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Background info: Sorry this might be lengthy. Early this morning (~5am) I was up and making my morning cup of coffee and about to sit down when I noticed headlights that appeared to slow down approaching from the West. I had two lamps on in the living room and the blinds open. The vehicle turned into our drive then backed out and went back West. They then pulled into my grandparents drive (their house joins me on the West about 200 yds away). The pickup backed into their drive and stopped briefly. They backed up a little too far and stayed a little to long to be simply turning around IMO. They then pulled out and came back past my house headed East (the direction they were headed in the first place). As they passed I opened the front door fully and stood in it so they could see my silhouette easily just to let them know I was observing them.

I don't know if this was a robbery attempt or just someone lost, but as background info I will tell you that when they backed into my grandparents drive they stopped next to the 250 gal. diesel tank. Also note that my grandpaw recently found the wires that run the diesel pump not put away where he normally leaves them. AND he was out of diesel in the tank a couple of weeks ago when he tried to fill the tractor. Was all this coincidence? Perhaps - who knows? The were not driving a diesel pickup, but they could have had a tank in the bed.

I said all that to say this: We live in the country and a response from the sheriffs dept would take too long. So after the incident I started thinking what would I have done if I determined they were indeed stealing diesel. I would have certainly called the sheriff, but then what? Just watch them fill up and leave before help arrived? I could have grabbed a gun and spotlight and headed over, but that would be very risky without knowing how many there were and if they were armed. I probably wouldn't know that before they were gone if I tried to observe before approaching. Thoughts?
 

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I think the best course of action is to be a good witness and call the cops. Even if you are justified, getting into a gun fight over diesel is going to leave you with questions for the rest of your life. I personally don't own a thing worth killing someone over.
 

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I'd be putting a gate on the driveway and lock on the pump ASAP! Did you at least get the plate #?
I think a shot or two fired into the air would have been sufficient to drive them off and convince them not to come back. I wouldn't have let them see me. I'm a small woman and I'd rather they not know my position in case they were determined and carrying.
Also shots would wake my DH, BIL, and FIL. They would come running and armed as well.
 

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I think your safest option would be to call the police and let them know that y'all have had a problem and talk to them. I'm all for defending your family and property by any means necessary but it will kinda cover your backside a little. That said I would not just sit and let them steal from my grandpaw. Even though I know it wouldn't be the best route but I would have to do something. A buddy of mine was having trouble with neighbors selling drugs at the end of the road so he got a full sheet of plywood and made a sign warning them he knew what they were doing and what would happen if they got caught at his place.The traffic started to dwindle then he was contacted by the police that told him to take it down they were trying to build a case against them. So you never know maybe a sign is in order? It might prevent a lot of blood shed.
 

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This bothers me. I think I would have turned off the lights and watched the car where it could not see my movements. And if it went to grandparents, I'd would like to have had a very bright searchlight flashlight, that I would have shown on them. Holding it away from body as much as possible.

If I'm watching someone/thing I don't want to be lit like a stage at night. That's what happens if the lights are on when you are watching. On the off chance that they are really bad guys, you'd be setting up a perfect target for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think the best course of action is to be a good witness and call the cops. Even if you are justified, getting into a gun fight over diesel is going to leave you with questions for the rest of your life. I personally don't own a thing worth killing someone over.
Personally I waiver on this issue. While I certainly don't want to shoot anyone I think there can come a time when it is necessary. Would this have qualified? I don't know. I have stated in the past I wouldn't shoot anyone stealing my TV, but Natural Law states we have the right to private property and to protect it. I don't know how a jury would see it though. I don't think I am willing to go to jail over a tank of diesel. The Declaration of Independance states we have the right to "Live, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness". Another way it was stated was the right to life, liberty, and private property. You see as Englishmen everything belonged to the king - people included.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'd be putting a gate on the driveway and lock on the pump ASAP! Did you at least get the plate #?
I think a shot or two fired into the air would have been sufficient to drive them off and convince them not to come back. I wouldn't have let them see me. I'm a small woman and I'd rather they not know my position in case they were determined and carrying.
Also shots would wake my DH, BIL, and FIL. They would come running and armed as well.
I can't put a gate on it because it is near the road and no fence to connect to. They live on a corner and it would be very hard to secure it with two different entrances.

I didn't get the plate #. It was so dark that I couldn't even see the color of the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This bothers me. I think I would have turned off the lights and watched the car where it could not see my movements. And if it went to grandparents, I'd would like to have had a very bright searchlight flashlight, that I would have shown on them. Holding it away from body as much as possible.

If I'm watching someone/thing I don't want to be lit like a stage at night. That's what happens if the lights are on when you are watching. On the off chance that they are really bad guys, you'd be setting up a perfect target for them.
When I saw them pull out of GPs place I intentionally opened the door wide for them to see me - hoping that if they were bad guys they would know they were made and not come back. I do have a very bright light, but I was wearing t-shirt, shorts and no socks/shoes - not very tactical eh?
 

