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Thread: Yet Another "What Should I Have Done"

  1. #1
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    Yet Another "What Should I Have Done"

    Hey guys. I just created this account to post this as my other user name is my real name and I don't want it seen.

    Well it was about 9pm and I'm just tidying up in my bedroom a bit. My roommate leaves the house and immediately comes back and says, "Hurry, come quick!". I grab my XD .45 and my Fenix TK40 flashlight and follow him. My house faces North and I park in an empty lot that is on the East side of my house. My lot is separated from this lot by my backyard fence and shrubs with enough of a gap for a man to walk through. It's not too far and we're there in a few seconds and I see a guy attempting to siphon my gasoline and his buddy just standing around. I lit both of them up right away and shout "What the f*** are you doing?!".

    At this point I was too close for comfort and created some distance between us. The buddy looked like he wanted to bolt, but he didn't. There were words exchanged that I can't really recall and aren't that important anyways. We got their plates and then I told them to GTFO of here before I call the cops. Their vehicle wouldn't start and the guy doing the siphoning asks to buy some gas from me! I very impolitely said no. Next, I made them push their truck out of that area and they stopped pushing it about 1.5 blocks from my house and parked it in front of another house. Then they both took off running.

    I informed the people that lived in the house they parked in front of what had happened and then took pictures of their vehicle, the plates, and the location in was is. I didn't dial 911, but did the whole crime check thing and gave them as much as I could.

    What's a fella supposed to do in these types of situations? I decided to play it way safe and not try to make them stick around for LE to show up. I just kept thinking how someone has to be committing a felony in WA to make a citizens arrest. I also never felt threatened enough to point my weapon at either of them. Also the lot I park on isn't my property so I felt even less unsure about detainment due to that fact.


    Thanks for reading and any input guys and gals!
    Last edited by XD45ZX10R; 11-21-2010 at 01:39 AM.

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    Well, you shined some light on the situation, they GTFO'd, you told your neighbors what was going on, so I see nothing wrong. Certainly better than hiding in a closet and hoping for the best! I'd have had my sidearm with me as well.

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    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    I'd say you handled it well. You made sure to get them away and, since you had no ground to draw, you kept your firearm in its sleepytime place. I'd say the only other thing to do would have been to call the police. I can't fault you for that, though, since I've never been in a situation like this and I don't know if I'd call over someone siphoning my gas, especially if they pushed their POS away and left.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Given the information, I think you did a great job and made good decisions.

    Just because you have a sidearm, doesn't mean it has to be used, and everything (as you showed) should be done to confront a situation without violence first.

    WTG

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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me.

    My feeling is that at each decision point you made the best choice under the circumstances presented.

    I would hope to do as well.
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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD45ZX10R View Post
    Hey guys. I just created this account to post this as my other user name is my real name and I don't want it seen.

    Well it was about 9pm and I'm just tidying up in my bedroom a bit. My roommate leaves the house and immediately comes back and says, "Hurry, come quick!". I grab my XD .45 and my Fenix TK40 flashlight and follow him. My house faces North and I park in an empty lot that is on the East side of my house. My lot is separated from this lot by my backyard fence and shrubs with enough of a gap for a man to walk through. It's not too far and we're there in a few seconds and I see a guy attempting to siphon my gasoline and his buddy just standing around. I lit both of them up right away and shout "What the f*** are you doing?!".

    At this point I was too close for comfort and created some distance between us. The buddy looked like he wanted to bolt, but he didn't. There were words exchanged that I can't really recall and aren't that important anyways. We got their plates and then I told them to GTFO of here before I call the cops. Their vehicle wouldn't start and the guy doing the siphoning asks to buy some gas from me! I very impolitely said no. Next, I made them push their truck out of that area and they stopped pushing it about 1.5 blocks from my house and parked it in front of another house. Then they both took off running.

    I informed the people that lived in the house they parked in front of what had happened and then took pictures of their vehicle, the plates, and the location in was is. I didn't dial 911, but did the whole crime check thing and gave them as much as I could.

