My dad's car was broken in to last night

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,304
826
Ohio
My dad left his car in the driveway last night and when he woke up this morning to leave for work, he noticed a CD on his chair and immediately knew someone had been in his car. Two motion-sensing 500 watt halogen lamps were stolen (value of $100 total, just purchased the day before), along with various other items. Thankfully nothing of /great/ value was taken. In any case, theft is very disturbing and it's been on everyone's mind all day today. Even though nothing major was stolen, it's just the invasion of privacy that's lingering.

This happened in the wee hours of the night and no one heard a thing, not even our dog (that barks at every moving thing outside) was bothered. We live in a very safe neighborhood and nothing like this has ever happened in the decades we've lived here.

This got me thinking. What if I had been awake? Realistically, what could I have done to protect my property? If I were to call the cops, there is a high chance that the thief (or thieves) would be gone before they got here. I have a CCW license and a handgun - if I went out and displayed force, they'd run away with no consequences for their actions. What could I have done, had I been awake, to stop the robbery? Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

AllergyDoc

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2013
1,550
3,400
Utah, USA
No need to shoot at anyone for breaking into a car. All you'd probably needed to have done is yell at them and they would've ran off. Bright motion-activated lights work well as a deterrent.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
No need to shoot at anyone for breaking into a car. All you'd probably needed to have done is yell at them and they would've ran off. Bright motion-activated lights work well as a deterrent.
Of course, we wouldn't want to hurt a no good thief. Stick up for the rights of the thief over the property owner? I should have expected this. If you are a thief, getting beaten or shot is an occupational hazard. In the dark it is real hard for a property owner to determine if that is a crowbar or a weapon... You only have to prove that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. There doesn't have to be any actual danger.
 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,565
2,880
Fury 161
In the dark it is real hard for a property owner to determine if that is a crowbar or a weapon... You only have to prove that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. There doesn't have to be any actual danger.
He's not "defending" the thief per se. Just saying that someone stealing two halogen lamps (you should have gotten LED, by the way) or even a car doesn't deserve to die. It seems all you do all day is just look for an excuse to shoot someone to prove you're a worthy descendant of your cowboy ancestors.. What will you do next just because it's your right? Put a chest open and full of money on your front yard and wait with your shotgun cocked and ready?

And if you witness your car getting stolen, don't go there yourself. Lock the doors, hide, call the police and let them deal with it (I know, you've told us many times that police are not there to help us, get over it, they are).

Besides, there's a fair chance instead of shooting a thief, you'll shoot a family member (son who's looking for his keys in the car, the neighbour whose puppy hid under the car, etc...).
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
3,920
9,047
I understand your frustration, but a car burg isn't worth the risk of a potential violent confrontation. I assume this was in an urban setting, so my advice is to turn on the exterior lights, stay away from the door, and call local law enforcement.
 

ideal.dreams

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 19, 2010
2,304
826
Ohio
I really didn't expect this to be classified in PRSI but I guess bringing up the word "handgun" made that inevitable.

It just sucks that there's really no situation where the thief has to face consequences for their actions. Call the cops, they're gone before they get here. Show force, they run away. Just sucks.
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
Situations like this are what insurance is for (well, $100 is a bit low for a claim).

I'd rather do that than escalate the situation and possibly get shot, or go to prison.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Situations like this are what insurance is for (well, $100 is a bit low for a claim).

I'd rather do that than escalate the situation and possibly get shot, or go to prison.
Pretty much.

It's just a car, its a pile of metal and glass. Expendable and meaningless. If someone robs, just call the insurance company and get it fixed.
 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,565
2,880
Fury 161
I really didn't expect this to be classified in PRSI but I guess bringing up the word "handgun" made that inevitable.

It just sucks that there's really no situation where the thief has to face consequences for their actions. Call the cops, they're gone before they get here. Show force, they run away. Just sucks.
Just turn the lights on, so they think you're coming out, and they'll likely leave.. If you showed up with a gun, yes, they'd have fled, probably. Or if they were drunk/drugged, they might have reacted in some dumb way. Best case, they leave. Worst case, there's a gunfight, and someone dies. For two ********ng halogen lamps? File an insurance claim, or let it go (I know, it sucks)
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,011
Criminal Mexi Midget
My dad left his car in the driveway last night and when he woke up this morning to leave for work, he noticed a CD on his chair and immediately knew someone had been in his car. Two motion-sensing 500 watt halogen lamps were stolen (value of $100 total, just purchased the day before), along with various other items. Thankfully nothing of /great/ value was taken. In any case, theft is very disturbing and it's been on everyone's mind all day today. Even though nothing major was stolen, it's just the invasion of privacy that's lingering.

This happened in the wee hours of the night and no one heard a thing, not even our dog (that barks at every moving thing outside) was bothered. We live in a very safe neighborhood and nothing like this has ever happened in the decades we've lived here.

This got me thinking. What if I had been awake? Realistically, what could I have done to protect my property? If I were to call the cops, there is a high chance that the thief (or thieves) would be gone before they got here. I have a CCW license and a handgun - if I went out and displayed force, they'd run away with no consequences for their actions. What could I have done, had I been awake, to stop the robbery? Thoughts?
its PROPERTY that can simply be REPLACED, let it go, what happens if YOU show your gun & THEY point one at you? you will be left dealing with cops & MIGHT be in need of a lawyer, it SUCKS getting property stolen, been there a few times, as long as they DON'T try to enter your home, let it be, it is CHEAPER in the long run.

----------

Of course, we wouldn't want to hurt a no good thief. Stick up for the rights of the thief over the property owner? I should have expected this. If you are a thief, getting beaten or shot is an occupational hazard. In the dark it is real hard for a property owner to determine if that is a crowbar or a weapon... You only have to prove that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. There doesn't have to be any actual danger.
you are thinking/acting like a cop, a citizen has a bigger burden of proof on him.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I really didn't expect this to be classified in PRSI but I guess bringing up the word "handgun" made that inevitable.

It just sucks that there's really no situation where the thief has to face consequences for their actions. Call the cops, they're gone before they get here. Show force, they run away. Just sucks.
There's also the option of you showing force and then finding out they have a gun as they start shooting back at you...
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,011
Criminal Mexi Midget
I really didn't expect this to be classified in PRSI but I guess bringing up the word "handgun" made that inevitable.

It just sucks that there's really no situation where the thief has to face consequences for their actions. Call the cops, they're gone before they get here. Show force, they run away. Just sucks.
they face consequences when they get CAUGHT.
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
8,919
6,734
Vilano Beach, FL
He's not "defending" the thief per se. Just saying that someone stealing two halogen lamps (you should have gotten LED, by the way) or even a car doesn't deserve to die.

[...]
Another consequence that some folks overlook is the impact to the shooter. I know everyone carrying is ~bad ass~, but when you kill another human being, whether they’re a thief or not, you’re likely to have serious psychological repercussions. I’m not suggesting someone doesn’t act, but you certainly have to weight the consequences of $50 of parts taken vs. lighting up a thief, walking over and seeing a baby face 12 year old kid with his brains scattered all over your driveway.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
Of course, we wouldn't want to hurt a no good thief. Stick up for the rights of the thief over the property owner? I should have expected this. If you are a thief, getting beaten or shot is an occupational hazard. In the dark it is real hard for a property owner to determine if that is a crowbar or a weapon... You only have to prove that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. There doesn't have to be any actual danger.
Of course, support the death of someone for stealing a couple of halogen lights? I should have expected this.

Your life is not in danger and you shouldn't have any fear of serious bodily harm if someone is outside breaking into your car. You're going to have a hard time convincing someone that you were frightened for your life if you voluntarily left your house and confronted someone outside. Oh wait...never mind. I forgot about Zimmerman.

