Author Topic: How to handle an issue when someone is pick pocketed  (Read 1687 times)

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How to handle an issue when someone is pick pocketed
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:50:17 AM »
I was on my way to pick up a pizza a few days ago. When I go to the door of the pizza restaurant I heard an argument between an elderly lady and two men in their late 20s or early 30s. The woman was yelling at the two men to give her the wallet back. I walked over to her as well as another family that heard the dispute. Evidently the two men had stolen her wallet that was hanging over the back of her chair when she was in the restaurant next door. After the other family and I confronted the two men, they gave the woman back her money and credit card. When we called 911 they bolted away. Their was a car waiting for them around the other side of the building. I had my conceal carry weapon on me, but did not draw it as the situation did not allow me to draw it. Was there anything I could have done legally in this situation to keep the man who had stolen the wallet there at the scene?


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Re: How to handle an issue when someone is pick pocketed
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 03:32:39 PM »
In the scenario you described, unfortunately, there is little you can do as a law-abiding citizen to keep that person from escaping. You can use force to protect or recover your property, but you are not allowed to use force once the property is recovered.

Detaining someone at the scene is typically considered a “citizen’s arrest.” In Texas, citizens are only allowed to arrest someone when they witness the person commit a felony or an offense against the public peace. This is a limited scope, that requires (1) a felony, and (2) that the citizen witness the crime. In you case you did not witness the crime, and the crime was probably not a felony.  It should be noted that even if you are allowed to perform a citizen’s arrest, you still might not be justified in pulling your firearm. You can threaten to use deadly force. However, at no point may you actually use deadly force for the purpose of detaining someone at the scene.

As your rightly pointed out, drawing your firearm in this scenario would be a non-justified use of force or even deadly force.