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Old 10-19-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Hypothetical "what should you do" scenario

Ok, earlier I was eating at my university's cafeteria, and got up to get some dessert. I left my bag with my $450 tablet and $80 case in it. I usually NEVER leave any of my stuff laying around (I take it with me no matter how short of a distance), but I was walking about 30 ft away, so I could still see my bag.
I thought of a scenario that isn't really self defense, but more of a protection of property. Just note, this is a "what if" scenario, and I have no intention of being Billy Badass and escalating straight to potentially lethal force, if necessary.
But what if I was in a public place and witnessed the theft of my property, like someone walking up and picking up my bag and starting to walk off.
What would be the best approach to this scenario:
A. Approach them in a serious tone and tell them to put the bag down (ideal approach, unless they are one of the tough guy types)

B. Grab them by the shoulder and turn them around and tell them to drop it

C. Some people would say go straight to brute force and knock them out, which I would see as an appropriate way to get the scumbag, but what if they are tougher/bigger than you are? I also think this could be a possible assault charge.

D. What if you used approach A or B, and they reacted with brute force, could you fight back as self defense? Or if it escalated rather quickly...

E. What if they were one of "those" types and pulled a weapon when you demand they return your property? I understand your life is more important than a $500 computer, but what if they intended to harm you (tried to stab you or shoot you), would you be allowed to draw a weapon and defend yourself in self defense (I don't see why not, if they tried to use lethal force against you, but some laws are iffy)?

F. Now I do not advocate this, because it would be a use of excessive force and could cause MAJOR legal reprocussions, but what if you approached them, pulled a weapon, and demanded they return your property (again, I do not advocate this)?

I mean if they intentionally stole your stuff, like they knew you were there.
Also would work with car theft/car break in.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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If I found an abandoned bag in public, I would pick it up and take it to customer service/management. I think if you just announced "that's mine" he would concede.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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If I found an abandoned bag in public, I would pick it up and take it to customer service/management. I think if you just announced "that's mine" he would concede.
I mean what if you were in a place like McD's, left for about 10 seconds, and they immediately walked over when you left and went through your stuff/stole your stuff. I mean if they intentionally stole your gear, like they knew you were there.
Or even if someone was breaking into your car, same idea.
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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Oh.

I reckon I would get my stuff back. He decides if we're going to be on the news.
I'm 6’3 sober. Lord help him if I'm drinking. And I'm usually drinking.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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Escalation of force as required, with avenue to retreat if overpowered. Retaining an option to use lethal force if needed, because defense of my property changed to defense if my life.

Make them aware that it is your property, give them the opportunity to return it. Try to stop them if they don't. If they become a threat, evaluate if retreat or holding ground is the best option. If they seem to be a lethal threat and intend to make it physical, try to strike hard and fast in a way to allow retrieval if your gear and give you an opportunity to escape. (Think throat punch or burying your thumb in the back if their eye socket. that usually takes the fight out if someone for a minute). If they escalate directly to lethal force with a weapon, respond in kind while trying to escape and deescalate the situation. No one needs to die for minor property. If they aren't going to let it go and you can't safely withdraw. Shoot the fluffer.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:50 AM   #6
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Giz, we are not lawyers (well, two members here are- but questions like yours leave them in the fetal position under the desk, whimpering softly)

However, what you described will not end well. IT WILL DEPEND ON CIRCUMSTANCES IN TOTO, LAWS WHERE YOU ARE, ETC. There is no one size fits all.

But start flailing on the person that was turning in the bag to security, customer service, etc- and Houston....we have a problem.

Might I suggest you reverse the roles mentally for a moment? You observe a bag left unattended. On your way over to the cashier somebody suddenly starts swinging at you. Your response?
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:00 AM   #7
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And if I find a bag unattended in public places I might just call security and let them get the bomb squad to blow up the owners tablet, and toys with a water jet.

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Old 10-19-2013, 01:01 AM   #8
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Attachment 122958

Giz, we are not lawyers (well, two members here are- but questions like yours leave them in the fetal position under the desk, whimpering softly)

However, what you described will not end well. IT WILL DEPEND ON CIRCUMSTANCES IN TOTO, LAWS WHERE YOU ARE, ETC. There is no one size fits all.

But start flailing on the person that was turning in the bag to security, customer service, etc- and Houston....we have a problem.

Might I suggest you reverse the roles mentally for a moment? You observe a bag left unattended. On your way over to the cashier somebody suddenly starts swinging at you. Your response?
Thats kinda what I'm sayin if such a scenario were to happen, what would be the best way to go through it without issue. I think it would be to tell them they have your stuff, but what if they got your stuff open and going through it or they instantly began beating you senseless?
I am starting to realize all the possible factors of such a situation.
This is more complex than I thought.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
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C3 is being the realist about these scenario based posts. There is never enough full information to give you a true answer, and too many variables to really answer the question definitively. We could "what if" the scenario a thousand ways or more.

Some words the Cheif of the Boat used to say frequently may apply best here in dealing with scenarios. "Remain fluid because flexible is entirely too rigid".

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Old 10-19-2013, 01:05 AM   #10
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Alerting "That's mine!" would deter most.

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