Veteran Shoots Car Thief Who Stole His Bulletproof Vest

Authors Defensive Use of Firearms Home Defense Kimber Pearce This Week
News report from KSAT about homeowner veteran shooting car thief
An Army veteran shot a car thief who stole his gun and bulletproof vest. (Photo: KSAT)

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A veteran from San Antonio shot a man earlier this week when he found him stealing a gun and bulletproof vest from his car. 

Around 3 a.m., Armand, the homeowner woke up to a Ring alarm. He got on his phone to check his live footage.

“Saw a guy in a red hoodie in the back passenger side door of my truck,” he told KENS 5.

Armand is an Army veteran who served in Iraq. He grabbed a firearm before going outside to confront the car thief. 

Armand saw the thief move to the driver’s side door just as he got outside. Armand told News4SanAntonio that he had a gun in his car and was worried the thief would find it.

Stolen Gun and Bulletproof Vest

“When he brought his hands up that was my first fear that he had my firearm, so I began to fire,” Armand said. He was right, the thief had found the gun and the bulletproof vest hidden in the vehicle.

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According to KSAT, at least 10 shots were fired, more than two hitting the thief before he stumbled away. Armand witnessed a second person helping the suspect into a car. 

The veteran explained that he keeps firearms in his car, but when he gets home he doublechecks it and removes his things. “This was just the one day that they caught that one car that I just didn’t go through my SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).”

Armand informed the police of the events, and they arrived on the scene to investigate.

A short time later, a neighborhood hospital called the police after a man walked in with bullet wounds to the legs and collapsed. 

The suspect walked into a hospital and caused quite the uproar.

He was taken to a different hospital via ambulance and is in stable condition.

According to KSAT, the suspect told staff he had come directly from the scene, but investigators found a red car belonging to him in the hospital parking lot. The second suspect has not been found. 

Not An Expected Setting

The bulletproof vest the thief had stolen was returned to Armand. After examining security footage, they found one of his guns that had been thrown in a bush as the suspect ran away.

“Like I told the police, I was just like, ‘Thank God I didn’t kill the guy,”’ Armand said.

Armand mentioned being a recipient of the Purple Heart from his Army service, “when I went to Iraq, something like this was on the dinner table but I never expected to do nothing like this in my front yard and have to defend my home.” 

Charges have not been filed, and Armand has a solid self-defense case.

Attorneys say that under Texas’s unique home-defense laws, Armand is fortunate this incident occurred at night.

“It’s unique in Texas, during the day you can use force but not deadly force to stop someone from stealing your property but at night you can use deadly force if you have to and there’s no other way to recover your property,” Self-defense attorney Larry Dean Bloomquist said. 

Armand also had reason to fear for his life, a key justification for using deadly force in self-defense.

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  • Manarii Tane March 1, 2024, 2:59 pm

    Really a dumb move to leave a gun in a car. Just plain stupid.

    • Patrick LeDoux March 4, 2024, 6:22 pm

      It’s a free country. If I want to leave my gun in the car, I can leave it in the car. The dumb move is breaking into someones car or truck in Texas. Lots of us carry guns, collect guns, practice with guns, are into gunsmithing and tweaking our guns. So many Texas carry all the time, that it’s very stupid to break into a truck and steal in Texas. There’s a high probability of getting shot or even killed doing something stupid like that. That’s just my opinion.

  • LouisianaJoe March 1, 2024, 2:08 pm

    I have a concealed carry permit. If I visit a no gun location, I leave my pistol in the car. Most times, I remember to put it back on me. I have left in the car because I forgot it was there. In most cases, I remember as soon as I go inside but I have left it in the car. Thank God nothing like this happened to me. I practice often enough that I am afraid I would kill the thief.

  • Beckaroo March 1, 2024, 9:31 am

    First, he’s lucky he’s in Texas, most other states, conservative states included, will charge the homeowner for leaving the safety of their home to engage a bad guy outside. Secondly, the NUMBER ONE way that bad guys get guns is by stealing them out of vehicles. Get smart, don’t leave your guns in your car. That’s just irresponsible, lazy and stupid. Super glad this guy came out unscathed and only the bad guy got hurt but this entire situation was easily avoidable with good common sense.

    • Patrick March 4, 2024, 6:33 pm

      Another person finding fault with the gun owner and not the criminal who broke into the car. You don’t have any common sense. If someone choses to leave his gun in the truck, that’s his choice. The bad guy is the one to blame here. The bad guy is not the victim. You are making the gun owner out to be the one in the wrong. I don’t see the logic here. The criminal got what he deserved. Don’t break into other peoples’ property. Respect other people’s property. I’m sure this veteran’s truck was locked and secured. That’s like telling me don’t leave your guns in a locked safe because a safe cracker might be able to open it and take the firearms. I know it’s easier to break into a truck, but this veteran didn’t make it easy for the there. The firearm was in a locked truck, and, most likely, out of plain sight, like in the glove box. The truck was also parked on his property and not in a parking lot. That’s my opinion. Stop making the criminal a victim.

      • Beckaroo March 5, 2024, 10:04 am

        Your analogy that leaving your gun in your locked vehicle is no different than in your home in a safe is ridiculous. You can leave your gun in your mailbox if you want but it’s still a bad idea. Just because you can doesn’t make it a smart idea. You’re delusional if you think I’m making the criminal a victim, you’re just making stuff up now. Clearly the homeowner is the victim however that doesn’t change the fact that his actions set up this chain of events. The stats clearly show that the number one way stolen guns are obtained by bad guys is stealing from vehicles outside residences. Had there been no gun left in the vehicle it would have been a simple break in which would have been far less legal hassle and risk of death.

        • Patrick March 5, 2024, 10:45 am

          A friend of mine left his .38 S&W revolver on the front porch on a chair for 3 hours. The mail man dropped the mail off (there’s a box on the wall next to the door). The gun never moved. The mail man didn’t touch the gun. My friend did that to prove a point. Guns don’t kill people. Guns are a tool that fewer and fewer people these days are not being taught/learning to respect. That inanimate object didn’t move from that wooden chair on the front porch. My whole point is that a locked truck is just like a locked safe in your home. Both your property. No one should be touching either one. Maybe the Veteran shouldn’t have left his firearm in the truck. But, who cares. Too bad the Veteran didn’t kill the criminal. That thief had the Veteran’s firearm and had every intention on killing the truck owner. Now, the Veteran has to worry about the criminal coming back to his home. LOL….where did you get your stats. Are you are a professional gun thief? By the way, I’m not delusional. You are still finding fault with the homeowner leaving his firearm in the truck. Get over it. Maybe if the dumbass criminal didn’t go around breaking into trucks, this incident wouldn’t have happened. I guess you never thought about that.

  • LJ March 1, 2024, 8:05 am

    There will no doubt be plenty more instances like this in the near future. People are sick and tired of being victims of criminals that have no problem stealing things others worked so hard for. Terrible thing to suggest, but maybe the homeowner should learn to shoot center-mass, and not aim for limbs. If you can’t follow the rules for living in a civilized society, maybe you should be removed from the gene pool.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment February 29, 2024, 7:05 pm

    left a gun in the car, fired 10 rds and only 2 non fatal hits………….as a veteran he should be ashamed of himself!

  • Kane February 29, 2024, 5:29 pm

    The ‘suspect’ drove himself to the hospital in a stolen car and a of course career criminal could definately use a BP vest.

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