    What's a fella supposed to do in these types of situations? I decided to play it way safe and not try to make them stick around for LE to show up. I just kept thinking how someone has to be committing a felony in WA to make a citizens arrest. I also never felt threatened enough to point my weapon at either of them. Also the lot I park on isn't my property so I felt even less unsure about detainment due to that fact.


    Thanks for reading and any input guys and gals!
    Did you have your handgun in your holster or did you have it out?

    If out, what was it pointed at throughout the encounter?
    Last edited by HankT; 11-21-2010 at 08:17 AM.

  7. #7
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    My question is "Why didn't you dial 911 and report the theft in progress?" With cell phones and a bluetooth earpiece this can all be done without limiting the use of your hands for gun and flashlight. If you caught them in the act of stealing YOUR gas, and then let them leave, they'll just go on to steal gas from something else. There is nothing in the law that says you can't detain them when you catch them stealing. You can't shoot them unless they attack you but telling them to "wait for the cops that are on the way" is perfectly legal. If they see you are armed they most likely will stay. By being in contact with the dispatcher via cell phone you can make sure the arriving officers know who's who.

    All I see from this encounter is that you saved your gas today, possibly to be stolen later by the same guys. If they had been arrested, chances are they had other issues that would keep them in jail for some time.

    Just another way of looking at, I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HankT View Post
    Did you have your handgun in your holster or did you have it out?

    If out, what was it pointed at throughout the encounter?
    It was holstered on my night stand when the roommate notified me. I took it out of the holster at this point and went outside. From that point on it stayed at my side, pointed directly at the ground beside by right foot. Once they had pushed their truck and ran away and I was confident they weren't going to loop back, I stuck it in the front right pocket of my pants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    My question is "Why didn't you dial 911 and report the theft in progress?" With cell phones and a bluetooth earpiece this can all be done without limiting the use of your hands for gun and flashlight. If you caught them in the act of stealing YOUR gas, and then let them leave, they'll just go on to steal gas from something else. There is nothing in the law that says you can't detain them when you catch them stealing. You can't shoot them unless they attack you but telling them to "wait for the cops that are on the way" is perfectly legal. If they see you are armed they most likely will stay. By being in contact with the dispatcher via cell phone you can make sure the arriving officers know who's who.

    All I see from this encounter is that you saved your gas today, possibly to be stolen later by the same guys. If they had been arrested, chances are they had other issues that would keep them in jail for some time.

    Just another way of looking at, I guess.
    Well I don't own a blue-tooth earpiece, but even better than that, I could have had my roommate make the call. My gut just said that calling the police would just escalate the situation or make them run. On top of that I saw no fuel spilling when the guy stepped away from my vehicle and I didn't know if he had actually gotten any fuel. I also know that telling them that they can't leave is would have been nothing more than a stern suggestion that I couldn't do anything to enforce. How long would it take for a LEO to arrive to such a minor call? How long would these guys stick around with it only being 25 degrees out?

    All in all it was uncertainty that made me call crime-check after the fact instead of 911 during the fact.

  10. #10
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD45ZX10R View Post
    Well I don't own a blue-tooth earpiece, but even better than that, I could have had my roommate make the call. My gut just said that calling the police would just escalate the situation or make them run. On top of that I saw no fuel spilling when the guy stepped away from my vehicle and I didn't know if he had actually gotten any fuel. I also know that telling them that they can't leave is would have been nothing more than a stern suggestion that I couldn't do anything to enforce. How long would it take for a LEO to arrive to such a minor call? How long would these guys stick around with it only being 25 degrees out?

    All in all it was uncertainty that made me call crime-check after the fact instead of 911 during the fact.
    The fact that they were ATTEMPTING to steal you gas is a crime in itself. As for telling them to stay, your right, you couldn't do anything to make them stay but they well could have remained just because of your stern suggestion. I've seen people get down on their faces a n remain just because someone SAID they had a gun pointed at them. When someone has a flashlight in their eyes they have no way of knowing if that's true or not.

