Property isn’t worth a life

Except when it is.

Last week, Bob S. posted about this same topic on his blog. Today, I have two separate situations that tie into this same theme. The first is an addition to Jay G’s Dead Goblin Count over at MArooned.

A 17-year-old was killed and one other teen was injured late Friday night after a machine shop owner caught the teens allegedly stealing a flat screen TV, tools and other items from his Tomball-area business, officials said.

Ignoring for purposes of this post the fact that the perpetrators were armed, as I noted in comments at Jay’s, when someone steals a machinist’s tools, they’re stealing more than property – they’re stealing his ability to put food on the table, his ability to keep the heat on, and his ability to keep a roof over his head. It’s not just property they’re stealing, it’s his livelihood – which he may or may not be able to recover afterwards. Is that worth a life? It could be.

The other case is relatively local to me (about a 2 hour drive). On Sunday, sheriff’s deputies were responding to a robbery call at a rural salvage yard when the suspect opened fire, killing two and wounding two others. One of the deputies suffered “life-threatening” injuries, and the other is still in serious condition.

State police Sgt. Steve Lowe said that when deputies and state police arrived about 2 p.m., shots were fired. Two Buchanan County deputies were hit and died at the scene.

The other two deputies were shot when they arrived at the salvage yard, Lowe said.

State police and other officers found the suspect about two hours later and after “some sort of engagement,” they shot and killed him, Lowe said.

This scumbag thought to take something that didn’t belong to him, and was willing to kill in order to do so. Thankfully, he won’t be doing it anymore, ever.

There may be some validity to the argument that “property isn’t worth a life”, but the problem is that many criminals think it is, and the police or property owner often have no way of knowing that until it’s too late. It’s better that the criminal die than the property owner or a police officer.


[Source: Houston Chronicle article online, retrieved 3/14/11]
[Source: Roanoke Times article online, retrieved 3/14/11]

(h/t Jay G at MArooned for the first story)

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