Author Topic: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch  (Read 2300 times)

RevRudd

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Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« on: August 09, 2015, 05:20:15 PM »
Our ranch manager ("RM") lives on the property in an apartment that is part of our barn. There is a door connecting the barn and the apartment. Some of the RM's belongings are in the barn area, including the truck. Is the barn considered part of the RM's residence for the theft vs. burglary question? What can the RM do if someone tries to rustle some cattle? If someone tries to steal some equipment not in the barn?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 04:18:23 PM »
RevRudd,

Because the barn is a structure, it will always constitute “burglary” rather than “theft” is someone were to attempt to steal property from within. For this reason, any equipment stolen outside of the barn would be “theft.” From the facts you’ve given, it does sound like the barn is part of your RM’s “dwelling” for the purposes of Castle Doctrine. If someone were to unlawfully and forcefully attempt to enter the barn, your RM could use deadly force with no duty to retreat and with a legal presumption that he acted reasonably.

Keep in mind that “theft” is not a crime that you may use deadly force against unless it occurs during the nighttime. Even then, it will be up to a jury to determine if you acted “reasonably” in your use of deadly force. So in the theft of cattle scenario, it is better to use “force” and to call the authorities if possible.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

RevRudd

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 04:25:54 PM »
Thanks, TLS. Can you give an example of "force" vs. "deadly force?"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 04:56:39 PM »
RevRudd,

Of course. Deadly force, when it comes to your firearm, is every time you discharge a round. This is true if your bullet kills someone, wounds someone, or if you miss them all together. Force is most everything you do with your gun up until the point that you pull the trigger, such as revealing, brandishing, etc.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

RevRudd

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 08:25:26 PM »
I think I've got it. If someone forces entry into the barn, the RM may assume intent to cause great harm, and use deadly force, including firing a warning shot if the RM would rather not injure the burglar at that point. If the RM is driving around the ranch during the day, and spies someone trying to steal some equipment or livestock, the RM may point a firearm at the thief, and demand the thief leave. The RM may not fire a warning shot, but if the thief produces a weapon capable of inflict great harm, the RM will be justified in using the firearm to stop the threat.

What is the RM recourse if the thief ignores the demand, and simply continues loading up the equipment or livestock, without threatening the RM?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

switch

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 10:36:21 AM »
Call 911. Take pictures.

Warning shots are generally a very bad idea.  That bullet has to stop somewhere.

If you fire a warning shot, you are basically admitting you were not afraid for your life.  If you were afraid, you'd have shot him.

I know, the law 'says' we can use deadly force to stop...... Still, you may have to convince a jury that said deadly force was reasonable.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »

TexasLawShield

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Re: Theft vs. Burglary on ranch
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 02:08:32 PM »
RevRudd,

In that scenario, probably the best thing to do would be to place a quick call to law enforcement. You may also use physical force (not just “force” when it comes to your firearm) to remove the trespasser and stop him from committing the theft during the day time. The force must be reasonable and immediately necessary, but likely could include physically removing the person from the property.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »