Self defense yard outside house robbery
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By Brandon Curtis

I will continue to say this until I’m blue in the face. If you’re inside your home and someone is, for example, breaking into your car outside, stay in that safe space and call the police.

Below is a home surveillance video that shows an armed home owner going out to confront two suspected burglars. He was shot in the leg for his trouble and was reportedly in pretty serious condition.

That car can be replaced. Your leg or your life cannot. Sometimes we need to swallow our pride and let police handle these types of situations. It’s just not worth your life. It’s as simple as that.


This post originally appeared at Concealed Nation and is reprinted here with permission. 

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    • 100% Correct. Be a cowboy, 3 possible outcomes, the thieves run away or are captured, You are injured or killed. Finally you act and end up in jail, wondering why you didn’t just call the same cops who subsequently arrested you.

      • Best case scenario… Call police, turn on the strobes, and hit them with the weed sprayer you loaded capsaicin powder that you leave near an upstairs window. Normal people keep a weed sprayer filled with liquid burn right?

  1. Sometimes a sticker/sign warning of surveillance on the premises usually dissuades these types I found.

    Also not leaving anything in the car, locking it, disabling the fuel pump with some DIY setup or pulled fuse and a hard wired GPS tracker if all else fails.

    Make simple theft as hard and inconvenient as possible.

    • A sign warning of surveillance via rifle scope does kinda make them think twice especially when its in front of a bigger sign saying “if you made it this far you have 0 seconds to live.”

    • “… disabling the fuel pump with some DIY setup or pulled fuse…”

      I’ve never considered that, neat idea!

      A simple switch hidden away but within easy reach…

    • My dad always had a hidden kill switch on his trucks. turn off ignition, flip hidden switch, be comforted in the fact that the truck wasn’t going anywhere. Not sure if he wired it to the ignition, a pump, or what… but it sure made him feel a lot better knowing that when he drove us cross country for 3-4weeks at a time that even if everything we had in the truck was stolen, we still had a truck with a camper on it to shelter in. Also, travelers checks and credit cards in mom’s purse that she took with her everywhere for alternative funds if the truck’s hidden cash stashes were robbed.

  2. So what do you do (besides move) when in an area where the police won’t respond, or won’t do anything, and your sole source of income (new to you work truck and tools), not covered by insurance, is being stolen?

    I know, I know. Don’t put yourself in that situation. It can be argued the thief is in the wrong.

    This “it’s only property” crap is the Antifa dream argument to validate theft and destruction. Well guess what? Depriving people of the means to make money, and taking property they have expended their life on, is arguably the same as taking their life. There is a reason livestock thieves were shot.

    And ultimately, the way things are going, allowing thieves to steal your livelihood increases your odds of sucking off the government teat. That what we want?

    • Prudence when dealing with armed thieves is one thing. “It’s only property, don’t defend it” is another thing entirely.

      The guy in this case was entirely within his rights — or should’ve been — in going outside and confronting those people. He just didn’t do it very well.

      But “it’s only property…”?

      That property is several month’s worth of income…weeks, months, maybe years of MY LIFE that I spent honestly earning and building whatever big-ticket item it is these criminals want to take unjustly. That thing you call “only property” could be the key to supporting my family. It could even be my home itself.

      How much of my life do they get to steal before I’m allowed to do something about it when I see them in the act? 10 percent? 20? 60?

      What makes them so special that they should be allowed to take what they want and I have to just let them do it? That’s true privilege, right there.

      If all the tactical and legal advantages lie with the aggressor, maybe I need to quit being such a chump, quit my middle-class job, and join the ranks of the privileged thieves. At the very least, it’d be a hell of a side hustle.

      • Thank you. You have stated what I have said for years. Yes its only property, but it is MY property that I have worked over half a century to acquire. It is too late for me to start over and have you ever seen a cop care about property crimes?

        • I don’t buy the “only property” argument either. It’s bs. Your work is your blood and sweat and if they can just take that they can take anything. You don’t get the time back from the missed sports practices or whatever you missed while slaving away for the almighty dollar.

    • Agree 100%. At one time horse theft was a hanging offense because we knew that it was more than just property. Families needed it to survive. It was their only access to food and supplies.

      Our laws need to recognize that reality. Loss of a vehicle can be devastating to low income families. The impact can effect them for decades. No one has a right to endanger my family’s future or decrease their quality of life like that.

      When I lived in a typical neighborhood, I would probably have agreed with this article. Now I have more than just a car & house. I have sheds, other vehicles, etc on my property. My belongings are not behind a single locked door. So yeah, I wil confront them as necessary.

