws).

Glad I don't own a business in Houston now!

Spray them with OC and let them bounce off objects till the police show up…
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Spray them with OC and let them bounce off objects till the police show up…
I was issued CS tear gas spray back in the early 1970s as a young police officer walking a downtown foot beat. Couple of incidents caused me to use it, and turned out badly; it really pisses some people off to a point that night sticks and sap gloves are required to reason with them. I stopped carrying it.

OC came out in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Much more effective, but the end result is an ugly mess. Get them decontaminated before putting them into the patrol car and driving to the jail house, otherwise you will live with the residue for days. Jail deputies did not appreciate having to deal with bookings saturated with OC drooling, retching, vomiting, crying for Mommy and demanding medical attention, while also swinging and kicking at anyone who tried to deal with them. Bring Bozo back after you have cleared him through the hospital ER.

When OC came out in canister form I was a small town chief, and my guys wanted it. Before I allowed them to carry it I required that they go through the required training, which included being sprayed to learn the effects first hand. I always stayed upwind while watching from a distance.

Knew a lady who carried a small OC spray device. Very hot day, canister dumped (probably due to excessive temperature) in her car while she was driving in city traffic. Wrecked car, and she had to be decontaminated before the EMTs could treat her and get her transported.

Just saying, there ain't many easy solutions.
 

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Wouldn't let my rookies have it in the car. Tear gas, Mace...nothing-don't think OC was out till after I quit, but I wouldn't have let that in there, either. I had what turned out to be asthma but being around that stuff was rough on me. I've been through the chamber about 5 times between boot camp and academy...but it takes all the starch out of me FAST. I've heard as many horror stories as success stories...I don't believe in it. Don't have any confidence in the Taser, either...a lot of bad press. I do know that too much gear on the belt has proved confusing and made movement difficult...some cops look like robots with all the crap they make them carry. I'm just an old man and my oldpinion's not even worth a cuppa coffee anymore...so...
 

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I thought that the use of deadly force by a store owner/employee was justified against a robbery or burglary in most states, if not all. It is here, or at least it was in the earlier part of this century when I started attending seminars on the subject of the use of deadly force in my state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I thought that the use of deadly force by a store owner/employee was justified against a robbery or burglary in most states, if not all. It is here, or at least it was in the earlier part of this century when I started attending seminars on the subject of the use of deadly force in my state.
State laws vary a lot. Here in Colorado the so-called "Make My Day Law" applies only to inside the home, not the garage, not the front porch, not the storage shed, not the back yard. The statute establishes an affirmative defense for homeowners using deadly forced against an intruder inside the home. Even that is not absolute carte-blanche; an affirmative defense simply allows a presumption of reasonable fear for you life when confronted with an intruder inside your home; a jury would still have to buy the total package based upon the evidence. Also, the law generally shields against civil liability claims, but again it boils down to whether or not the totality of the evidence supports that "reasonable fear".

It is of utmost importance that we read and thoroughly understand the laws of our own state of residence, not relying on generalities or other states' laws.

In any event, I suggest that those who have had to use deadly force in self-defense always lawyer up quickly, make no statements or answer any questions until represented by a qualified attorney. "I was in fear for my life and forced to defend myself. I have nothing further to say until I have an attorney present".
 

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I thought that the use of deadly force by a store owner/employee was justified against a robbery or burglary in most states, if not all. It is here, or at least it was in the earlier part of this century when I started attending seminars on the subject of the use of deadly force in my state.
I don’t know about other states, but Texas law states:


Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
 

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State laws vary a lot. Here in Colorado the so-called "Make My Day Law" applies only to inside the home, not the garage, not the front porch, not the storage shed, not the back yard. The statute establishes an affirmative defense for homeowners using deadly forced against an intruder inside the home. Even that is not absolute carte-blanche; an affirmative defense simply allows a presumption of reasonable fear for you life when confronted with an intruder inside your home; a jury would still have to buy the total package based upon the evidence. Also, the law generally shields against civil liability claims, but again it boils down to whether or not the totality of the evidence supports that "reasonable fear".

It is of utmost importance that we read and thoroughly understand the laws of our own state of residence, not relying on generalities or other states' laws.

In any event, I suggest that those who have had to use deadly force in self-defense always lawyer up quickly, make no statements or answer any questions until represented by a qualified attorney. "I was in fear for my life and forced to defend myself. I have nothing further to say until I have an attorney present".
We have nothing at all akin to a "Make My Day" law here in Virginia. In fact we fought against a proposed stand your ground law some years back because what we already had was better; as in no duty to retreat. What that means in Virginia is if you are in a place where you can legally be and are not part of the problem (think confrontation, escalation), you have no duty to retreat. And means anywhere you can legally be; a business parking lot, a store, an alley, wherever.

As for the use of deadly force here, there are five felonies for which a deadly force response is justifiable: robbery, burglary*, arson, rape, and murder. Clearly the imminent threat of serious bodily harm also meets that standard. We also enjoy an affirmative defense here, too.
 
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