2nd Amendment Supporting Homeowner Makes Bumbling Burglars Call 911 on Themselves
While President Obama has announced his intention to implement new gun control laws through Executive Order, local law enforcement have recognized the continuing need for citizens to be licensed and trained to use firearms to protect themselves and their property.
That reality was brought home unexpectedly recently when two burglars were surprised when an armed homeowner caught them in the act.
Bill Lahti of Woodland, Washington about a half-hour north of Portland, Oregon owns rural property inherited from his great-grandparents in a remote location he describes as “not exactly easy to get to.”
Lahti checks on the house periodically and was “appalled to see a truck backed up to the front door” when he drove into the yard. “I could see the light on in the house, so I jumped out of my truck, kicked the door open and – there they were.”
Lahti them at gunpoint and instructed the two men he found inside to kneel on the floor while he called the police, only to find that his cellphone battery was dead.
Continuing to hold the gun on them, the homeowner forced one of the burglars to use his own phone to call 911 on themselves.
The ensuing dialogue with the police dispatch reads like a script from a movie comedy.
Dispatch: "911 what's the address of your emergency?"
Burglar at gunpoint: "Myself and another person, we broke into this house … the man has us at gunpoint. We'd just like an officer to come up here."
Dispatch: "He has you at gun point right now?"
Burglar at gunpoint: "Yes, and we would just like an officer up here to uh … just kind of talk to this gentlemen and clear up the dispute here."
Dispatch: "So is he confronting you right now with a gun?"
Burglar at gunpoint: "Yes ma'am."
Dispatch: "What kind of gun is it?"
Burglar at gunpoint: "I'm not certain."
Lahti explained the situation to dispatch.
"These guys are shaking like a leaf and hoping I don't shoot em."
Jared Barker, 21, and Aaron Vigna, 18, were arrested when deputies with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene a short time after receiving the call from the luckless would-be burglar.
A spokesman from the Sheriff’s Office said Lahti’s action amounted to a “citizen’s arrest” and was an example of the importance of citizens being partners in keeping the community safe. “These are benefits that spawn from safe citizens being legally armed and properly trained in the use of firearms.”