What am I legally allowed to do in order to stop a theft in progress on my property?

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What am I legally allowed to do in order to stop a theft in progress on my property?

Can I shoot someone on my property in the act of theft?

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the common laws of this country a property owner can use reasonable force to stop a theft on his or her own property. What constitutes reasonable force depends upon the circumstances of every incident.

For example, if you saw someone stealing your television set from your home, you would not have the right to shoot that person. However, if the person was stealing your television and pointed a pistol at you and actually shot at you, you would have the right of self defense to shoot back at the shooter.


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