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Old 03-17-2012, 07:41   #1
cleanneon98
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Question about Pennsylvania

OK, I've been thinking about this for a while now. The backstory is a few years back, while I was out in the city, someone was breaking into my car at home, and my moms also and stealing things (I lost a camera bag with $5000+ worth of gear that night). My mom who was home at the time actually saw the guys rummaging through my car and said "im going to call the police" to which they responded "go ahead" and slowly walked away. The police came only 30 minutes later, and the suspects were long gone. Insurance screwed me out of my claim and instead of 5000, I got back a lousy $400.

My question is as follows: If I see someone on my property doing something like breaking into my car, or house, do I have a right to grab my weapon and try to secure the suspect? I obviously will not shoot if there is no weapon pointed towards me, but if I come out, make it apparent that I have a weapon, and to tell the suspect to get on the ground while I call police, will I be in the wrong? As I understand, as soon as they are in my house, I have the right to fire, but I may be wrong, and I don't know how this extends to outside property. I know if the suspect runs, my only option is pursuit, not shooting.
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Last edited by cleanneon98; 03-17-2012 at 07:42..
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:22   #2
HKLovingIT
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In regards to the car or something like someone breaking into your tool shed, I would not go outside and do this for a couple of reasons: Some things to think about...

1. It's just property. I'm not sure what happened with your insurance but generally if you keep a copy of the purchase receipts for the items you can recover your loss, minus the deductible. If it was business equipment you might need a special rider or a separate policy for it. I have a separate policy for business items like laptops, etc.

2. You could be on shaky ground even if the law in your state is technically on your side about this. Are they in your yard, in your driveway, on the street? That can all change in a second and could put in you in an entirely different legal and civil position.

3. What would you do if they refused to comply? What if they pull their own weapons and now it goes from losing some property to you getting shot and paralyzed or you shooting someone and getting charged or losing a civil suit?

4. What if you walk out to confront two guys breaking into your car and guy #3 and guy #4 that you didn't see from the window are on you?

5. What if you go outside and get beat down and now they have an open door and your mom is left alone? Things could go from bad to worse.

6. There was a story posted here a little while back about a guy who did just this when a guy was breaking into his car. The thief refused to comply, the guy got too close or whatever, got his gun taken from him and was shot with his own weapon. He lived but it could have turned out different.

I certainly would not appreciate someone stealing things out of my car or my shed, and i understand your frustration, but I'm not of a mind to go outside my house, leaving my kids alone, and try to apprehend them. I would just phone it in. Someone breaking into your house and entering it while you are home is a totally different set of circumstances from a legal standpoint and from an imminent danger to you standpoint.

Here are some relevant links:

http://reference.pafoa.org/statutes/
http://reference.pafoa.org/statutes/...n-of-property/

You'll notice that in PA the use of deadly force to protect property has specific criteria. The law is almost always written to place life, even the life of a thief, above property. As it should.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:30   #3
cleanneon98
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Thanks for answering my question! I guess in that scenario I'll just start breaking bones instead.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:33   #4
kensteele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleanneon98 View Post
I obviously will not shoot if there is no weapon pointed towards me, ....
if you wait until a weapon is pointed towards you at close range, you probably will be dead or severely injured before you have a chance to do anything. Don't wait until then which means don't go out to your car unless you are ready for a serious confrontation. And unfortunately you'll have to take some of the blame for leaving your expensive equipment in your car.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:40   #5
HKLovingIT
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Originally Posted by cleanneon98 View Post
Thanks for answering my question! I guess in that scenario I'll just start breaking bones instead.

Well I wouldn't do that either because it puts you in unnecessary danger over some property. I know it makes you mad when someone steals your stuff, but unless you have a badge, for you it's just better to phone stuff like this in rather than to go outside alone and confront a bunch of guys and get yourself into a situation. If they are kicking in your house door or climbing in your window the law provides for you there.

Now here is something for you to read. This is about the PA Castle Doctrine law when it was trying to get passed. What I want you to pay attention to in the article is the District Attorneys and their comments. That is who will be deciding if you are getting charged. As it says in the article the DA uses their discretion to decide who gets charged, which is all fine. So, what's the attitude of the DA in Philly towards self defense, etc.? http://articles.mcall.com/2011-06-21...heman-gun-bill

All in all, you're better off just phoning it in and giving a description.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:32   #6
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Here's another scenario I've been wondering about. Say I'm walking around minding my own business and I see someone being held up, beaten up, etc. Am I allowed to intervene and use equal force to try and help a fellow civilian or should I just make a call to 911. I was wondering this because recently, a guy was beaten to death in old city Philadelphia, and I was in the area just 30 minutes before it happened. It got me thinking, what I could have done if I was at the right place at the right time to at least try and save his life.

I've just always been the kind to put other people ahead of myself, and I'd gladly take the risk to try and help someone in need, especially in a possible life-or-death scenario.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:06   #7
HKLovingIT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleanneon98 View Post
Here's another scenario I've been wondering about. Say I'm walking around minding my own business and I see someone being held up, beaten up, etc. Am I allowed to intervene and use equal force to try and help a fellow civilian or should I just make a call to 911. I was wondering this because recently, a guy was beaten to death in old city Philadelphia, and I was in the area just 30 minutes before it happened. It got me thinking, what I could have done if I was at the right place at the right time to at least try and save his life.

I've just always been the kind to put other people ahead of myself, and I'd gladly take the risk to try and help someone in need, especially in a possible life-or-death scenario.
In the one link I put above it lists the law in regards to coming to the aid of another. In most cases you should call 911 and be a good witness.

I would also encourage you to read this:

http://www.stoppingpower.net/comment...tervention.asp
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:10   #8
cleanneon98
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Originally Posted by HKLovingIT View Post
In the one link I put above it lists the law in regards to coming to the aid of another. In most cases you should call 911 and be a good witness.

I would also encourage you to read this:

http://www.stoppingpower.net/comment...tervention.asp
Seems like you can't even be a good person anymore. It's a shame people are such ungrateful ****s.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:41   #9
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a gun fight is a risky proposition and getting even the first 2-3 shots off doesnt mean you will live if they get off even just 1 shot.

dont leave valuables in your vehicle. if you wouldnt buy a safe with a glass door why treat you car as one?
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:58   #10
cleanneon98
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a gun fight is a risky proposition and getting even the first 2-3 shots off doesnt mean you will live if they get off even just 1 shot.

dont leave valuables in your vehicle. if you wouldnt buy a safe with a glass door why treat you car as one?
True that was my mistake and I was stupid to do it. What can I say, I had just finished work, and it was the night I was turning 21, all I could think about was going to the city and having some fun lol
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