Pro Tip: Don’t Confront Burglars Before the Police Arrive

Jacksonville homeowner shoots and kills one of two burglars.

A Jacksonville, Florida homeowner was out and received a notification of that his home security system had been tripped yesterday. Knowing that police had also been alerted, he then did what most of us would do…he made a bee-line for home. But he got there before the local 5-0 arrived.

JSO Sgt. Steve Rudlaff say the homeowner confronted the two unknown intruders inside the home. The homeowner shot and killed one intruder, but the other got away on foot. Police are now searching for a suspect described as a black male in his 20s or 30s last seen wearing a dark blue hoodie, dark pants, and gloves.

So the homeowner, apparently armed, decided to enter his home before the cops arrived when he had good reason to suspect a break-in.

The homeowner, who has not been identified, was questioned by authorities but not taken into custody. Rudlaff was not able to confirm Wednesday whether the suspects were armed or unarmed during the confrontation.

First Coast News’ crime and safety analyst Mark Baughman said  the homeowner will likely avoid charges if he is able to show he felt his life was in jeopardy when he encountered the suspect.

There’s apparently some question as to where some of the gunfire took place.

“Whether [the suspect] was shot inside the car and whether he was shot inside the residence, [investigators] will be able to piece that together with blood spatter and blood trails,” Baughman said. “If the suspect was still armed in the car, I don’t think that it would matter [where the shooting happened.]”

So the un-named homeowner’s potential legal jeopardy raises an obvious point.

“My safety recommendation is, if the police have been called and you happen to beat the police home, is there anything in the house worth your life?” said Baughman. “I would wait for police to arrive and do their job.”

The answer is almost certainly…no.

 

comments

  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    “is there anything in the house worth your life?”

    So what if he had a wife and/or kids?

    1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

      If I know for a fact that my loved ones are not home I’m not going in.

      1. avatar fteter says:

        +1 for PROUD chicano. If my loved ones are not there, I’m not going in.

        And, in all honesty, the bad guys probably won’t be in there either. Got a 130 pound Rottweiler mix who takes a very dim view of uninvited guests.

    2. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      My first issue would be if my family was inside. I’m going in.

      My biggest concern wouldn’t be shooting the crook but being mistaken by LEO for an armed intruder.

      Abcent danger to family I’m likely to wait outside for cops. I may block the intruders in or disable the vehicle.

      The thing that would get me is time. If I’m far from home I expect LEO would get there faster.

      I might announce to the perps that I’m in front , cops are on the way and if they leave empty handed out the back they won’t be shot.

      1. avatar Armed Partisan says:

        I’d also be inclined to block in their vehicle and wait for the people who won’t be potentially arrested for shooting the bastards; this guy’s now going to have to prove his innocence because he was protecting his stuff, most of which probably will never be worth 1/10th his coming legal bills, letalone the chance of personal injury or death if he had just so happened to draw down on the wrong hombre.

        As for my family, like me, they’re well armed and mentally equipped to handle such a circumstance; if a burglar entered our home while someone was inside, the Dindus would be soon in flight, either physically, or metaphysically.

      2. avatar Toni says:

        some places out where i live you could be a days drive away and still beat the cops there. central australia not far from pine gap

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “some places out where i live you could be a days drive away and still beat the cops there. central australia not far from pine gap”

          [Checking the map for Pine Gap, Australia]

          Egads.

          When Alice Springs is a few klicks away, that’s pretty much the definition of “being in the middle of nowhere”.

          The upside to that is, you folks know how to make problems like that ‘disappear’, never to be seen again, *ever*… 🙂

  2. avatar The Punisher says:

    “The answer is almost certainly…no.”

    I’m sorry. That is not for you or the cops or anyone else to answer. It is not my fault that thieving thugs decided they wanted to loot my hard earned possessions.

    I do not want the government – or it’s agents – to take care of anything I can’t take care of myself. Thank you. That is all.

    1. avatar Thomas Paine's Bastard says:

      ^This. Considering there have already been dismissed lawsuits which sets the precedent that law-enforcement agencies have no obligation to protect you or your property, I’d say this whole article is a non-starter.

    2. avatar Grant says:

      Since you probably already have homeowners insurance, this is a poor argument. Even if they strip your home bare, all you are out is a deductible that is probably less than $1,000.

      If you shoot someone you face possible legal jeopardy and a civil lawsuit. Plus you are certainly going to need new carpet.

      If no one is home, they can have my TV.

