What would you do Wednesday: A stranger steals your valuables?

Beth Alcazar presents a great mental training opportunity in this What Would You Do? along with a few responses for you to consider.

Check it out here:

What would you do?

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Let him go, You would be in the wrong if you go after him.


Beth gave the right answer. I can’t feel that I’m in danger once the guy is running away and I have no legal right at that point to pursue him.

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Just to play devils advocate, there is nothing wrong with following him while you hang on the phone with a police dispatcher at a discreet distance, monitoring the situation so that you don’t walk into a trap, but keep him in sight as long as you can. What if after he runs off from the immediate area, he places himself in a crowd walking at a normal pace so he doesn’t attract attention and you can observe him while the police arrive?


17 posts were split to a new topic: Discussion of the Zimmerman situation

I would let him go, there is no threat to my life and I am not law enforcement. I cary to defend my life not my property.

If you chase him, run him down and he pulls a weapon, who is acting in self defense now? You would probably be viewed as the aggressor and end up in prison. No cell phone is worth that.

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You’re taking my job by playing devil’s advocate, @Shepherd! LOL!! (Please feel free to continue to play devil’s advocate!)

I would probably do my darnedest to get some pictures of he suspect so that there was a good visual for the police.

One other thing to consider beyond the legal aspect is how are you going to be safe? Self-defense is all about staying alive and getting home to your family in once piece. Property can be replaced, life and limb cannot. (I know, technically limb can kind of be replaced, but you know what I mean.)


Hey I thought I was the devil(s) (advocate) here?!

Just kidding. If you’re aware of your surroundings you still may not see them before it’s too late, but there’s a good chance you can sweep their leg as they try to run. I have done this, twice in fact. Both times the guys were going for my (ex) girlfriends purses. They hit the floor and found my knee between their shoulder blades. Gave them the ultimatum, return the purse or I’d see how far i could curb stomp their face into the floor. Both of these situations happened before my CPL days so I didn’t have any type of weapons on me. People weren’t as quick to sue back then either, so that’s something to think about too.


Unfortunately, that is so very true these days. A lot of people don’t think there will be consequences for their actions until it’s too late and their actions have incredibly dire consequences for themselves or an innocent person.

I’ve gotten a lot more defensive in my driving since I started riding a motorcycle. I have never been complacent, but it’s amazing how much the motorcycle has upped my situational awareness game.


I have a motorcycle, you have to watch everything. I live in Marion, IN. It’s a small city and I can tell you, they pull out in front of you, we’ll run over you, they don’t care and they will tell the Police; I didn’t see Him our Her. And your right, Dawn it will upper your situational awareness.

Beth voiced the thought feeling I have. I just received my CWP in the mail, and though I am very blessed and pleased to have attained it, I do have a feeling of extreme humility for the fact that I am allowed to carry a weapon that has the potential to alter my life and the lives of those around me. I am not new to firearms and their use, but I feel I’ll be even less likely to get into any argumentative or physical conflicts. I will use my weapon if unavoidable. I will be grateful I had it and the training and experience to use it. I will also be sad if I have to emd someone’s life. Not to judge, but I just may have sent someone on to hell ending any chance he may have had later to make some choices.
Maybe I’ll offend someone with that last statement, but the preacher stands by it. I’m in the saving business, not the condemning.

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They don’t just overlook motorcycles. I have a tall, looong 4 door long bed truck. It’s green. I named it the Pickle for obvious reasons. People pull out on me like I’m invisible.
I’m learning forgiveness. And patience. And of course if I didn’t have situational awareness, I wouldn’t be here today.

If you want some great mental training to teach you to sit back and look at your own habits and attitude, spend some time on Youtube watching “road rage compilation videos”.

It is amazing to me in the truest sense of the word how many people are ranting and raving out how that guy or gal did XYZ when in reality it is the subject of the video who began and aggravated the incident.

When you watch them, think about how you have handled yourself driving, walking, in interactions with others and ask yourself honestly how many conflicts you’ve been in that in retrospect you started, aggravated, or both all the while thinking you were the innocent, aggrieved party.

I drove Semi tankers for a few years in and out of some of the biggest cities in and around Texas and it didn’t take me long to realize that I was the source for a lot of my own frustrations and that even when I wasn’t it was up to me to play the adult and let it go.

