An Albuquerque, NM couple turned the tables on a burglar caught loading their belongings into his car.
Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier says officers were called about a possible burglary Thursday.
What they found was a 70-year-old man and his 66-year-old wife both pointing guns at 26-year-old Aaron Lujan.
Tixier says the husband observed Lujan putting a generator, power tools and other items of his into an SUV.
The man says he confronted Lujan but was ignored.
The husband then grabbed his shotgun while his wife took a handgun and both held Lujan at gunpoint until authorities arrived. No one was injured.
Tixier says Lujan had just been released from jail earlier in the day.
Police did not say what charges Lujan will now face or if he has an attorney.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Desert Lion says
It should be noted that, like it or not, New Mexico law does not justify the use of deadly force to protect property. This is the case in most states, even those with Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws as New Mexico has. The homeowner reportedly had tried to stop the thief without deadly force. It would be unreasonable to expect a 70-year-old man to stop a 26-year-old ex-con by physical force alone if simply being caught in the act was not sufficient. However, if either he or his wife had fired their weapons and killed or seriously injured the thief, the Uniform Jury Instructions would have included that, to be acquitted, the jury must find “The force used by the defendant would not ordinarily create a substantial risk of death or great bodily harm.” Use of a firearm ALWAYS fails this test since it is, by definition, a deadly weapon. In some states, the threat to use deadly force to stop theft is chargeable as aggravated menacing.
If the homeowners are not charged, which I sincerely hope they are not, nobody else should take that as justification for the same action in a similar situation, regardless of whether you live in New Mexico or some other location that does not explicitly permit the use of deadly force to protect property.
No, I am not an attorney, and this does not constitute legal advice. I do teach concealed carry courses in another state and made the point of looking up the New Mexico jury instructions. You should be at least that familiar with the statutory and case law regarding the use of deadly force in your jurisdiction if you own firearms and intend to use them for defense.
Eric Rohn says
Sounds like immunity for the tort feasor! Without a weapon, who can reasonably stop a criminal? My advice, bury the body in the desert.
Vincent Mancini says
I agree. “We the people” have allowed our rights to be overcome by offenders and their supporters, sign of our warped society.
William Harrison says
Any felon or other intruders, even more especially if just released from incarceration, is a very definite threat to do bodily harm and even more so if the victims are elderly and even more evident that they show no regard towards the law when openly entering and stealing. What they were stealing has no bearing whatsoever on the situation, it’s the motive and aggressive action that proves their possibility for dangerous harmful ability and mind thought. So very fortunate the couple had arms and the ability to use them.
If the police had arrived to find a dead burglar on the ground with a butcher knife next to him and two elderly witnesses swearing they had been attacked by said dead burglar. . . . ??
Johnny Yuma says
A concrete block and a 20 foot rope will end his thieving forever!
Johnny Yuma says
I forgot to mention a deep water soaking…