Monday, January 11, 2010


I'm listening to the scanner, again, and here is what is unfolding, based on the narration by the dispatcher and the radio conversation between officers. 

The call goes out as a robbery at the bank.  This gets supervising officers involved and radio traffic gets a bit interesting.  At least it is until the dispatcher clarifies that the robbery is to an indivual, not to the bank.  This, apparently, is not as important, so all but one officer return to their regularly scheduled programming.  The remaining officer is assigned to the call and he receives this narrative:

A lady is leaving the bank carrying a deposit bag,  According to the dispatcher, the lady notices a man watching her from the driver's seat of a large SUV.  She says she noticed the same man also watching her when she first went into the bank.  As she gets into her vehicle, the man leaves his vehicle and walks up to her window.  All dressed in black, with a ski mask and gloves, he pulls out a gun, points it at her and demands the deposit bag.  She complies and then calls 911 (of course, she can only do so once the incident is over).

The responding officer confirms and heads out for the call.  For the next several MINUTES, the dispatcher and responding officer go back and forth about the location of the robbery.  For some reason, the officer cannot understand the building number being given by the dispatcher.

Once they finally get on the same page, the officer is able to arrive on scene.  Of course, there's only one thing for him to do--take a report.  The criminal has long left the scene--well before shaking hands tried to find 9-1-1 on a cell phone. 

Thank God the lady is physically unharmed.  She will be fine, I imagine. 

Unfortunately, so will the crook.  He is free to rob again.


Did it MY way said...

You can only protect yourself. From that woman's description of what went down she should have reported the activity when she entered the bank. If in doubt she should have had an escort back out to her car. Thankfully she was not hurt. Be aware, and remember you are your best protection.

See Ya

Lawyer said...

That's absolutely correct. The first line of defense is situational awareness.

greg tag said...

Of course - there is another way, once the incident occurred. Not legal in some states, so ... the usual caveats - KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS.

Upon his siezing the money and turning to leave, IN TEXAS, the victim could have produced her own sidearm, assumed a firing position and then loudly instructed him to "drop the money", or words to that effect.

The miscreant would do one of two things.

Option 1 - He would drop the money. If this is the case, she would have recovered her lawful property. After which, he might ( perhaps not, of course) remain standing, and responding officers could take him into custody. If he drops the money and merely flees, then he makes his escape, possibly, although he would likely be a much-chastened person. ( The victime CANNOT use deadly force if he relinquishes the property and flees).

Option 2 - He would not drop the money, and would either turn to fight, or he would attempt to flee with the money.

IN TEXAS , she would shoot him several times, until he longer posed a potential deadly threat to her AND she was able to prevent him from fleeing with her property after his commission of the crime of aggravated robbery, and she would thereby safely recover her lawful property.

The crook would NOT be free to rob again.

Texas Penal Code
Title 2, Chap. 9, Subchapter D

Sec. 9.42. Deadly Force to Protect Property.
A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

IN TEXAS, your stuff is YOUR stuff, and people simply cannot steal it from you at gunpoint.

I would note that this issue is a "defense to prosecution", and any legal aftermath is likely to be mind-numbing and expensive. I believe in a clear-cut case such as presented here, there would be a mere presentation to the Grand Jury without charges, and that would be a rapid end to the matter, but there are no guarantees in life, and I have no crystal ball.

Whether or not shooting to recover property is a wise move I leave to each individual.