Forum Index > Trail Talk > Car prowl turns into car jacking at Olallie State Park
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Backpacker Joe
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 6:19 am 
In 1994 I was coming out of the Foss lakes. When I stepped out the tree line at the trailhead and into the parking lot I heard a "Crash". It was then I noticed some guys (turned out to be 5) breaking into some cars parked. I stud there kind of wondering it it all was really happening when one of then saw me and yelled "Get him"! Thats when I noticed five of them as they ran at me. It all seemed surreal. When they were about twenty yards away I pulled out my Ruger SP101 .357 revolver and pointed it at them. Well, they all stopped. The biggest guy said "You cant get all of us"! I said, "Ill get you. You care what happens after that?" They looked at each other and turned around an ran off. After my heart slowed down and the adrenalin dump stopped I walked to my car and left. I stopped at the Skykomish ranger station and told them what happened. They called the sheriffs department and said they'd go check it out. They asked me to wait for the Sheriff, but I just told them they could tell my story the same way I could. I don't know what would have happened to me if I hadn't been armed, but it wouldn't have been good.

"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln

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dixon
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 8:19 am 
Saw this note today from the Snoqualmie-NB PD. Apparently many of the vehicles were unlocked with visible items displayed.

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zephyr
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker
PostFri Jun 17, 2022 9:14 am 
Backpacker Joe wrote:
Well, they all stopped. The biggest guy said "You cant get all of us"! I said, "Ill get you. You care what happens after that?" They looked at each other and turned around an ran off.
Man, that's some quick thinking BPJ. Amazing story. ~z

Anne Elk
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Randito
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 10:22 am 
Backpacker Joe wrote:
I don't know what would have happened to me if I hadn't been armed, but it wouldn't have been good
What would have been the outcome if one or more of them had an AR-15?

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uww
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uww
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 11:38 am 
Going to trailheads with the purpose to break into vehicles is not a crime of opportunity. The only opportunity is the one to steal wiothout fear of repercussions.

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dixon
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dixon
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 11:55 am 
uww wrote:
Going to trailheads with the purpose to break into vehicles is not a crime of opportunity. The only opportunity is the one to steal wiothout fear of repercussions.
I have a friend who works at a big box DIY store in Issaquah. They were recently reprimanded after chasing a guy who was running out of the store with a cart of Dewalt Tools and successfully retrieved the tools. The store manager was apparently furious as criminals can actually sue the store if they should get injured while stealing from the store. Not sure if this is a WA state thing as I haven't heard of this anywhere else. Back when I lived in the UK you would not only be chased down but given a severe beating and receive a thanks from the cops when they showed up. Someone please tell me this is untrue, I feel like im living in the twilight zone.

Anne Elk
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Randito
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 2:03 pm 
dixon wrote:
Someone please tell me this is untrue, I feel like im living in the twilight zone.
Of course they can sue. Anyone can sue for no reason. Whether they can prevail at trial is another question. However the time , effort and legal fees involved are considerable and when it is big company vs "poor person" a jury can rule against the big company despite the facts -- in many cases a settlement is reached out of court with terms undisclosed.

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kiliki
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 2:13 pm 
I worked plenty of retail when I was younger and it was always policy to forbid employees to chase shoplifters for safety reasons. Companies do want to prevent employees from trying to be a hero and getting hurt (shot, hit by car in the parking lot, even just falling...and I have to think an employee who got hurt might be the one to sue the employer, if it weren't company policy that they shouldn't give chase). I never could fathom why any employee would--I mean, if it were your own small business and you were confident of your physical skills, maybe, but the idea that any of us would risk our own safety or even life to catch a shoplifter...why??

Anne Elk
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dixon
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dixon
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 3:50 pm 
kiliki wrote:
but the idea that any of us would risk our own safety or even life to catch a shoplifter...why??
I get the fact if you're working for a big corporation with $M loss prevention budgets, less so for small mom-pop stores. I think for most folks including myself its an innate evolutionary reaction probably useful in hunter gatherer times when someone from another tribe stole your daily kill which threatened starvation. You see moral wrongdoing and you want to help the situation. A bit like walking down the street and seeing a man assaulting a woman, id naturally intervene without spending time performing a risk assessment.

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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 5:37 pm 
Randito wrote:
What would have been the outcome if one or more of them had an AR-15?
Depends if it's a diamond encrusted AR or not.

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altasnob
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 6:48 pm 
dixon wrote:
the store manager was apparently furious as criminals can actually sue the store if they should get injured while stealing from the store.
Washington's self defense law, which defines when you are allowed to use force, applies in all situations, including when you are chasing after someone who stole from you. You can read it yourself but basically, you can only use reasonable force. If the shoplifter pulls out a gun, you can shoot the shoplifter in self defense and defense of property. But if the shoplifter doesn't have any weapons, you don't get to shoot the shoplifter. If you violate this law, and use more force than the law allows, yes, you will have to pay the shoplifter (and probably be charged with a crime). Here is Washington's shopkeeper privilege law that allows stores to briefly detain a person to see if they are, in fact, shoplifting. But again, you can only use reasonable force.

breadcrumb, uww, dixon
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uww
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PostFri Jun 17, 2022 8:07 pm 
I knew we had a reasonable force law, but are there relevant WA cases that set precedents? And what defines necessary- how lethal the weapon is? Does the size/age disparity between combatants matter?

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Tom
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PostSat Jun 18, 2022 6:27 am 
The reality is you're more likely be injured on the drive/hike to/from the trailhead than by evildoers at the trailhead. If you must, obsess about the other stuff more. Don't text while you drive, go prepared, etc. If I'm ever in a situation like this at most I'd activate the sos on my phone and/or inreach but for sure would not escalate. I'd venture to guess your odds of dying are significantly higher if you choose to escalate. Heck, even if I could change my outcome from 100% losing my property and 99.9% chance of living to not losing my property but 5% chance of dying I wouldn't take the risk. Life is not an arcade game. You don't insert another quarter to play again.

zhenya, Anne Elk, contour5, Secret Agent Man, Cyclopath, zimmertr, HikingBex, Sculpin
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altasnob
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PostSat Jun 18, 2022 6:35 am 
uww wrote:
I knew we had a reasonable force law, but are there relevant WA cases that set precedents?
Hundreds of court cases have been published that help further define the law. A good list of some of them can be found at the bottom the pattern jury instruction, which is used in every state criminal trial in Washington where lawful force is an issue.
uww wrote:
And what defines necessary- how lethal the weapon is? Does the size/age disparity between combatants matter?
These questions is ultimately questions for a jury to decide after a prosecutor thinks you violated the law and charges you with a crime and you are sitting in the defendant's chair at trial. You do not want to ever be anywhere close to this situation, so it's best to error on the side of caution. However, if you do ever find yourself in this situation, and a jury finds you not guilty, and then the jury finds that they found you not guilty because you used lawful force, the state must reimburse you for all your costs associated with your defense.

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dixon
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PostSat Jun 18, 2022 8:51 pm 
catsp wrote:
I'd be surprised if anything more than reasonable force is permitted in the UK either, and expect there are suits brought against police or others when more than reasonable force is used against shoplifters.
You're probably right. I left in 2004 and it was a different country back then. I always thought that one surrenders their rights when they chose to commit a crime.

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