Posted by sn04
What are the laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms on car buglars, being that it is different from protection of life and home? Also, what is the best way to act in a situation where one sees a car burglary in progress? Notifying the police is a given but it’s possible the burglar is able to get in and out of a car within minutes and getting away before the police arrive.
California Law states that you have a right to use the amount of force necessary to protect yourself and others if you feel that your life is in danger. This doesn’t apply when using deadly force to protect your property. If you were to shoot one of the suspects, you could be arrested.
If you see a car burglary in process, call 911. Narrate to the dispatcher what the suspect looks like. Describe him/her from head to toe, including a clothing description, age and race. The dispatcher will voice your information over the radio to units in the area. Officers will then be dispatched to respond to the area. If the suspect takes off before officers arrive, they can look for him/her in the area as they pull in. Be sure to give the dispatcher the last direction that the suspect took off. If you see them get into a car on hop on a bike, be able to describe that too.
If the police catch the suspect, they will detain them. The police will then contact you for a “field show-up.” Officers will then pick you up, transport you to the scene of where the suspect is being detained. You will stay in the squad car while officers take the suspect out. You will then either positively identify the suspect, or say no. If it is a positive identification, the suspect will be taken to jail.
Another factor about vehicle burglaries is that if the vehicle was unlocked, and item stolen from inside don’t exceed $400.00 it is a petty theft, and is considered a misdemeanor.
Using deadly force for a property crime is not acceptable.