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Oh no you are correct to say that vandalism is criminal mischief without a doubt. It is only handled as a civil matter by law in Texas unless over $1500.00. I have some interesting stories about all this that I have told and experianced. Right now the Cowboys are back on so I will share those later....:laughing:

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Texan78 wrote:

Oh no you are correct to say that vandalism is criminal mischief without a doubt. It is only handled as a civil matter by law in Texas unless over $1500.00. I have some interesting stories about all this that I have told and experianced. Right now the Cowboys are back on so I will share those later....:laughing:

vandalism and theft laws fall into similar catagories in this, the $1500 mark is the difference in misdemeanor and felony charges, however (in theft charges) anything over $50 is a class b offense and a jailable offense, so if you were to shoot someone protecting your property after they had done more than $50 bucks worth of damage you could probably justify it (at least in Texas) so holding the person against thier will until the cops arrive would seem to be your civic duty, but I'd let the 911 operator know that you have the offender at gun point and will release him/her to the authorities when they arrive

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Philip wrote:

vandalism and theft laws fall into similar catagories in this, the $1500 mark is the difference

This is true as I noted above but you can not hold anyone agaisnt their will. If they want to leave you have to let them leave wether a criminal offense has been commented or not. Otherwise it is considered false imprisonment. If this was allowed then you would have all these renagade groups trying to police their own neighborhoods. If you ask any law enforcement officer they will strongly frown upon trying to contain a suspect. Now on the flip side not many kids or teenagers know about false imprisonment so you could get away with holding them at gun point, but as soon as they try to run or leave, you have to let them leave. That is part of their freedom and we are not the courts and it is not our place to police and lay down those kinds of judgements. I know everyone wants to protect their displays, but sometimes you just have to think rational sometimes because it could mean the furture of your display and the rep of it. Everyone has heard the saying, "Pick your battles wisely" These are one of those cases. Now I am all for scary them with the thoughts of a shoutgun or what not if they come onto your property but don't shot them over a petty crime. These kids have families too and I think that is where some lose sight and all they think about is their property. So just use good judgement, I would hate to hear anyone here thinking out of anger and shooting someone and ruining someone else holidays. So just be smart and use deterent methods like already posted, signs, cameras, motion lighting, etc. Get in good with the neighbors. Take them cakes, cookies, have them look over yours and thier display when they are out and about. If you have a good crime watch neighborhood that word gets out and you don't get messed with as much if not at all. Not saying it is 100% but your chances of protecting your displays are greater this way.

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I'm just sayin...

Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 14.01.OFFENSE WITHIN VIEW. (a) A peace officer or any other person, may, without a warrant, arrest an offender when the offense is committed in his presence or within his view, if the offense is one classed as a felony or as an offense against the public peace.

(B) A peace officer may arrest an offender without a warrant for any offense committed in his presence or within his view.

Texan, your points are good ones and certainly have given me pause regarding the lengths I'll go to protect my stuff.

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If I were a Texan, I'd shoot first and then do what they recommend in NY - puta knife in his/her hand. :cool:

Actually.... Since it was my display I would put one of the very long,very sharp metal tent stakes in his/her hand.

[line]

There is a reason everyone is friendly in TX... Everyone has a gun!:laughing:

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Yes while that is absolutely correct and while you can make a citizens arrest by law, sometimes a citizen’s arrest can be misinterpreted. You can tell the offender you are making a citizens arrest and try to hold them “at will” until the police get there, but if they run or leave you have to let them leave. Now you can follow them, not chase, but follow and call dispatch back and tell them you are following them and they have left the property. They are going to ask you if you are at a safe speed and if traffic laws are being obeyed. If so they will allow you to proceed then they will instruct you to put your flashers on so that officers in route can see you easier as they are approaching. Assuming their is nothing going on and officers have been assigned to the call already. The reason they don’t like the citizens to hold offenders or try to arrest them is in these days in age you never know the background of that offender if they have a knife, gun or a previous record. So what ends up happening is you get a simple Class B misdemeanor end up in a potential felony assault or worse if someone’s life is taken. Most people don’t know the laws when it comes to a citizens arrest especially kids and teenagers nor do they know about false imprisonment so you can probably get away with holding them at bay until the police get there. You also have to keep in mind that law or code was written way back in the days when it was safe to sleep with your windows open at night and your doors unlocked. The world wasn’t as rough as it is now. I will still be carefully and just use good judgment to protect yours and your family’s life and property. If the necessary actions and steps are taken you can assure you and your display will be around year after year.

Here is a store for ya, A couple of years ago my brother responded to a theft call in progress. This actually made the news a few years ago so you might have heard of it since you are in Denton. Anyways, this guy had those fancy wire rims on his car. He noticed two guys trying to steal them off his car from his house and without missing a beat the owner shot and killed both of them without any kind of verbal warning and the courts came to conclusion that in is attempt to protect his property his attentions were to kill the offenders and not wound them. So the guy got 2 counts and involuntary manslaughter for trying to protect his property. So that is why it is very important if you do choose to use deadly force to make it clear you have a gun and you will use it and to leave. If you do have to shot, shot to wound them not kill them. It’s not worth going through all the headaches of an investigation of shooting someone over Christmas lights no matter how much time and money we put in it because in a blink and one small action on your part you could change the rest of your life and others. Like I have said before there are smarter and safer ways to do it that are effective and legal if they are implemented correctly.