      • Right? If someone steals my truck, I can’t get to work anymore. Without that income, not only can I not “just replace it”, but I lose my job, my home… Maybe more than that.

        I’ll defend it like I’d defend my life, because in a way, it is.

      • There is a case in the official reports of the California Supreme Court from the mid-nineteenth century where a thief stole a barrel of flour worth in excess of $200. He was found guilty by jury on Wednesday, sentenced to be hung and was hung the Saturday by the local sheriff (it happened right here in River City) The CA Supremes didn’t find any problem with the trial and sentence (my, how times have changed!) although they did comment that the carrying out of the sentence was a mite hasty, it still was within the law.

        The theft of a barrel of flour might have been a death sentence for a poor family in the mid-19th century. The same with the theft of a horse. Today, while the chances of such a theft being a death sentence for the victims, it certainly, as pointed Ing, it might well be the means of livelihood of family and force them to loose everything they have worked for for decades.

        The only problem I have is the tactical approach the homeowner didn’t take. He is wearing a white t-shirt and no shoes from what I see in the video Bad moves. If he is going to do Joe Tactical, he needs to don more appropriate attire for the task at hand. A black hood, boots, and in these times, body armor which is getting cheaper by the month, wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    • What are you going to do when you go out there? In most jurisdictions, defense of property is not justification for use of lethal force. You could wind up with a more serious felony charge than the thief, such as menacing, assault, or homicide. Yelling or using a camera’s speaker and saying you’ve called the police and are armed would probably be as effective.

      • Here is the law in my state:

        Any person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect.

        • How much self defense you can use varies from state to state. What applies in your state may not apply in another state. It is well to be aware of just what you can do in the state in which you live. Any advice about what can be done is misguided as there are at least 50 different versions of what one can do in defense of property — forgot to include Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa and any other little bits and pieces around the world but claimed by the U.S.

    • “Well guess what? Depriving people of the means to make money, and taking property they have expended their life on, is arguably the same as taking their life.”

      correct. that has always been the legal reasoning.

  3. Correia isn’t wrong – but he’s not entirely right either. I can’t accept that the best course of action is to cower in fear, waiting for the cops in every instance. I do go outside to investigate strange noises. The strange noises have been big cats, raccoons, dogs, and sometimes, people. There’s no point in calling the law about big cats, because the state says we have no big cats. Raccoons and dogs? Forget it. People? Well, the cops are several minutes away, in the best of circumstances. They took over 1/2 hour to show up the one time I reported shots fired. In half an hour, a company of soldiers can deploy, overrun my home, and bury the evidence for crying out loud. My chances are better if I step outside, and recognize the danger, and take some sort of steps to hide, if nothing else. I’m a sitting target inside – the bad guys know what they want, and what they intend, and I remain ignorant of what is going on.

    • There are different thoughts on this, obviously. The typical gun owner thought is “i’ma gonna grab the gun and go out there”

      But, you aren’t cowering in fear by staying inside if someone is trying to steal your car. You are being smart. You don’t know how many are actually out there, maybe the set up an ambush in case you do come out and you can’t see those on surveillance because of where the camera is aimed/located. If its gang related activity they usually travel in packs of 4 – 7 and there are more of them around. So if its like that and you go out you are walking right into an outnumbered and out gunned situation. At least if you wait until they enter the home, if they do, you have the advantage of gaining element of surprise by firing on them as they try to enter. You choose the battlefield, don’t let them do it for you and if they are outside stealing the car it could be you are stepping into their battle field.

      In gang related car theft activity, a tactic that is becoming more frequent is ambush – a couple steal and the rest lay in wait in case the owner comes out, If the owner or someone comes out of the house they ambush them and then enter the home after that with the knowledge that the “defender” of the car is out of the fight and its less likely they will encounter resistance inside.

      The average person time to perceive a threat and react to the threat ranges between .7 seconds to 1.5 seconds.

      The average time it takes for a prepared bad guy to pull the trigger is 31/100’s of a second.

      The average person when specifically looking for a specific person or threat or thing will not notice other persons or threats or things in any significant manner.

      The average person looking for a specific person or threat or thing will overlook all others naturally.

      • ans besides, you don’t really need to go outside if you can have a view of the car and them from inside.

        In the video notice the view is from inside the garage. Its likely our now-leg-shot defender could have cracked open the door leading into the garage from the house and gotten shots off and still had some cover. Instead, this idiot runs outside into the open and gets shot – stupid.

