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Tales of a Hay Hauler: Incidents of possible interest

Brad Nelson Published on 22 July 2010

As I remember it from the short story in the paper, an individual received a call from someone who told him that there might be a burglary in progress at his home.

He and his friend, who happened to be in his pickup with him at the time, made a bee-line to the home.

They arrived to find individuals loading property from his home into his own suburban. The initial contact led to a few heated brief words, and in the process of blocking in the thieves, there was a minor collision between his pickup and the vehicle of the thieves, following which a firearm was produced and the homeowner left the scene when shots were fired.

As they left, his friend, remembering something from the movies, stuck his own pistol out the window and, from a position inside the truck that made it not possible to see where he was shooting, emptied his pistol in what he hoped was the general direction of the bad guys.

Noticing that they were not being followed, they turned around. Incensed that the bad guys were not only stealing the contents of his house, but were about to drive off also with his suburban, they started to return.

About this time they realized that they had no more ammunition for the pistol they were armed with, which made it as useful as a big rock or a club. Sometime way too late into the incident, someone called 911 and got the sheriff and his troops on the way.

What should have been done? Remember the “CYB” rule. Cover your backside. Most of the time people who break into shops and houses have a plan, have an accomplice, have a watchman, and it is best to assume that they are armed.

When the homeowner stumbles upon a burglary or theft in progress at their place, it is a surprise. They have no plan, they have no back-up troops and they have no one to tell them how many are stealing from them or where they are or what they are armed with.

As soon as the burglary in progress is noticed, the prudent thing to do is to put your vehicle into reverse and get far enough back to protect yourself and any family members you have with you; and then call 911 and get the troops on the way.

Use the rule of thumb. Back up until you can extend your arm full length, raise your thumb and be able to cover the whole homestead with your thumb. From this distance you can keep the troops posted on what is happening and also keep yourself and your family members safe.

This will be the time that a firearm in your possession can bring great comfort. Just keep in mind that lethal force may only be used to protect life and not to protect property.

Be aware that what is legal as far as “having a firearm when you need it” varies wildly from state to state. Most states now offer concealed weapon permits to any adult who can pass a background check.

More important than being armed is to be aware of your surroundings and keep from needing to be involved in a lethal confrontation by paying attention to what you are walking into. Note that it’s much easier to replace property than to replace a husband or a wife or a child.

Next incident – A group was gathering for some goose hunting on an overcast winter day. There was just enough fog in the air for it to be foggy, with visibility of close to a mile.

One part of the group arrived early and had left a pickup at the edge of the field. They were down the field setting up the decoys in preparation for the hunt.

A fellow who joined the group a bit later found an individual in a pickup stuck in a ditch at the edge of the field. In an attempt to be helpful, he offered assistance to the driver. Then he noticed that the stuck truck belonged to his hunting buddy, and called him on the cell phone.

No, there was no one who was authorized to use his truck, so the Good Samaritan handed the cell phone to the driver of the stuck truck, who took exception to being yelled at, and handed the phone back.

He entered the cab of the stuck truck and came out with a rifle, which he used to persuade the Good Samaritan to let him take his pickup, which was not stuck. This vehicle was recovered in a neighboring state when it ran out of fuel.

What should have been done? Had the first pickup involved been left without the keys in it, the theft most likely would never have been attempted.

If the plan of the day had been for other members of the group to use the pickup, the keys could easily have been hidden. Had the Good Samaritan recognized the stuck truck as belonging to his buddy just a moment earlier, the whole situation could have been different; like a retreat in his pickup and then the call to the owner of the stuck truck.

Follow this by a call to 911; all from the safety of his own vehicle, which has been backed away far enough to be safe and close enough to observe the scene.

It becomes a sad commentary on our society when we hesitate to help someone in need out of fear for our own safety. We need to develop some form of “gut instinct” to know when it is safe to stop and help.

One procedure most law enforcement agencies use is to call in the license plate number and vehicle description of any vehicle they stop or approach before approaching the car and after getting an answer that this is not a vehicle containing fugitives from the law who may be “armed and dangerous.”

Even if you think it is perfectly safe to stop and offer assistance, how about taking a minute to call someone and tell them where you are and what you are doing? Cell phones are a great annoyance but can be life-savers at the same time.

Not all is as it seems. Years back the truck drivers were warning each other on the CB radio of a deadly decoy situation in a particular area. On a remote road with little traffic, there would appear a young woman in varying degrees of very scantily clad, appearing to be hitch-hiking.

Should anyone stop, before the driver knew what was happening, two or three big, burly guys who had been hiding in the brush would jump out and hi-jack the rig. If you survived, how would you explain your motivation for stopping?  FG

As soon as the burglary in progress is noticed, the prudent thing to do is to put your vehicle into reverse and get far enough back to protect yourself and any family members you have with you; and then call 911 and get the troops on the way. Photo courtesy of