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Teen crimestoppers in trouble

Never, ever call the police. And never speak to reporters.

A couple of Albuquerque teens are facing possible legal trouble after catching a thief and then beating him up.

Did they go too far? Maybe. It depends on what the truth is, and that may never be known. However, the burglar admitted being a burglar. And he was caught trespassing. The teens had every right to track him down to recover stolen property. If the thief then attacked them with a knife as they claim, they did the right thing by defending themselves.

In all cases I think it is right to give the benefit of the doubt to those who did not initiate force, fraud, or theft. The burglar committed theft, and doesn't deny it.

The cops do not wish to be seen as unnecessary. It is hard to justify living on stolen money, taken by coercion, if people can handle situations themselves. Yet, we can and they are unnecessary, and even promote crime by their very existence through the very mechanism displayed here. The "cooperate with the bad guys and just call the professionals" mantra. That is a recipe for defeatism.

It is a lesson the authorities hope we all learn. No thanks.


Please read my rejected column, along with an explanation, on my blog here: Accidents are not crimes


  • Mama Liberty 4 years ago

    Sorry, but these two teens were the aggressor in the end. If they had confronted the thief in their home and then beat him enough to prevent him from taking their property, it would have been ethical, but to follow him and confront him later was wrong and very dangerous.

    If they had lived in a free community, they would ideally have gone to their elders or whoever and started arbitration against the thief to recover their property. Since they don't live in such a society, going to the police would be the only option if they wanted their property returned.

    And yes, the young man put his neck in a noose by talking to the police about the beating. Not too bright.

  • Shawn Earnest 4 years ago

    I believe the two teens should have brought a video camera and taped it, and they most likely could be guilty, but I have a strong reserve of doubt supporting their innocence.

    Police do not always wish confrontation with criminals when they, (The Law Enforcement Officers), may be confronted with equal weapons of fire power, but do what they are trained for and get the job done. Perhaps it is a positive twist to have citizens taking law into their own hands after all...
    I would let the teens go and to set the example for those in question to "put up or shut the f@#$ up" and move aside if their is an otherwise of no resolve. Citizens working more closely with police never work well side by side, cause sh#t happens and people get hurt.

    So, let the teens go and end the with all this... Embarrassment in this situation is a very good training module, chuckles silly wabbit...

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Chou
    Jennifer Chou 4 years ago

    I think increasingly people will hesitate before assuming police are there to help. Btw, I read your piece "Legislators need to rethink laws" and really liked it. I attempted to comment on there but got a bunch of error messages.

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