Man Arrested After Shooting At Thief Who Was Driving Off With His Car

A man was arrested after he chased down and fired shots at a thief who stole his car as it warmed up.

Bloomington, IN – An Indiana man was arrested after he chased after a thief that stole his car while it was warming up and fired more than a dozen bullets at the fleeing suspect, according to police.

Paul Clark, 37, was letting his girlfriend’s car warm up at 5:30 a.m. Monday when he looked out the window of his apartment and saw the suspect driving away in the 2004 Chrysler 300, according to the Indiana Daily Student.

Clark grabbed his gun and the keys to his girlfriend's other vehicle and chased down the suspect to a gas station.

At the gas station, Clark tried to block in the thief. He got out of his car but the suspect was able to drive away. At that point, Clark then fired shots into the stolen car as the suspect was driving away, according to Bloomington Police Department Captain Ryan Pedigo.

Clark got back into his car and tried to follow the suspect but the thief was able to escape.

The stolen car was eventually found abandoned at a nearby apartment complex, according to WTTV. There was no blood inside the car and there was no sign of the suspect, according to police.

The police also recovered 13 shell casings at the gas station after they were called to the scene after the gunshots, WTTV reported.

Police then arrested Clark. He was charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and pointing a firearm and carrying a handgun without a license, according to police.

Capt. Pedigo said that Clark’s actions could have seriously injured or killed bystanders at the gas station and warned against vigilante justice, according to WTTV.

Bloomington Police Department Lieutenant John Kovach said that it was the second car that was stolen in a week when the owner left it running outside. Lt. Kovach said people should use a spare set of keys to lock their car if they are going to leave it running while they are not inside, according to the Indiana Daily Student.

Comments (37)
No. 1-18
Janko
Janko

Not my jurisdiction; where I practiced, this use of deadly force was not justified. I would have approved this case for prosecution.

Ferret guy
Ferret guy

I have to agree with janko. Bad judgement

mike wauters
mike wauters

I wish he would have killed the thief.

K-9 319
K-9 319

Would have to agree with Janko and Ferret Guy.

DMartel
DMartel

He had to be arrested during the investigation. But He will probably not be charged. Thieves rely on intimidation. They make it clear that they are willing to do anything if you don't give up what they want. They don't say 'I won't hurt you'. There are many that end up injured or worse even when they comply. People who say it was just a car have never experienced anything like that. It's not like Movies portray it

Stratiotes
Stratiotes

I have had a gun put to my head by a thief . . .it will not happen again . . .I am prepared now . . So call me a vigilante . . .better a live vigilant citizen than a DEAD VICTIM . . .

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Indiana law allows reasonable force, including lethal force:

  • if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony.
  • if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry of or attack on the person's dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle.

Dude needs to lawyer up, come up with a good story after viewing any surveillance footage, learn gun laws, and probably get his own car.

"He tried to run me over and I was in fear for my life," or "I was only trying to shoot the tires out."

Maybe he can plea bargain down to discharging a firearm within city limits or similar.

Seems that the only one who loses in a situation like this is the victim, and that does not seem very just, even if the guy did not use the best judgement in handling the firearm.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I learned many years ago NEVER to leave my car unlocked, let alone running, while making a quick trip into the store. 1996 I was on the way to work and stopped in my neighborhood (upscale area) and grabbed a pack of smokes. Didn't realize until I got to work a thief snatched my cell phone, out of my car, while I was in the store. I remember calling the number and having a heated conversation with the thief, who insisted I had the wrong number. I don't think I bothered calling the cops, just got a new phone and had the other shut down by my carrier.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

So he is going to kill someone for stealing a car? Not justifiable!

bryantrent
bryantrent

Oh please

cspcapt
cspcapt

our USSC has ruled you may not use deadly force to apprehend an non dangerous felon

NomonK
NomonK

I for one believe "WHAT'S MINE IS MINE" no one has the right to take it from me. When I work, earn the money and legally purchase anything IT BELONGS TO ME. No scumbag has the right to take what is mine without my approval. Now that I Own It I have a god given right to keep it and also have the right to maintain ownership by any mean. If I have to use my Fist fine, If I have to use a knife fine, If I have to use a GUN FINE. Don't F**K with my stuff.

colonelorville
colonelorville

GIVE HIM A MEDAL!

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

My keys were stolen when i stupidly left em laying down at a bojangles.during a snowstorm. When my friend picked me up n we were driving home we saw car n thief sitting in it. My dumb friend jumped out of our car n ran up on thug who proceeded to run him down n got away. Car was found n suspect took into custody n got off claiming mental illness.im glad we didnt have a gun or thug would b dead n one of us would b in prison.but i understand shooting these thugs. Cause i would have killed the mf when he ran over my friend..im all for putting these thief lowlifes out of our misery

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

If I was a juror, I’d never find him guilty of wrongdoing.

mikew12345
mikew12345

Sorry, he was wrong. If he was threatened, or if his kid was in the backseat, then it'd be different. But you can't shoot somebody for stealing property. You can yell at them, try to bluff them. "I've got a gun, stop or I'll kill you". But you can't do it. Call the police.

Raymelson
Raymelson

Now I see the problem in America only theifes have rights also being a Vietnam veteran for 3 tours I wouldn't have missed

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

I would have been mad too, but not murderous. Nothing justifies this man shooting at this thief for stealing his girlfriend’s car.

Now had he caught him, I’m all in favor of Saudi justice which calls for the immediate cutting off of one of the thief’s hands.

We desperately need to bring this method of punishment to America.