Many store owners believe they have the right to defend their businesses by any means necessary. But the owner of a California smoke shop was arrested for what he did to two men who were stealing from him, according to KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.
A 41-year-old man and a 16-year-old reportedly stole a couple of boxes of butane from Soboba Smoke Shop in San Jacinto, California.
As they attempted to drive away, store owner Nabeel Qandah followed them outside and fired his gun at their vehicle, hitting one of the men in the arm.
The man, Juan Miguel Macias, was arrested when he showed up at the hospital with the gunshot wound, and charged with burglary and child endangerment, and police later arrested Qandah for shooting him.
Qandah is now facing the charge of assault with a deadly weapon for shooting a man who walked into his store and stole from him. He posted bail Tuesday.
Why did the owner get arrested?
Police said it is a misconception that there are no limits to the force that can be used against thieves, especially if they are unarmed.
“A lot of people are under the belief if someone is coming to their location, that they have the right to use whatever force is necessary,” said Sgt. Chris Willison of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “Use your best judgment, be a good witness, contact your local police department, provide all the details you can, and let us go and work the investigation.”
Police said the store owner should not have felt he was in danger because the thieves didn’t use a weapon, and that he endangered bystanders by shooting his gun outside the store.
What is the owner’s side of the story?
Qandah declined to speak to media about the situation, but some of his employees told KCAL that this wasn’t the first time his store had been robbed.