A recent post on a neighborhood blog elicited this response from me. The man had some tools taken from his truck in his driveway and was upset. He asked the question, what is one to do, shoot someone for taking my tools?
Here is my response to him and I think germane enough to share with you, good folks.
You (he) asks a good question. “What am I to do, shoot someone for $200?”
Firstly, shooting someone for any reason will affect your life forever. My litmus test is “Am I genuinely afraid for my life, or those lives of my family?”
If I am genuinely afraid, then the rest of this is a mute point. Carried by six, judged by twelve, simple math really.
The opioid epidemic is probably responsible for the increase in small crimes like this, as fewer and fewer doctors are now prescribing these types of “legal” drugs Legal or not, people are addicted to them and addictions will cause some to sell their mother into slavery for them. If they cannot get them legally, they will get them on the street.
That in and of itself might solve some of the addiction issues, as what they get on the street might very well end their suffering, permanently. Not my wish or desire, just simple facts. Truth told they know the risk too and will do it anyway. That should tell you something about their state of mind, and the risk they will take for a few tools from your truck.
Balancing petty crimes against lethal force is a tough call. So what is one to do?
In this day and age, we have many tools at our disposal.
Alarm your vehicle. Mine is set to lock and arm after 45 seconds, should a family member, or I forget.
“Viper Alarm from Car Toys.”
Keep your valuables out of sight.
Brand your tools or other valuables so that a pawn shop will not be interested in them.
Ring.com makes some not too expensive devices like the floodlight cam and the doorbell.
Both are easy installs for the average homeowner.
That video goes up to the cloud and stays there for some time. In case your home is vandalized the evidence is not where the criminal can get to it.
- You said you heard them, Dial 911
- Turn on lights, so they know that you heard them.
- With the Ring floodlight cam, there is a siren that you can set off. Noises are not what they want.
- Open your window and set off an air horn if nothing else. Yell at them telling them the cops are on the way! I would not use Uncle Joe’s advice about touching off your shotgun in the air. Noise is the right idea, just not shotguns.
I would imagine that smash and grab is their ideal way to work so sound and lights will alert your neighbors as well. Usually, they work in pairs. Getting a plate for the cops is a very good idea. Any information is valuable. Many have cameras set up to watch the streets and alleys. Talk with your neighbors and see if they captured anything.
If you were to go out there with your shotgun or another deadly force weapon you might very well be surprised to find that you are now in harm’s way as they had a partner. If on the other hand, you were to injure them or kill them, some subhuman life form of a lawyer would find any family members that they had and represent them on a contingency basis to sue you civilly. Pictures of the dead or injured person from his or her days in church, scouts, the soccer field as a 12-year-old, or as a family member and good dad or mom would adorn the courtroom. They would paint this person as the ideal person having them appear the saint, and you the angry old curmudgeon without any heart, hell-bent on killing people with your mean old gun. If the perp is or was a different race or gender than you, that too will factor into swaying the jury that you are now a racist or a sexist or both.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, they might very well get a judgment against you. It is relatively simple to emotionally manipulate a jury. This would then cost much more than a few hundred dollars in tools. As it is a civil case and not a criminal case, no free Lawyers for you.
If you can afford one and you had best be able to, it will cost you no less than $5K on a no bill. The process will go on for months, and it will consume you.
“What is one to do?” You asked
Good luck, I hope that you or our neighbors find some of this information helpful….
Full disclosure, I have no vested interest in any of the products or companies mentioned. I also do not believe that all lawyers are sub-human life forms. 🙂