      1. avatar Xanthro says:

        Even if they strip your home bare, all you are out is a deductible that is probably less than $1,000.
        ———————————————-
        There are items in my home that couldn’t have an insured value of $10, as they have no value to any party other than myself, but to me, the lose would be irreplaceable.
        There are more things in my home I fear would be broken than stolen. I don’t need some idiot trashing my place and destroying items I value.
        Thieves don’t just take things, they ransack and destroy as well.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          Definitely. And I’ve been stolen from enough that I’m sick and tired of it. At present, it would be a toss-up between wanting to live and wanting to live without some of the things an intruder would almost certainly trash.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        That depends on your policy.

        Unknown to many gun owners: most homeowner’s policies don’t cover more than $1000 on firearms unless you have a rider for them with the serial numbers and appraised values recorded for each individual fun.

    3. avatar Darkman says:

      I agree completely and would use jury nullification to ensure anyone protecting their family or property was not convicted of a crime.

      1. avatar B-Rad says:

        So for the opportunity to kill or be killed, you’re going to trade the pain of homeowners deductible for tens of thousands in legal fee’s, and/or death? That seems an awfully stupid trade, but hey, you do you.

        1. avatar the bastard from Ballarat says:

          if the cops drag you through a long, drawn-out legal process, then, AFAIMC, yr well within yr rights to SUE them blind, deaf and stoopid for false arrest, false imprisonment and assault
          (as soon as they unlawfully lay a hand on you….its ASSAULT )

    4. avatar Hank says:

      Exactly. Three S’s. Shoot, shovel, Shut up. Who’s gonna come looking for a burglar? His other burglar buddies? Rinse, leather repeat. Good reason to own a wood chipper, several bottles of ammonia, and some pigs.

      1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        A backhoe is so much quicker and easier – and deeper!

  3. avatar California Richard says:

    Stand your ground laws protect you “criminally” not “civilly”. He may not get arrested, but he may loose his stuff to the buglar any way… at least the burglar’s family. Work this crap out before you commit to the breach and figure out what youre willing to risk and lose.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      California Richard,

      Some states provide both criminal AND civil immunity for home owners who legally defend themselves from home invaders.

      Make sure you know the laws in your state.

      1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Texas provides criminal and civil immunity for injuries you inflict on the bad guy, but what’s interesting is that it does not provide immunity for property damage.

        So, theoretically, ventilating the perp is ok, but you could still get sued for the hole(s) you put in his shirt.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Make sure you know the laws in your state.”

        *THIS*

        Living in Florida, and this happening in Florida, he *should* be OK.

        ‘Under your roof’ covers a pretty broad area, here. A case years back where a kid was breaking into a car under a carport attached to a house, the home owner was not charged when he shot and killed the kid.

        The mother was rather upset, but the local LE had little sympathy for her and her felonious brat…

        1. avatar Aaron says:

          That story warms my heart

    2. avatar David J. says:

      This is why I joined the USCCA! I am protected whether I end up in criminal or civil court. That being said, if my family is not at home, I will wait outside for the police. If my wife is home, then I’ll wait outside with her for the police and the ambulance that is coming to carry the thug(s) to the morgue. You guessed it! A family that is armed together, stays together!!!!!!

    3. avatar Darkman says:

      In Iowa if you are not convicted of a crime. You can’t be sued for civil liability. Must Suck to live in CommieFornia.

    4. avatar Mark N. says:

      California law provides a presumption that someone breaking into your home intends to do harm and that therefore the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were not acting in self-defense. Further, there is a civil law immunity for any claims by someone convicted of felony and arising out of the circumstances of the shooting.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        As much as I as a ‘Person of the Gun’ despises California, in this area, Cali is A-OK…

    5. avatar Arizona Free says:

      In AZ. you cannot be sued by someone committing a felony such as a burglery and they are harmed by the home owner. You do not have to prove anything. Their right to sue has been vacated. No jury trial or no liberal d.a. is going to railroad you. And if you’re not going to defend your home then why on earth did you ever buy a gun in the first place. My four walls are just that, mine.

    6. avatar Anoyamussss says:

      Oomg.. i have read this and yall are so blind … 😳 Im goin thru this right now and guys u dont dont have any F$&KN rights and ur not protected ur screwd !!!! F&$KN .. screwkd is all i can say for now …

  4. avatar strych9 says:

    On the one hand I say of course there are things that might be in my house that are worth risking my life for. Things like my wife and dogs.

    On the other hand if I arrived home to find burglars in the house with my wife (and/or dogs) my first thought would be “Oh, you poor, poor bastards”. Then I’d have a flashback to the scene from The Watchmen where Rorschach deep fries that dude’s face and yells “None of you seem to u derstand, I’m not locked in here with you! You’re locked in here with me!”.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      You remind me of someone I know, whose first thought in such a scenario would be to ask “Soooo……who else knows you’re here…..?”