Some good advice I received long ago is that you should never put yourself in a situation while carrying you would have avoided if you were not. The same goes with bad places, neighborhoods businesses in sketchy areas etc.

Carrying a firearm is not a shield against bad things happening, it is the last resort to get you out of bad situations you could not avoid and again, only as an absolute last resort.

Even if you are absolutely within the law and right in your actions even threatening someone with a firearm could easily land you in prison for 2-10 years or more if god forbid the situation escalates and you end up shooting.

Maybe even more important is that you may well avoid even being indicted but if you ever shoot and most certainly if you kill even in perfect self defense it will alter your life dramatically and for the rest of your life even your friends and family will remember that when pushed you shot and maybe even killed someone and that will change the nature of all your relationships for life.

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Lying here watching the later better version of Monte Walsh with Selleck. One of my favorite movies. I never noticed certain small things in the movie, but now since my wife recently died, I see that Issabella Rossellini’s character looked at Walsh like my wife looked at me. I see Walsh sitting all night by her bed after she died much the same way as I did and my children did that night in the hospital when my wife and their mother had suddenly left us so abruptly.
Since my wife’s sudden unexpected passing, I see many things differently. I see how even someone we may consider so worthless is loved deeply by his or her family and how empty and alone the wife or husband and children or mother or father is left when their loved one is torn away by death. In a danger situation I will act as needed to protect my family and others, but my mind, my attitude will not be overly hasty.
Maybe I don’t make sense. Maybe you think I’ve gone soft, but then you really don’t know what a pine knot I can be. But maybe we could use a little softness in the way we view life and death.
I am very fond of my firearms. I’ll carry and use only if there is no other way.

I think the same laws should apply to everyone. I think we run into trouble once we start to rationalize different standards for different reasons. When emotions and strong feelings are the compass,… well, that’s why a silencer is classed the same as a machine gun. In the 30’s, when the $200 tax stamp started… that’s equivalent to like $3,200 in today’s monies.

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I believe I would chase after him and tackle if possible. If able to tackle him, I would restrain him until Police arrive. I would not consider pulling a weapon on him unless he escalated the encounter to that level. I say this because I know myself and am being truthful. I did not initiate this incident, he did.

I believe every time we just roll over and let them run off, then we are re-enforcing this lifestyle, and they will continue to rob others until they are stopped. On top of that, some witnesses to the situation probably figure, “Hey, if he can get away with it, I probably can too.”

edit: If he dropped what he stole from me while I was chasing, then I would stop and pick up my stuff, call the Police, and be willing to press charges if they caught up with him.


Great response Gary!

Let’s all keep it real, as some of us can’t afford to allow criminals to take our possession without a fight.

Please, someone at USCCA give me an example of any lawful civilian who’s hard earn wages were snatched from his or her hands on payday, they did not chase, the a-hole(s) were never caught, however, the civilian was awarded money from another source.

I am most likely not going to chase or try to apprehend someone who steals stuff and runs away. A good photo, license plate (if they are in a car) certainly. You may have the right to chase them, but many things could go wrong, very quickly. I could see an overzealous prosecutor having a field day with that in a trial.


I am honestly surprised the general response seems to be stand down and watch your Rolex and 5 year fishing license run down the street without you, while you take a picture of the back of somebody’s head. How are you going to take that picture – your camera is probably built into the phone that is running away with your other stuff.

I understand and don’t think any more or less of them if someone doesn’t feel comfortable taking off after a pickpocket. But I also believe that taking pursuit is a reasonable and normal response from a lot of people. I once jumped on the hood of a moving vehicle and saved a guy’s life that I did not know. It was gut instinct that I would nave regretted not doing the rest of my life. That’s why I said in my original post on this topic, I believe I would take chase. I trust and believe a jury would think that is a normal reaction.

It is self-defense, not stuff defense. Once the threat starts leaving the scene, they are no longer considered a threat. If you start chasing them, you are now legally seen as the aggressor. It will cost you a lot more in your legal defense and time spent defending your actions than it would to replace your stolen items. And there’s a good chance a jury would say you - as someone who has learned about self-defense - should know that and say you shouldn’t have “attacked” the person running away from you.

Is it fair? No. But I won’t go to jail over defense of stuff.

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