Thieves Held At Gunpoint By Armed Citizen Until Police Arrive
GAINESVILLE, TEXAS — An electrician made a bone-headed decision to forget to lock up his truck at night. When he came out in the morning to see his truck’s compartments were open, he already knew what happened. He had been robbed.
According to the electrician in his interview with KXII 12, he had lost upwards of $20,000 worth of equipment right from outside his own home. He was devastated. When he went to take a drive to clear his head, he saw something peculiar, though — three men walking around with his tool bags.
It didn’t take long for a light to dawn in his head and he realized that these men, mere blocks from his own home, were likely the culprits. Probably feeling a mixture of emotions, he decided it was time to take matters into his own hands.
“I hit my brakes,” the concealed carrier recalled. “They fell right in line like they were guilty. I hit my reverse lights, and it just played out. I pulled in with my .45, and I got their attention.”
He then got out and kept them all in line. It seemed like the thieves pretty much surrendered without much protest. After all, this was the same dude from the same truck they had robbed earlier and now he was on their proverbial doorstep with a loaded handgun.
“‘Bring me my tools, and you can go ahead and have a seat. Your rescue is on the way,'” Jackson recalled telling the thieves. “And I meant it. I didn’t have any intention on using it. I just wanted their attention.”
While this is a situation that could have easily been misinterpreted in other states, according to Texas law, he was completely in the clear.
“We have been familiar with the subjects in the past,” said Chief Phillips. “We’re not looking at any charges with the displaying of the firearm. He was lawfully making an attempt to recover his property.”
Now let’s just say first and foremost: we’re happy this situation was able to be handled in such a way without the use of deadly force. Anyone who works with their hands for a living knows how valuable his tools are. That’s literally your life’s work getting stolen out from under you.
That said, this was an extremely risky way of going about it. It’s cool in Texas, apparently, but it may likely get you into extremely hot, boiling legal water if you try this in other states.
The other scenario, which would likely have been heartbreaking, would have been for him to contact authorities and have them intervene. By the time law enforcement arrived, the chances of those tools still being in possession of those criminals would be slim to none. Recovery of stolen goods is difficult at best because the legal system would then confiscate those tools under civil forfeiture — effectively nullifying the usefulness of requesting law enforcement in the first place.
Law enforcement is there to enforce laws. I know that sounds self-explanatory but there can be a major misconception that they can somehow bend the rules or make special exceptions. In most cases, they can’t. When they recover stolen property, it becomes evidence for a criminal proceeding which may be months or even years away.
This guy got extremely lucky. We’re not going to ever recommend that same course of action but it worked for him. Lock up your tools, carry everyday.