The early bird catches the…burglar? At around 7:00am on July 11, Thomas Kraft walked into his store, Kraft 5 Star Muffler in Des Moines, to discover that a burglar had nearly finished loading up a truck with a selection of his commercial wares.
“There’d been some forced entry into the business and that there was a pickup truck parked in the service bay that had been loaded with property,” said Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek. … “That pickup truck is stolen out of Minnesota. We believe the suspect is also from the Minnesota area.”
Kraft and the burglar, later identified as 37-year-old Amund Benjamin Haarstad (below), had a confrontation before Kraft pulled his gun and fatally shot the intruder. Haarstad had already been convicted of felony-level assault.
Thanks to Iowa’s 2017 Stand Your Ground law, Kraft isn’t currently being charged with any crime.
As Parizek dryly warns prospective criminals: “You never know when you’re going to pick the wrong business and you’re going to encounter the wrong business that’s got your heels dug in. They’re going to protect their property and themselves, and this is the type of thing that may happen.”
A lesson Haarstad learned the hard way.