Homeowner Shoots at Suspected Car Thief

Armed Citizen Shoots Armed Fugitive During Home Invasion, iStock-1354938183
Armed Citizen Shoots Armed Fugitive During Home Invasion, iStock-1354938183

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Early on Monday morning, January 9, 2023, at about 5:30 a.m. in Roseland, New Jersey, a team of two car thieves broke into an upper-middle-class home on a cul-de-sac next to Route 280.  One of the thieves had checked out a white SUV next door, but the doors on the vehicle were locked.

At the residence where the incident occurred, one of the suspects discovered an unlocked window, which offered access to the garage situated under the house.

The entry set off an alarm. The homeowner, as reported by the police, investigated and came face to face with the intruder. Exactly what happened next has not been reported in detail. The homeowner fired a shot, and the intruder and accomplice fled in the vehicle they arrived in. The police believe that the vehicle was already stolen. From abc7ny.com:

Mayor James Spango said the suspect entered the home’s mudroom after getting in through an unsecured garage window.

Officials said the burglary suspect was looking for a key fob to steal a BMW parked in the resident’s garage.

The terrified homeowner grabbed his handgun and fired a shot at the intruder. The bullet appeared to miss the suspect, but the thief jumped out of the same window he entered and got away in a vehicle waiting outside.

In the nbcnewyork.com video, the mayor emphatically says the homeowner will not be charged.

Video of the suspects outside the homes has been shown in news reports. Police say the home was likely targeted because of the proximity to Interstate 280. The .89 acre lot of the home which was targeted is bounded on the back side by an I-280 Interstate exchange.

New Jersey is one of the few states which require a person to retreat before using deadly force to defend oneself. There is a carveout in the law.  You are not required to flee from or surrender your home.


The reporting of this incident raises several interesting questions. How do the police know the intruder was looking for a car key fob for the BMW in the driveway when the suspects fled and have not been captured? Did the suspect tell the homeowner he was looking for the fob? Did the suspect threaten the homeowner with force?

Are homeowners with less income and more modest homes given the same consideration in self-defense cases?

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Too bad the homeowner missed.


This had such great potential for a happy ending, but the homeowner needed more range time. Sad.


While this may not apply in this case, sound advise when vehicles are parked in front of residences: Never leave garage door openers in the vehicles. Most drivers know not to leave key fobs, but leave behind garage door openers in sun visors, glove compartments or consoles. A garage door opener for a criminal is as good as a key to the front door, since most garages have entryways to the house.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wass
Desert Rat

Reread the article, guys. The BMW was in the garage the perp entered through the window. The vehicle in the driveway was next door and was locked. The bad guys had obviously scouted the neighborhood before to see what cars were available to boost. The homeowner needs more tactical training.


that last sentence was golden.

Last edited 2 months ago by PMinFl

There’s plenty of time for NJ liberals to scramble up a few charges. Employing deadly force to preserve property. Discharging a weapon in populated areas. Or even attempting to murder little Juan and little Hector. Who incidentally, “only come here to work”.


What is unfortunate, the homeowner had almost an acre of land and probably a long driveway, enough to pursue the invaders and protect his property, but in Jersey, once you walk out the door, YOU become a lawbreaker on your own property. This is BS. Still good to read reports of people in Jersey exercising rights.

Id rather take a pay for a DMV test every two years and pay $0 to carry on my property and person in public.

Driving is a privilege, ownership of a firearm is a Right.



Driving is a right not a privelage. Just as your right to free speech. A quill as to a computer. A musket as to a centerfire. We have a vehicle instead of a horse & buggy.Why should you need a license to drive ? Do you really think the drivers of today are qualified by having a license ? I have literally seen them drive up on a stone pile on a construction site following Google maps in the State of Md. DC is no better. And I could name quite a few other States. I have yet to have… Read more »


Exactly why I try to avoid such places. I’m lucky if I go there once a month. I try to do without if I can. lol

Knute Knute

But we’ve got a plan “B”:


Knute … That is funny AND true . Brought back some memories about my dad .


Bummer he’s not cleaning blood stains off his garage floor.
Glad he’s safe though.


Guess the perps didn’t count on some law abiding folks in New Jersey to be disarmed.


Why does a mayor decide if charges are filed? This is between law enforcement & district attorney to determine charges unless commie Jersey allows not legally trained mayors to make this type of decision. Get the politicians out of the way.


I suppose the intruder got away while the armed homeowner reloaded his assault musket, the only firearm NJ would allow him to own?




Nope. Not long ago an elderly gentleman, a professor I think, was arrested for a (pair of?) flint lock pistol(s) he was transporting in his car. He was returning to his home in NJ from his purchase in another State when pulled over for a traffic violation. Not only was he arrested, charged, and faced several years in prison but the flintlock pistols were reportedly sent to the crime lab for ballistics testing.