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