YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — Two armed homeowners stopped suspected thieves from trying to steal gas from their tuck.
As KCAL9/CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen reports, the incident happened early Thursday morning in the driveway of the Yucaipa home of husband Armando Gaitan and his wife Laura Gaitan.
The homeowners got wind of the man trying to steal gasoline because of their security cameras.
The motion detector from the security cameras alerted Gaitan’s phone.
“Told my wife we’re being robbed. Went to my safe and grabbed by gun,” said Armando Gaitan.
Gaitan says his instinct was to protect his family – and he didn’t know if someone had broken into the house or not.
“I saw a man that was literally five feet away from the windows where my children are sleeping,” said Armando Gaitan.
You can also see Laura Gaitan following her husband with her gun – while her mother was on the phone with 911.
The Gaitans say the man tried to deny he was stealing their gas.
And after a verbal exchange – the man ran off and ditched his girlfriend and their dog who were in their car.
“When he ran, I didn’t point my gun at him. I didn’t tell him to stop. I let him run,” said Armando Gaitain.
“The guns were put away as soon as the guy left,” said Laura Gaitan.
The Gaitans say the sheriff’s department got to their home in less than four minutes.
Enough time to arrest the girlfriend who initially tried to run as well.
“She was very scared. Very upset,” said Laura Gaitan. “So I was talking to her and I convinced her to come back to the house because it would be in her best interest.”
Legal analyst Steve Meister says you cannot use a gun outside of your home solely to protect property. But it’s unlikely the Gaitans will face legal problems because no one was hurt.
Two local police departments said you’re better off staying in your home if you’re not physically threatened.
Looking back Gaitan says he does see the wisdom in that.
“It would definitely make me think twice before going out there, especially because people are going to see this,” said Armando Gaitan.
The Gaitans say the community has identified the male suspect on social media. But at this point they haven’t heard from the sheriff’s department as to whether or not he’s been arrested.