Coos Bay, Oregon — Two men were arrested after being held at gun point by a homeowner on January 4, 2020. Coos County Sheriff responded to a burglary in progress as the wife reported the incident.
She explained to the police that her husband found two men inside their detached garage, ordered them outside, and held them at gun point as they sat down on the ground.
At least one of them admitted to also trying to break into their home, but were prevented from doing so by a properly locked door. When they were denied entrance to the home, they kicked in the door to the garage, where one of the alleged thieves had stolen a knife.
He said he was trying to find other items to steal, but couldn’t see well as he didn’t have a flashlight.
The other man had a gun that police found inside the garage, and was also reportedly in possession of a controlled substance.
The men were brought to jail where they’re being charged with attempted burglary 1, burglary 2, unlawful use of a weapon, criminal mischief, and conspiracy.
This serves as a reminder to us all that a locked door will deter criminals, at least some of the time.
Also, while this ended well, it could have gone very differently had the suspects been unwilling to comply with the homeowner’s orders. They were both armed–one with a knife he found in the garage, the other with a gun.
While we don’t know if the gun was loaded or not, if he chose to use the gun it may have been detrimental to the homeowner, who had willingly gone to investigate the break-in.
(Kind of on/off topic, is an article we wrote in detail about whether or not it’s a good idea to draw your gun when you’re staring down the barrel yourself, and recommend reading it.)
Finally, rarely is it ever a good idea to go looking for trouble, investigating things yourself. Again, thankfully, the alleged criminals didn’t use their own force here when the homeowner confronted them–but they could have.
To make matters potentially more difficult, both men had weapons that the homeowner didn’t know about. And, at least some states and localities could have a field day with you if you use deadly force when your life is not in danger.
And yes, pointing a gun at someone is considered by many district attorneys as deadly force.
Therefore, the best course of action when your life is not in immediate danger, as in someone broke into your garage while you’re in your home, is to call the police. Very rarely is it a good idea to go looking for trouble when you have no idea what’s on the other side of that broken in door.
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