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Yea cameras fake or not are very effective. I don’t know if anyone has seen this show or not. It use to be on Discovery Channel I think. Anyways, it was these two professional thieves that burglarize these people’s homes then show them how they did it and how to protect their homes from it happening again. That said that thieves don’t like obstacles. They want easy hits and they won’t spend much time on things that can’t break into or steal. Cameras are one thing they really don’t like. If you can the best way to set them up is to have them overlap each zone. My brother has seen people set them up and had a thief walk right up beside one because they knew there was not an overlapping camera and they painted the lens black so they could not be seen. So if you do have real ones set them up so they overlap.

You are right about police shooting people when they think they have a knife or gun but it is not very often that happens. Most of the time when they shoot it is because they know 100% or enough doubt that they have a gun. My brother could probably better answer that question though. I will run it by him and see what he says. I have it nice because I have a Dallas Cop on one side and an Attorney on the other. Even though the Dallas cop is out of jurisdiction it is kind of intimidating seeing a patrol car parked out front. I actually plan my static displays since I am not animated yet (coming next year) around not making it easy to steal or get away. Like I have PVC that is wrapped with red tape that look like candy canes and I have lights swaged from cane to cane. So you can not just run into my yard. Then I have things set up to even though it looks really good you can not just run into my yard without tripping over a guy wire or have to walk around something and/or cords. That can always help things too, so keep that in mind when setting up your display. I don’t know how much it has helped but so far so good. When I was getting vandalized people were able to run right into my yard if not drive right through it and drag half my display down the street. So since I have started setting my displays up with vandalizing in mind and as well as people stealing stuff I have not had any problems. I am sure the cameras, signs, and motion lights play a big part too.

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Here is a story about the Vandals in Southlake and about what I was saying with the $1500 before it comes criminal. How Ch11 got the story I am not sure...

http://cbs11tv.com/local/holiday.lights.chirtmas.2.601803.html

The video with my interview can be show here on Ch8 on this same story...

http://www.wfaa.com/video/index.html?nvid=198074

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I don't get that $1500 thing. The law (Penal Code 23.08) on criminal mischief is very clear:

< $50 Class C

$50-500 Class B

$500-1500 Class A

> $1500 Various degrees of felony

So even if the damage they caused was less than $1500 I don't see why the police don't bring charges. Heck a Class A misdemeanor can draw a year in jail!

Unless what you're saying is that the police don't care about anything less than a felonious level of damage, in which case they shouldn't be surprised when people start taking things into their own hands...

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We were talking about this the other day on here. RV9 I understand you what your saying and agree but Vandalizem is only a Class B misdemeanor in Texas unless the total damage adds up to $1500. So if the damage they cause is less then $1500 all they will face is a Class B and since it is civil in Texas I am interested to see how they go about this and what charges thhey will bring agaisnt them. since they have no one to file agaisnt them, We will know tomorrow though. Even though it is a Class B it can still bring serve punishiment. Heck you know Southlake and can vouch for this where others can't. You know probably all these kids will get is a slap on the wrist and tell them not to do it again.

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We don't have anything that we can't replace or fix in our display. My question is :

WHY DO YOU DO YOUR DISPLAY? We do ours the honor the one who the holiday is about. The Man of Peace. He only time he got physically angry with others is when men were inside his Fathers house misusing it. Think about it.

IS YOUR DISPLAY SO VALAUABLE/IMORTANT THAT IS IS WORTH KILLING OR MAIMING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING?

Don't get me wrong I WILL protect myself if someone breaks in my home with me there, but possessions can be replaced. It just not worth it.

These are sad sad kids that vandalize.Theydon't have a good life. If they need the thrill of destroying others things. Don't give your kids bad memories of you shooting someone over "possessions." Just MHO.

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It's not the value of the display. It's the lack of consideration shown by those who would steal/destroy other peoples' stuff. Frankly, some people's lives are less valuable than others'. Except perhaps in the eyes of God, we aren't all equal.

I wouldn't kill someone over a Christmas light display. I would, however, try to hurt them badly enough that they would never do it to me or anyone else again.

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While I don't think anyone deserves to get killed over it, maybe the question should be reworded:

Is vandalizing a display so important that it is worth getting killed over?

:rant: Let's remember who made the first decision to take a chance. Let Joe Horn walk. :) :end rant:

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Texan78 wrote:

Now I am all for scary them with the thoughts of a shoutgun

Now there's an idea--a SHOUTgun! I assume it works much like a bullhorn. "OK YOU PUNKS! I'VE GOT A BULLHORN! I'LL SMACK YOU SILLY WITH A SCARY MEGAPHONE! I'M GOING TO SHOUT IN YOUR EARS 'TIL YOU CAN'T HEAR YOUR IPOD! IF YOU RUN I'M GOING TO TURN UP THE VOLUME! THIS IS A LOUDMOUTH CITIZEN'S ARREST!"

TED

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