    The event is over so all the "could have's" are just conversation.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    The fact that they were ATTEMPTING to steal you gas is a crime in itself. As for telling them to stay, your right, you couldn't do anything to make them stay but they well could have remained just because of your stern suggestion. I've seen people get down on their faces a n remain just because someone SAID they had a gun pointed at them. When someone has a flashlight in their eyes they have no way of knowing if that's true or not.

    The event is over so all the "could have's" are just conversation.
    You should have called 911 and reported the incedent. If there was a chance they saw you holding your firearm, there is a chance they could have called the police and said you drew a weapon on them.
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    You should have called 911 and reported the incedent. If there was a chance they saw you holding your firearm, there is a chance they could have called the police and said you drew a weapon on them.
    Yea, knowing now that you had your firearm in your hand, even pointed at the ground, not so good. You should have called 911 to cover your own butt in such a case, at a minimum.

    My rule of thumb, if you have to draw or carry your firearm in hand, then you better get the police involved at the safest opportunity. Video on a cell phone by your buddy might also have been a good idea too. People committing crimes have been shown over and over to not be above calling the police themselves if they think it will get the police to focus on the other guy.

    Siphoning gas is a minor crime at best, but you have to keep in mind that many "minor" crimes, especially brazen and obvious crimes, are commonly committed by those who just got done committing much more major crimes, i.e., fleeing the scene of.

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    At night time, 2 unkown guys commiting a crime to your vehicle on your property. I would think the disparity (2 of them) and thier unkown armed status would be enough to justify having your weapon at the ready. I'm not saying shoot them for stealing gas, but I would have my pistol at the low ready also while I investigate the crime occuring on my property.
    Last edited by Jayd1981; 11-22-2010 at 05:48 PM.

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    You do not need to witness a felony to perform a citizen's arrest. If you WITNESS a misdemeanor, you can conduct a citizen's arrest.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.020

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    There are a few, not only in this scenario but others as well concentrate on the use of the firearm in which the level of force has not risen to the level of deadly force.

    Being armed is a good idea but having in hand when there is no clear and present danger to life or limb may well have you defending yourself in court for a violation of RCW 9.41.270 and if you point it at someone or suspected of then RCW 9.41.230 would apply as well.

    I subscribed to the concept, our firearms is a tool of last resort, not first. And yes there will be times where there is no other option but we are not discussing that in this thread.
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    The other choices I see are:

    1. Call the police and do nothing else. Police will probably not bother showing up and they will take what they want and continue on thier crime spree.

    2. Confront them unarmed or holstered. Hopefully they are not armed themselves and ready to cause death or great bodily harm.

    Like I said, I would not shoot someone for stealing my gas. But while investigating a crime in progress on my property, my pistol will be out and at the low ready. I do not advocate doing nothing since that just encourages more crime. I have a right to be stop crime on my property and I will not just sit by no matter how insignificant it is they are stealing.
    Last edited by Jayd1981; 11-22-2010 at 06:55 PM.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Judging by the way you said they ran away after pushing their car I'd be willing to bet that they stole the car and ran out of gas. Probably wouldn't want to go buy gas somewhere because they'd show up on surveillance video then.
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayd1981 View Post

    Like I said, I would not shoot someone for stealing my gas. But while investigating a crime in progress on my property, my pistol will be out and at the low ready. I do not advocate doing nothing since that just encourages more crime. I have a right to be stop crime on my property and I will not just sit by no matter how insignificant it is they are stealing.
    There is nothing wrong with being prepared to protect your self however, beware. Courts in other parts of the Country don't see it always that way.

    http://www.unionleader.com/article.a...3-b4d7e9925ba9

    Bird had been sentenced to prison for no less than three and no more than six years, with the court citing RSA 651:2, II-g, which imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of three years "if a person is convicted of a felony, an element of which is the possession . . . of a deadly weapon, and the deadly weapon is a firearm."