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Soooo……who else knows you’re here…..?”

        *SNICKER*… 😉

  5. avatar Gman says:

    Yeah, my chessie Wilson. And the answer is yes, it’s my home and you don’t belong here.

  6. avatar Stoney Man says:

    Pro Tip: Dont surrender your property rights to any agent of the state.

    Just because the cops were called by the alarm system, does not mean they get carte blanch to trespass or enter the dwelling if the owner is present.

  7. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    ” . . . Knowing that police had also been alerted . . .”

    His security system was tripped and the police were called. This is no way guarantees that the cops are actually going to come or, if they do come, the burglars may be long gone. Even with an alarm going off, the odds are stacked against the cops actually arriving in time to do anything more than take a report. Basically, in most cities, the cops ain’t commin’ to a home burglary.

    1. avatar Dave M says:

      My brother dumped his home security system because the cops came half an hour after the criminals had taken everything they wanted. They also could have cared less. Yea, call the cops; they will come in time and take care of it all: NOT.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Confronting burglars at your home before police arrive is a dicey proposition for two reasons:
    (1) You have no idea how many burglars are in your home, where they are, whether they have additional accomplices outside that can come in behind you and really mess up your day, nor whether they are armed. In other words you have no idea what you are walking into, alone, without any backup. Not a good idea.
    (2) If the police arrive right behind you and enter your home while you are in the middle of a confrontation or even a fight (with or without weapons), there is a substantial risk that they harm you in the process of doing their job.

    Having said all that, most of us certainly do NOT want to see the burglars escape: they might assault, rape, and/or kill the occupants of the next home that they rob. And you could be facing a huge financial loss if the burglars escape with your stolen property because there is a really good chance that police will never recover it for you.

    There are very compelling reasons to go in before police arrive and very compelling reasons to wait until police arrive. Whether or not you decide to go into your home anyway and confront your burglars is up to you. Choose wisely.

    1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

      Short version: it works either way in Florida

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      It’s true that you don’t know how many there are but if there are more than one you can smoke the first one and yell “X-1! Let’s find out where the graph crosses the axis motherfuckers! I fucking LOVE killing algebraically!!”

      How often do you get to nerd out about math and have people literally scared for their lives?

      1. OK, I got a good giggle at “strych9’s” line: “I f**king LOVE killing algebraically!”

        😀

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I can’t think of a situation where someone yelling “Your friends are calculating line slopes IN HELL!” at me wouldn’t cause me to flee.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Strych, in my case, since ‘maths’ and I don’t exactly get along, I’d be more in inclined to yell *back* :

          “Math? More MATH? Please, God, just kill me now and get it over with!”

          But that’s just me… 🙂

    3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I’d agree, there’s no umiversally perfect decision. Regardless the specific case, there will be reasons in favor or against going in. What you decide would depend on the unique circumstances you’re facing.

      My biggest concern overall would be getting shot by the police. So the circumstances favoring making entry would have to outweigh that risk first.

  9. avatar bigfatdaddy says:

    In Tulsa, OK, you have between 90 and 120 minutes before the TPD responds to a burglary call. Under Oklahoma law, as long as the burglars are still in your residence, you can use lethal force even if there is no perceived threat to your safety. So, if you think the things in your house are worth the risk, there are no criminal or civil penalties for shooting the bad guys.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    If my home isn’t worth defending, then what is?

    I’m going in, and if I’m threatened I’ll shoot. The cops are useless anyway.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      I’m with you Ralph. They should vacate ahead of me; I’m armed, I’m trained I’m the only one involved with a right to enter my home, and I’m apt to be right pissed off!

      Ceeding stuff is one thing, but being essentially forced out of my home is another. The guy with the longest life isn’t necessarily the winner, and some things are worth fighting for.

  11. avatar LarryinTX says:

    If you gotta do something, whup out your knife and cut all of their tires. If they take offense, shoot them repeatedly.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Worst blanket “pro tip” I’ve seen on TTAG. What if 5-O takes a detour to the donut shop? What if burgler boy(s) is an arsonist?!? I AM my burglar alarm…

  13. avatar joetast says:

    In this house nothing of value but firearms II couldn’t let them steal my guns, that’s what the cops are there to do.

  14. avatar FedUp says:

    The homeowner shot and killed one intruder, but the other got away on foot.

    Not the unhappy outcome I was expecting. I doubt the guy fleeing on foot took much in the way of household possessions with him.

    Waiting for the ‘professionals to handle it’ could have had a worse outcome.

  15. avatar damion says:

    its called private property – specifically his – and he can react to any intruder as he sees fit, that has trespassed. Why are the police somehow magically imbued with special capabilities to confront “intruders” (most LEA’s do not do an adequate training for “officer’s” many are no more or less marksmen than the regular American (especially in NYC, over 80% of NYPD Officers have never even seen a gun prior to the Academy) and multiple studies have identified that the police are not as nearly well trained in firearms as they would have you believe (again NYPD gets 2 weeks of firearms training – http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/RAND_FirearmEvaluation.pdf).

    So why should he have to wait (if he’s willing to risk his own well being instead of others i.e. Police).

    1. avatar The Punisher says:

      We’ve all been indoctrinated since birth to believe that others, e.g. police, teachers, firemen, government, etc. are there to protect and guide us and have all authority to do so.

      This has created a populace that not only does not know how to do things for themselves, but is actively told that they should not and could not do so.

      It’s so sad it’s beyond pathetic.

  16. avatar Hoyden says:

    Growl “get off my lawn”. Shuck your 870, or lock and load your M1 (M14?).
    Torch the house. Shoot anyone you don’t know who flees the fire.
    No one will ever rob you (or step on your lawn dwarves) again.

    1. avatar MeRp says:

      Scorched Earth approach. Seems legit!

  17. avatar Chris says:

    “the homeowner will likely avoid charges if he is able to show he felt his life was in jeopardy when he encountered the suspect.”

    Not even required, Florida has a stand your ground law that we should all be familiar with by now thanks to Zimmerman.

    1. avatar Leroy Jenkins says:

      How did that work out for Zimmerman. He started as a mamma’s boy loser, now he’s a broke ass, infamous, momma’s boy loser. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it smart. Ignore right or wrong, what’s the real world practical implications.

      Personally, if my dogs were in there, that equals my family, so yeah, I’d go in, and if they hurt my dogs, they will not be leaving.

  18. avatar EdEarl says:

    I’d question Obama, the suspect at large sounds like he could be Obama’s son. 🙂

  19. avatar dwb says:

    “crime and safety analyst Mark Baughman” seems like an ignorant anti-gun media type. He is not correct on the law, and “let the thieves take it” is the typical attitude of the anti-self defense media and political class. Yes, if I charge into my house while there is a burglary in progress, I may get shot. Funny thing is, my house, my rules, my choice. Even in deep blue states, one does not need to retreat from one’s own home.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Those self-anointed experts really burn my biscuits.

      Let the thieves take it? Uh, yeah…no. Everything in my house is there because I really, really want it.

      I don’t have many things of monetary value (just my guns, a 14-year-old vehicle in great shape, a couple of wedding rings, and the usual modest assortment of electronic doodads). I’m hanging onto the lower edge of middle-class by my fingernails. I worked hard to get those things, and they’re not easily replaceable.

      So, for all those reasons, if I catch some bastard in the act of taking my stuff, he’s gonna have to fight for it. Because that stuff’s MINE, and I’ll be damned if I just sit there and watch some scumbag make off with it.

      That said, there could be many different ways to deal with a situation like this one — as several here have pointed out already — and I surely would rather take a more cerebral, less violent route if given the chance. I don’t want to shoot anybody or risk getting shot myself, but if a guy’s determined to make that necessary, I’ll oblige.

  20. avatar Buzz Word says:

    I’ve stopped two late-night home invasions during the past two years with my Ruger AR-556, one time they smashed in through the dining room window, the other time three thugs in hoodies went for the basement entrance. The mere appearance of a gun caused them to flee into the night faster than a pack of jackrabbits. Both times, there was an aging parent in the house, sound asleep. Cameras, physical barriers and motion sensors gave me the time to react. At 2:30 a.m., when the second attempt occurred, I was fortunate to have a reliable alert system to give myself a fighting chance. The police arrived about twenty minutes after the second intrusion attempt, which is not quick enough to make a difference. The harsh reality is, against violent crime, you are truly on your own.

  21. avatar TweetyRex says:

    True story: I’ve been a gun guy for about 45 years now. I once worked for a flaming Liberal who was always on me about how bad guns are. One day he arrives at work, corners me and says “Ralph, I need to buy a shotgun”. I couldn’t believe my ears! I asked him why and he said “Two guys broke into my house and stole my stereo”. I played back to him some of his older comments about the value of stuff verses a human life, and he says “You don’t understand, it was MY STEREO!!” A new Conservative really is a Liberal who just got robbed!