Another consequence that some folks overlook is the impact to the shooter. I know everyone carrying is ~bad ass~, but when you kill another human being, whether they’re a thief or not, you’re likely to have serious psychological repercussions. I’m not suggesting someone doesn’t act, but you certainly have to weight the consequences of $50 of parts taken vs. lighting up a thief, walking over and seeing a baby face 12 year old kid with his brains scattered all over your driveway.
If you've read this forum enough, you'd realize there are a few people who claim they'd have no remorse for shooting someone.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,011
Criminal Mexi Midget
Another consequence that some folks overlook is the impact to the shooter. I know everyone carrying is ~bad ass~, but when you kill another human being, whether they’re a thief or not, you’re likely to have serious psychological repercussions. I’m not suggesting someone doesn’t act, but you certainly have to weight the consequences of $50 of parts taken vs. lighting up a thief, walking over and seeing a baby face 12 year old kid with his brains scattered all over your driveway.
well said.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,365
534
Houston, Texas
Wow, where to begin?

Of course, we wouldn't want to hurt a no good thief. Stick up for the rights of the thief over the property owner?
Just because someone may be breaking into a vehicle does not mean they deserve to die. Saying they shouldn't be shot is not putting their rights above the rights of the property owner.

I should have expected this.
Likewise. When I saw the title of this thread, I sarcastically thought to myself that someone would recommend just shooting the burglar because you know, this is America, we shoot anyone we don't like. I should have known you would honestly bring that up as a solution to someone stealing some light bulbs.

If you are a thief, getting beaten or shot is an occupational hazard.
I love how you lump all perceived criminals together. Mass murder, rapist, child molester, someone breaking into a car, kill them all! Maybe the guy lost his job, and was desperate to feed his kid. While that doesn't make it right, why should he be shot? Arrested? Sure, but not shot.

In the dark it is real hard for a property owner to determine if that is a crowbar or a weapon
So don't confront someone in the dark?

You only have to prove that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. There doesn't have to be any actual danger.
There doesn't have to be any actual danger.....In other words, if somewhere in your mind, you feel like you want to end a persons life, you don't have to be in any actual danger, you can just commit murder and claim you were scared. Makes perfect sense....

I don't own a gun and never will, but even if I did, and even if I saw someone breaking into my car, I could never fathom shooting them dead for that. To have to live with myself knowing I took someone else's life, especially for a petty crime like that. I guess some are just wired without a high regard for human life.
 

AllergyDoc

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2013
1,550
3,400
Utah, USA
I lived in California for 47 years and had both my house and a vehicle burglarized. We locked every door, all the time. Now I live in Utah County and see people leave their purse and iPhone in their car while they watch a movie or eat dinner.

These things should be self-evident if you want to protect your stuff:

1) Don't leave things out in the open in your vehicle. Most petty thieves are looking for easy drug money; a pair of halogen lights fits that bill quite nicely.

2) Get an alarm, for either you car or your house. No petty thief will stick around if the car alarm is shrieking. Yes, if someone really wants to steal your car they will, alarm or not alarm. But the vast majority of car thefts are of cars without an alarm.

3) Lock your doors.

4) Finally, the dumbest advise to ever have to give anyone, don't let your car idle while you run back into the house to have breakfast or fetch the kids. I see people that in my condo development all the time. Really, really dumb. Like we don't have druggies here.

The vehicle we had broken into didn't have an alarm, but didn't have anything visible inside, the doors were locked, and we had a crap stereo. The thieves popped the trunk and stole we had in there. I forget what it was except that it was worth about $50. They worked the entire street that night, breaking into the cars without alarms.

If you just wanted to catch the thief and bring him/her to justice, perhaps you could learn how to lasso. Then you could rope them up and hog tie them until the po-po arrived. Of course, if you harm the poor thief in some way, you could get sued. Happens all the time.

Best you let them run off with your pop's halogen lights than get shot yourself, or land in prison for shooting some unarmed crook.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
If you've read this forum enough, you'd realize there are a few people who claim they'd have no remorse for shooting someone.
I did used to carry, but I changed my mind a few years ago.