        • Plus this idiot is not even at the car to protect it, instead (it looks like) he exited the house from the (possibly) front (of the house) door and is coming from the front yard trying to engage the thieves as they run away and have already left the immediate area by the time he gets around to the car. He’s exposed him self to hostile fire and pays for his stupidity in doing this.

          A case of stupid complicated by dumb ass.

  4. Below is a home surveillance video that shows an armed home owner going out to confront two suspected burglars

    You do yours and I’ll do mine… Don’t just blow out the door, guy had a surveillance camera and plenty of time to assess the situation and yet he just ran out in the middle of them… I do agree that IF you are not prepared, trained, already have a plan then yes let them destroy or steal your vehicle while you wait for a cop to show up who will then probably sit and watch them if they are still there…

  5. As long as well are paying the Police, then take advantage of that free service and don’t risk your life for property. If someone is going to be killed or seriously injured, that’s a different story.

    In Phoenix, where everyone has guns, one of the criminal tactics is to go out at 2am and ring the door bells of homes they believe are vacant for the Hot Summer. If the lights go on, then you know that’s not a house to burglarize, as you may actually die in the process.

    When I first moved to Phoenix, they pulled that shit on me. I turned on the porch light and looked outside. I saw nothing and called the Sheriff, who responded when they had a chance. Told them what happened and the criminal tactics, that they never heard before. They increased patrols and no one in my neighborhood was burglarized.

    If I was dumb enough to go outside and track down the miscreants, what were my options, arrest them for ringing a door bell and waking me up. What if they had an armed adult, backing them up. Calling the professional was the smart move.

    Now if they were trying to break-in my house, completely different story.

    Be smart, stay alive.

    • In my sleepy little college town a few years ago, there was a bunch of robberies following exactly that tactic — including two home invasions when the residents just decided not to answer the door. A home only 3 blocks away (in a significantly newer/more expensive neighborhood than mine) was robbed. It can happen anywhere.

      The perpetrators came from across the state expressly for that purpose, figuring (correctly) that they’d find easy targets out here in middle-of-nowhere-ville. What they didn’t figure was that in a town with only 15k permanent residents (double that when college is in session), they weren’t going to be anonymous for long. They were caught when they tried to use a WalMart gift card they had stolen from someone the clerk knew.

      I’m glad for my sake and the kids’ sake that those pieces of shit never tried our house. We don’t answer the door for people we don’t already know. And it’s a very rare occasion where there isn’t at least one person at home. And we are always armed.

  6. My wife depends on me for safety, no one will get past me. That being said, POSs can take the cars and anything else outside.

    I decided a long time ago what would be the outcome for any POS breaking in.

    • ..and really everyone’s situation and decisions should hinge on some outside factors.

      Is the local DA or whatever that position is called sympathetic to people trying to live their lives undisturbed? Or are they a SJW intent on sticking it to anyone who would dare defend themselves?
      Look at the bail set for Mr.156mph Rugg vs Kyle..approx $150,000 vs 2 million. Bail should not be punishment.

      Some situations demand that one goes outside and deal with the issue if deputies are 30min out. Imagine your child or loved one has a medical condition and you need to be able to transport to hospital because both ambulances of the local company are on a call and no air transport avail. That’s not my situation but it could be someone’s.

      • My wife was going to take me to the ER one winter day. She started the car and backed it out of the garage to let the motor run and warm it up without sending exhaust into the house.

        I had some trouble walking from my bedroom and took longer than my wife thought it should, so she left the engine running and went inside to help me to the car. In the two minutes she left the car untended, a punk teenager stole it. We had to call for an ambulance, and while I was being examined and ordered to be admitted, my wife was dealing with a police report. It was quite traumatic for her, but I was so gorked that I had no idea.

        I would end up in the hospital for several weeks, and my wife had no transportation to get to and from work or to come visit me in the hospital. It is a huge loss, and not “just property.”

    • That’s the way to think. Its a car sitting in your drive way, you and/or your family are not in it, so its not worth your life or the life of your family to run outside to protect the empty car and take the chance of getting shot and killed.

      What happens when you run outside to protect your car and end up getting shot…who is going to defend your family then when they decide to go ahead and come into the house also to take care of any possible witnesses? If its a gang theft, gangs tend to not want witnesses left behind for murders they commit and they will most likely outnumber and out gun you, and when you are down they are going to enter your home and take care of any possible witnesses to the murder they just committed by killing you when you ran outside to protect a car.

      • that being said…. if you can get some shots in the bad guys from inside the house (e.g. window, crack open the garage entry door from the house, etc…) okidokee then. But running outside, into the open, not knowing how many are really out there, risking ambush, and risking getting shot because you are in the open – no no no, just no no no, it is not worth it for a car.

  7. As with pretty much everything else in life, blanket statements about protecting your property and self-defense are not good advice.

    In the unfortunate event that someone is trying to steal a big-ticket item (like a car, boat, or trailer) from your property, it may or may not be wise to go outside and defend your property. It depends on many variables.

    • Make things hard to steal or not worth the effort. Park the vehicle off the street if possible. Behind a gate or in a garage even better.

      Have an immobilizer kit installed. Probably cheaper than car insurance.

      Remove things that could be considered valuable. Don’t leave loose change on display. Your car could be broken into with hundreds of dollars damage for a few dollars in loose change left in the center console.

      Check your doors are locked, even with Central locking. Sometimes the servos fail.

      Some of the above are lessons I’ve learned, and some the hard way.

    • What are some factors/situations where it is unwise to confront thieves outside your home? When it is dark outside, you have poor or no outdoor lighting, you have no backup, you have a minimal firearm platform (e.g. a 5-shot snub-nosed revolver), and especially when you have poor tactics.

      What are some factors/situations where it may be wise to confront thieves outside your home? When it is daylight or you have excellent outdoor lighting, you have backup, you have a substantial firearm platform (e.g. shotgun with 8 shells, AR-15 rifle with 30-round magazine, semi-auto handgun with 20 round extended magazine), and you have good tactics.

      That last bit–having good tactics–is probably most critical of all. Bursting out your front door without any idea how many thieves are outside and without any sort of cover or concealment is terrible tactics.

      The one time that I felt compelled to check the situation outside my home:
      I have flood lights which light up my entire yard.
      I discretely peered out three different windows to the front of my home.
      I discretely peered out of two different windows out of the back of my home.
      I slowly and quietly slipped out of my back door.
      I sprinted away from my home to a relatively dark part of my back yard.
      Then I worked my way around my neighbor’s side yard adjacent to my side yard toward the front of my home, using cover and concealment as I worked my way toward my front yard.
      I frequently paused for a few seconds to listen for any activity or voices.
      Finally, I had a substantial firearm platform (semi-auto handgun with 15-round magazine and a spare 15-round magazine).

      Fortunately it turned out to be animal activity and not thieves. Had there been thieves, however, my tactic of somewhat slowly circling around to the front of my home, frequently pausing to observe and listen, and using cover and concealment, would have provided me with much better information to weigh whether or not it would have been wise to confront them.

      • Don’t forget to consider the neighbor. Is he sneaking around too? Hopefully he has the same awareness to identify his target that you have. Otherwise you both plug each other and possum gets a double.

        • On one side, the neighbor does not actually live there. (Long story.) On the other side, the neighbor is oblivious to the world and does not own firearms. (To his credit, though, he enthusiastically supports the Second Amendment and lets me hunt on his mom’s property!)

    • True words. A sensible post. Every state is different. Each of us are different. Every situation is different. There is no one, correct answer to this situation.

  8. So you lose your car to thieves. How much will a replacement cost? Reduce that by your comprehensive insurance payoff. Compare it to what a lawyer will charge for handling your case even if the prosecutor goes along with self defense. Much as it pisses you off to let yourself be victimized, it will be cheaper to lose the car.

    • It might cost your job, your home, and your family’s home. You might not be able to afford comprehensive coverage. A lawyer isn’t going to be expensive because you never had any money to pay a lawyer in the first place.
      For a whole, whole lot of people, that vehicle theft might be what puts your family on the street.

  9. Not always so cut and dry. Where I live in VT, IF the troopers are even available, then they can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes away.

  10. Get all of the useless crap out of your garage and park your vehicle in there. Use the garage door stopper to eliminate the chance the thieves will stick a rod over the top of the garage door to disengage the opener. Lock the door between your garage and your house.

    And don’t leave guns in your car.

  11. Going outside to confront multiple criminals to defend property is a risky bet.
    However these days you never know for certain what the mindset of these
    criminals might be. Maybe they want your car…..or maybe they want to burn
    your house down…with you in it. Best have a practiced plan for dealing with
    such possibilities. Life isn’t nearly as simple as it once was.

  12. What you do depends on what state you live in. The laws vary on what force you can use to protect property – i was surprised listening to the Rittenhouse trial that everyone seemed to concede that you cannot use force to protect property. In most states you can use non-lethal force to protect property and if the bad guys react with force you can escalate.


  13. If you are neither trained nor capable, don’t go out.

    I am both, and 17 minutes from a police response. They will arrive after I have dealt with the situation. It will be up to the perps whether they are peacefully or piecefully facing down on the gravel.



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