Fugitives Southwest States

Suspected Car Thief Points Gun Caught on Camera

ID #17-398

San Antonio – Home security footage of a car thief in the dark of night pointing a gun at a home has neighbors looking inward, asking themselves how they would react.

A motion-detecting camera alerted a homeowner to the thief in his driveway. The thief calmly checks door handles to see if vehicles and unlocked. He’s wearing rubber gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints.

“It had a very sobering effect on me,” says the homeowner’s friend Jack Burton.

He says his friend called 911 and confronted the bad guy.

“He runs and gets his shotgun,” Burton says. “Little did he know that this burglar is carrying a weapon.”

The video shows the moment when the thief hears a noise. With a t-shirt pulled over his face, he draws a gun.

“The thing that got me, especially if you carry, you’re all gung-ho that if someone is out there and you see them in your front yard, you’re going to shoot them,” Burton says. “And you’ve just got to remember that for every action, there’s a reaction. And if you’re lobbing lead, he’s lobbing lead back at you.”

We took the video to LoneStar Handgun and asked licensed instructor Josh Felker to explain your rights.

“Texas law allows you to use up to deadly force, if you find it necessary, for criminal mischief at nighttime,” Felker says. “Obviously, he’s probing cars – criminal mischief at nighttime.”

And, the thief is armed. But Felker does caution your fate could still be in the hands of a grand jury.

“What I always tell people is this,” he says. “When you’re looking at deadly force, ask yourself two questions: is this thing worth dying for; or this worth going to jail for, for the rest of my life?”

The answer is different for everyone. For some people, it’s turning on all the lights in the house to scare off the thief. For others, it’s waiting for the police.

“You’ve got to appreciate a police officer who makes these decisions in split seconds,” Burton says.
Burton, a gun owner, was surprised by his reaction to the video.

“My friend lived to see another day. He didn’t fire on him,” he says. “I think he did the right thing.”

If you know the name of this suspect.

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