I can tell you this, I think lots of people who carry, want to use their weapons. They want to prove that guns are good and cure communistcancerobamadeadamericastalin. They want their 15 mins of Fame on FOX. They are trigger happy people.

If you see someone with a pistol in an open carry state. Avoid them completely, they aren't a good person.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
Situations like this are what insurance is for (well, $100 is a bit low for a claim).

I'd rather do that than escalate the situation and possibly get shot, or go to prison.
Actually, it may count to be a bit more.

I had my car broken into a few years ago as well. Luckily the only thing they had made away with was a binder I had some hand-written business notes in, and a $120 ticket to a business convention. I was lucky; my checkbook was in my bowling ball bags, in the back of the car.

But because of the tint that came factory standard on the window, my car insurance claim was $500: exactly what my deductible is. any other property that could have been taken would actually be covered under homeowner's or renter's insurance. So depending on how much was taken, look the cost for replacement, and see if it adds up to being more than your homeowner's deductible. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.

Also, the cost of the window of your car may be in the same position. Check that as well.

its PROPERTY that can simply be REPLACED, let it go, what happens if YOU show your gun & THEY point one at you? you will be left dealing with cops & MIGHT be in need of a lawyer, it SUCKS getting property stolen, been there a few times, as long as they DON'T try to enter your home, let it be, it is CHEAPER in the long run.

----------



you are thinking/acting like a cop, a citizen has a bigger burden of proof on him.
Absolutely agree here. The property can be replaced. Your life can't.

My parent's car was broken into and actually stolen when I was 17. My father got on the phone to our subdivision's HQ, told them the situation, and that he'd be in the office in 15 minutes. Got on his uniform, went in, and less than 2 hours later, found the car, and arrested the suspects. No shots fired. It helped that everyone in the Omaha PD knew that car and what to look for.

Just like the OP's, in this situation, you can't prove any real danger to your life, if you were inside and actually away from the break-in happening. Or even when looking out the window, you still can't prove it. If he had fired a shot like this, and there was no danger, despite the crime being committed, there could be the slight chance that the OP could get arrested for attempted murder. No real danger was perceived at the time of the crime.

But we are dealing with "shoot first, ask questions later", so I might have digressed.

Or shoot back. Or get hit.
Or miss, allowing the stay bullet to hit another home, where a noter parent, child, or baby may be struck, killing them.

He's not "defending" the thief per se. Just saying that someone stealing two halogen lamps (you should have gotten LED, by the way) or even a car doesn't deserve to die. It seems all you do all day is just look for an excuse to shoot someone to prove you're a worthy descendant of your cowboy ancestors..
The aforementioned "shoot first, ask questions later".. and look at how well that turned out for Oscar Pistorius.

What will you do next just because it's your right? Put a chest open and full of money on your front yard and wait with your shotgun cocked and ready?
Please don't tempt them.

And if you witness your car getting stolen, don't go there yourself. Lock the doors, hide, call the police and let them deal with it (I know, you've told us many times that police are not there to help us, get over it, they are).

Besides, there's a fair chance instead of shooting a thief, you'll shoot a family member (son who's looking for his keys in the car, the neighbour whose puppy hid under the car, etc...).
Agreed. Then the situation would truly get real. Tragic, and real. You can replace lights. You can easily get over the loss of security with the break-in. The taking of a life (and possibly an innocent life) will remain with and haunt you for the rest of your life.

BL.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,011
Criminal Mexi Midget
I did used to carry, but I changed my mind a few years ago.

I can tell you this, I think lots of people who carry, want to use their weapons. They want to prove that guns are good and cure communistcancerobamadeadamericastalin. They want their 15 mins of Fame on FOX. They are trigger happy people.

If you see someone with a pistol in an open carry state. Avoid them completely, they aren't a good person.
amazing broad brush you have there :rolleyes: