Have You Had Your Coffee Yet? 67-Year-Old Business Owner Shoots Burglar at 7:00 A.M.

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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.


  1. avatar Big Tuck says:

    Haha another one bites the dust!

  2. avatar GaPharmD says:

    Look for Haarstad in the statistics of gun violence victims….. soon to come!

  3. avatar ColoradoKid says:

    Ah yes, going after soft targets for those highly desirable big ticket items….hmmmm, shocks and mufflers?? Stealers gotta steal…whatever they can get their hands on I suppose.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Tools. Tools are very expensive and bring a pretty penny, being virtually untraceable. Notice the cars? I bet this owner has an unusual set of mufflers for foreign cars in that shop.

      1. avatar ColoradoKid says:

        Oh yeah, tools. Brain dead I am.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Tools are very high on thieves’ list of things to boost and then sell.

        One roll-around toolbox could contain $10K+ in tools – easily.

      3. avatar Dave in PTC says:

        And catalytic converters.

    2. avatar Wayne Clark says:

      If you read the article, it said they had a scuffle before Mr. Kraft pulled his pistol. Without further details, we don’t know how involved that “scuffle” was. Being 63 myself, I wouldn’t want to depend on my physical capabilities to defend against someone 30 years my junior, so if he wouldn’t leave willingly, he would leave the best way I could get him to. If that meant lethal force, so be it. His choice. What’s difficult about that to understand?
      I’m too old & fat to fight.

      1. avatar Willis Smith says:

        Me too!

        1. avatar JimmyD says:

          Me three.

  4. avatar HP says:

    I love a happy ending!

    1. avatar Bob999 says:

      Me too. I am getting a little misty myself. 🙂

      1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

        Someone pass me a tissue. I’ve got a case of the vapors coming upon me.

        1. avatar William says:

          Me too boo hoo, my eyes are tearing up,whoopi

  5. avatar Just Sayin says:

    🎶thump thump thump… Another one bites the dust…🎶

    I’m sure it’s hotter than an exhaust manifold where he went.

    A stealer’s gotta steal, and this loser done lost.

  6. avatar Adub says:

    As a resident of MN, I thank Mr. Kraft for taking out the trash.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    67 yo. We do not fuck around. And a jury will take sympathy on us. Everybody has a grandpa.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Good for Mr. Kraft! He saved himself and his goods, and also saved the world a sh!tload of trouble from the thieving mook he shot.

    As an aside, I’m more likely to shoot someone before I’ve had my coffee. I’m a mean [email protected] before I’ve tanked up, and just slightly more mellow afterwards.

  9. avatar Ken says:

    From one of the news reports: “Parizek said police have no idea why Haarstad was in the area or why he stopped at the business.” I roll my eyes and have to laugh when they say something like this. Here’s a thought: He was in the area to steal shit and the business looked like a good place to do just that.

    1. avatar William says:

      He sounds like a democrat

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    Just think of the cost savings.

  11. avatar Chris F. says:

    I’m a local to the area, and WHO radio news stated that an ananomous sister of this guy wants charges pressed for murder. Uh, whatever

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yeah, I read an article with some quotes from the dead tweeker’s sister. The stupid doesn’t fall far from the tree in that family.

  12. avatar Rich Jansen says:

    I´m a neighbor of that Business. just one block. I know Mr Kraft and he is a nice person. I guess he just was protecting his Business. Haarstar had a big criminal record.

  13. avatar The Rookie says:

    Reading the details of his prior assault conviction, it sounds like this guy was a hardcore tweeker (methhead). Be interesting to read the toxicology report from the coroner.

  14. avatar Kap says:

    Being an old Veteran and a retired Heavy Equipment Mechanic I agree with a couple of the previous statements, I’m to old, Fat and brittle to go too fisticuffs!
    When the thief took tools he signed his own death warrant! he won the crematorium, when I quit mechanics, my tool box had over $20k tools in it , have since sold it, Name brand tools are quick movers, as a Minnesotan thanks for trash removal!

  15. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “Thanks to Iowa’s 2017 Stand Your Ground law, Kraft isn’t currently being charged with any crime.”

    “Thanks to Iowa’s 2017 law reigning in over-zealous prosecutors from inventing an ill-defined “duty to retreat”, the man who survived having his business violated and person assaulted by an out-of-state career opportunist,will not have his life ruined some more in a real-life version of Kafka’s The Trial.

    tl:dr: In Iowa, if you defend yourself, you don’t hav platoons of government schysters second-guessing you for the rest of your life … the life you had to save for yourself in an instant.”

    There, FIFY.

  16. “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.

    In general, few lessons of any kind are learned
    by someone engaged in dying.

    1. avatar Charles Parker says:

      Perhaps some who are considering a life of crime will rethink their options, eh?

  17. avatar molonlabe28 says:

    Very nice shooting, sir.

  18. avatar William says:

    Great job Mr. Kraft. Just maybe some of the other thieves will learn not to steal.

  19. avatar Enufistoomuch says:

    Mr. Kraft did alright. Sure hope the noise of the gun in that closed space did not cause him any hearing loss.

    Now that would be a tragedy!

  20. avatar Curtis says:

    Just think of it as the Criminal Early Retirement Plan. Copper plated chest medals presented at 1600 felt per second. Granite plaque to be erected to honor this Dirt Bags life in the cemetery of his sisters choice.
    She should be relieved she won’t have to scrounge up bail money for him anymore.

  21. avatar john hammack says:

    I got thrown in jail for this last year, lost my job as a federal cop, lost my clearance to get another cop job, been living off food stamps and a little unemployment money. They took all my legal guns, bullets, holsters. I paid $10,000 to get a lawyer to stay out of jail.

    I didn’t even point the gun at the shitbag. I just told him to get out.

  22. avatar james says:

    Kill or be killed.
    Thanks to Iowa’s 2017 Stand Your Ground law, Kraft isn’t currently being charged with any crime.

  23. avatar james says:

    The man forfeited his life by making the decision to become a criminal and attack the owner of the business.

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