    "He had a gun but he didn't point it at her, even though that's what she said at the trial,'' said Ward Bird's wife, Ginny Bird. "He had been trying to get her to leave for a long time and held up the gun to check the safety as he was coming into the house to call police and tell them there was a trespasser on our property.
    This case, while in another state has lots of similarities to the OP's scenario. This is what could happen. After all this happened in a State who's motto is "Live Free or Die". Just think what MIGHT happen in a more liberal state like Washington. (sarcasm intended)

    I believe that a gun in hand might cause more problems than it will solve (to a point) when confronting someone who is committing a crime against your property. A holster or at least a pocketed gun is definitely preferred over one in the hand when it comes to defending against any charges of threat with a firearm.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Your legal risk may vary significantly from one where you have absolutely no requirement to withdraw and are protected from both civil and criminal prosecution and those where you must withdraw first!

    Personally, I don't live in a location that requires withdrawal (and I don't want too) and I would encourage those that do to do all that they legally can to change the laws in their locations to actually allow them to defend themselves and their homes. I seem to remember reading something, somewhere, at least once, maybe more about being SECURE IN OUR HOMES, PROPERTY, and PAPERS!

  20. #20
    Regular Member xxx.jakk.xxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Your legal risk may vary significantly from one where you have absolutely no requirement to withdraw and are protected from both civil and criminal prosecution and those where you must withdraw first!

    Personally, I don't live in a location that requires withdrawal (and I don't want too) and I would encourage those that do to do all that they legally can to change the laws in their locations to actually allow them to defend themselves and their homes. I seem to remember reading something, somewhere, at least once, maybe more about being SECURE IN OUR HOMES, PROPERTY, and PAPERS!
    Yeah, Washington is actually a stand your ground state, so we have no obligation to back down from a threat.
    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Psalms 23:4

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." Benjamin Franklin

    “It’s always open season on criminals in Mason County, and there’s no bag limit.” Sen. Tim Sheldon (D)

    Molōn labe!

  21. #21
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    A similar incident (not exactly but man with a gun in hand) occurred in Spokane recently, where an armed businessman responded with a gun in hand and things escalated to him being shot and died.
    I am not sure if the investigation found the Officer at fault here as some evidenced he claimed did not pan out but that is not the issue.
    The man responded with gun in hand and is no longer with us.

    The looming issue at hand is we must use great care of not going to the firearm for resolution in all cases, it is a tool of last resort.
    Last edited by BigDave; 11-22-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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    I think even if I could go back, I still wouldn't take the time to holster it. I carry in a SERPA threaded onto my belt. It's not exactly a 10 second process to put the holster on and get in the exact position it is in every time I shoot and practice.

    I'm not even sure if they could see the gun with the massive amount of light my TK40 puts out. Once I created distance between us, I turned slightly so by body blocked sight of the gun. I would have holstered if possible at this point, but certainly didn't want to put it in my pocket.

    I'm not sure what to think about whether the truck was stolen or not. The strange part was it had Idaho plates.

  23. #23
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Judging by the way you said they ran away after pushing their car I'd be willing to bet that they stole the car and ran out of gas. Probably wouldn't want to go buy gas somewhere because they'd show up on surveillance video then.

    I disagree, I doubt a criminal is going to chance being caught and charged with grand theft auto while pushing a car after being seen commiting another crime. If that was the case I would think they would have fled and found another car to steal. If they are pushing a car I would put my money the fact that you were the closest, and they felt they had the best chance of getting past the anti siphon ball in the filler tube on your vehicle, or they are too stupid to know how hard newer vehicles are to get gas from, OR you have an older vehicle which again would make it the pick of the litter.
    Last edited by amzbrady; 11-22-2010 at 10:08 PM.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
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  24. #24
    Regular Member Sharpender's Avatar
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    Everything you did sounds right to me XD, don't think I would have done anything different.

  25. #25
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    Sounds like it's time to get a locking gas cap.

    What you did sounds reasonable to me, I probably would have called the police or had my friend call, even as an afterthought to report the activity. Also helps to CYA in case they try to call and say you threatened them or something.

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