  22. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Don’t forget that this was just a burglar alarm going off
    These things get tripped all the time by pets, thunder, even strong winds shaking the windows
    The police will give it a low priority and will not rush to a likely false alarm
    One thing everyone is missing is that here in Florida you cannot shoot at a fleeing burglar
    If the burglar ran to his car and the homeowner shot the criminal while he was attempting to flee, then the homeowner is liable for manslaughter

  23. avatar GW says:

    If we can’t protect our house family and property why live on this earth? It sends a clear msg to bad guys if u steal by lawn mower,horse or car u get shot!

    You have no duty to retreat in ur own house.

    Life, Liberty and Property

    Both the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution provide “due process” protections for “life, liberty and property.”

  24. avatar Specialist38 says:

    While i dont think i would go in if my family wasnt home, i wont fault the homeowner for going in.

    Its his house, he can go in of he wants.

  25. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    The only thing wrong with this incident is that one of the home invaders/burglars got away.

  26. avatar snipe4fun says:

    If you have a home security system, and are planning on providing your own armed response to burglary alarm activations, then you should make sure you specify to your alarm company that you want them to change their dispatch procedure for your account to just call the people on your phone list rather than the local police dept.

  27. avatar Bob999 says:

    Most burglary alarm activations reported to the police are false alarms. Often, police put them at the bottom of the queue and when found to be false, police will usually fine the home owner. Typically, an RP – Responsible Party – is notified of the alarm by the alarm company, and he/she is expected to respond to the location. They almost always get there before the police. If the RP sees signs of an actual alarm, a call to 911 will get a quicker response, and it is probably wise to wait before entry Often, the RP responds, opens the door, resets the alarm, looks around a bit, and then calls the alarm company to cancel the 911 call if not signs of breaking. They are motivated to cancel before the police fine them. Anyhow, Because most alarm systems are crap, RPs and police treat these calls as nuisance calls, and are often surprised if they are actual burglaries. The point is that it is normal for the RP to enter the premise before the police.

  28. avatar Maxi says:

    Pro tip: if burglar dead, burglar no burgly burgly and also no assaulty assaulty you, your wife or kids. And if lawyer good, also no troubly troubly for you. That simple.

  29. avatar Aaron says:

    In addition to the risk of having a gunfight with the burglars, there is the risk that responding cops are sometimes jumpy and may shoot an armed homeowner.

    It’s happened many times.

  30. avatar herb gerber says:

    black male in his 30s? big difference between some kids making a deadly mistake and a hardened felon with nothing to lose wanting some white pussy.

    SEND THEM APES BACK TO AFRICA

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      That you are allowed to post such unAmerican and unChristian drivel is a very black mark against this site.

      1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        UnChristian? Really? Exactly what was unChristian? If you’re referring to the part about “APES BACK TO AFRICA”, he’s 100% correct! The Bible distinctly tells us that the negro is NOT from the ancestry of man! They are behemah/beast of the field! But YOU insist on accepting the doctrines of satan through the ignorant teachings of man! Negros were never integrated into ANY other (white/asian) society until (500 years ago) when the lie of evolution established them as being part of the ancestry of humans, which they are not!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JoRgS8bJfc
        http://fathersmanifesto.net/behemah.htm

        God said that in the end lf times, behemah would rape, murder, create chaos, and try to be equal to man – sound familiar?

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          I read all of your material, and all I can say is it’s rubbish. It shows incredible ignorance of both Hebrew and English grammar — embarrassing ignorance for people claiming to be men of the cloth.

          Luke speaks of a black prophet, one Simon. Stephen witnessed to a black man and baptized him.

          I don’t have time to try to figure out where this exaltation of ignorance arose — all I can do is what I am bound to, and rebuke it in the name of Jesus.

    2. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

      You have to catch them first, try baiting them, if you don’t have a boom-box to place in the trap try “crack” I hear it makes up 90% of their daily diet.

  31. avatar johnny108 says:

    Fuck that!
    If you are in my house, stealing my stuff- I reserve the right to blow a hole in your ass, then file a “mental hardship”
    civil lawsuit, in order to forestall your shitty families’ inevitable civil wrongful death suit.
    Don’t wanna get shot?
    Stay the fuck out of my house!

  32. avatar Ray Glover says:

    Whether or not the home owner did the smart thing is debatable only if one possesses all the knowledge of the situation.
    One can create a great number of scenarios of what might have been taking place and what might have happened.

    Whether the homeowner was within his Natural Right to protect life and property is not debatable.
    His home was broken into by thieves. He had every right to protect his property, no matter what value others might place upon it.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email