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I hope seeing you, and knowing they are seen, may keep them away.

And your outfit was not tactical, but serviceable for interior. Next time camo t-shirts and shorts for relaxing around the home.
 

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cameras , game cameras work, or video sounds like your close enough you could get a wifi signal from your house over to the garage of the grand parents

systems are very reasonable , work in the dark and no one needs to know that they are in use if you want to hide them

we have one at work that you can zoom in on a license plate 2 hundred yards away from your pc , it sits just inside the large glass window in the lobby were not hiding anything but the windows are tinted so seeing in is difficult and we can see you a lot farther away than you can see there is a camera . when not zoomed in it keeps watch on the parking lot and driveway we get video of everyone driving in our lot as we sit at the end of a dead end road. it all writes to a hard drive , and has options as to how long it keeps based on drive size

a friend was having problems with robberies in the apartment building he lived in in the parking garage below the 2 floor apartment building , he could get a wifi signal from his 2 web cams he set the one up on the dash of his car , the other he got in the ceiling watching the door a piece of black tape over the red light so they would not be seen , the second night he had the guy , coming in the service door , had made a key before moving out of the building some months prior , he was coming back and grabbing things from peoples cars , a time stamped photo printed off and slid under the supers door that morning and the police knew just where to look
 

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Harry Chickpea's idea made me laugh, but I think Pete's idea of setting up cameras is probably more practical! I think letting them know they were being watched did the trick for that morning, but what about when you're not there? And I agree with the poster who mentioned it was time for a lock on the diesel tank.
 

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I think the best course of action is to be a good witness and call the cops. Even if you are justified, getting into a gun fight over diesel is going to leave you with questions for the rest of your life. I personally don't own a thing worth killing someone over.
With that mind set if a crook comes in your front door you may as well go out the back door or just:run:

Thing with confronting thieves is one can never tell what they might do to acquire what they want or if escape is all they want . One needs the mind set of what control they intend to take in advance of confronting a thief . Once a person confronts a thief by not knowing the thief's mind set ,drug use ect with the idea of non lethal force one could get their goods stolen and the entire family killed . :fussin:

Had a fellow once come in a shop I owned one time with both hands in his pockets and announced that this looks like a easy place to rob . I produced a revolver thumb cocked it in his direction while telling him if this looked easy to get on with it . He slowly removed his hands from his pockets raised them while saying wait a minuet i'm a burglar alarm salesman . Told him in this part of the world you may not get to that part of your story .

Moral of the story if one values their life so little why should i value their life more than mine :confused:
 

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Hook the diesel pump up to a hose in the septic tank for a couple weeks. Things will sort themselves out.
I like that!!! A LOT!!!

Maybe put some diesel in 5 gal jugs in a way less convenient spot, empty the diesel tank and make the hose "detour" to a much less desirable liquid... such as what Harry suggests.

I don't think they'd try that too many times before they figured out they weren't getting what they wanted.

Having pictures or videos would also be helpful if they decided to become more aggressive rather than seeking easier targets.
 

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Lots of good advice in this thread. I'd file a report with the cops, just to have your butt covered if something happens. And yes, set up some trail cams to try and catch them in the act. I'd also alert the neighbors so everyone can keep an eye out.

I wouldn't have any problem shooting someone who was breaking into my house, but I'd hesitate to kill someone stealing fuel outside the house. Where do you draw the line in protecting your property? If they're successful in stealing fuel, they might decide to see what else is available to steal. You hear stories all the time about elderly people having thieves break in because they're easy targets.
 

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Lots of good advice, as expected. Don’t put yourself in danger. First of all, if they had been by a few minutes sooner, you would not have known they were there. Make it inconvenient for them. Put a lock on the tank. Granted, they may just break it. Put up two motion detector lights. One high to light up the area, the other low to see their faces and license plates. Add a couple of cameras. The lock and lights will keep them away from Grandpa’s diesel, the camera will keep them from everyone else’s diesel as well.
 

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Lots of good advice in this thread. I'd file a report with the cops, just to have your butt covered if something happens. And yes, set up some trail cams to try and catch them in the act. I'd also alert the neighbors so everyone can keep an eye out.

I wouldn't have any problem shooting someone who was breaking into my house, but I'd hesitate to kill someone stealing fuel outside the house. Where do you draw the line in protecting your property? If they're successful in stealing fuel, they might decide to see what else is available to steal. You hear stories all the time about elderly people having thieves break in because they're easy targets.
I agree I would not just shoot anyone for stealing fuel .Where it could get tacky is if you approach them . That is the first decision that could lead to a un wanted gun fight :facepalm: One better be prepared to win before any situation arises ,that is where the mindset comes into play . Things can turn bad in just seconds . Be safe :thumb:
 

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Solar motion detector lights are fairly inexpensive. Game cameras are getting inexpensive also. A wireless driveway alarm (the kind you bury under the drive) would alert either your grandparents or you.

I'm a knothead, and would most definitely confront someone on my property (neighbor's property too), but then I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
 
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