It’s a popular saying when it comes to criminals who get their comeuppance in the act of committing a crime: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
A suspect in a California break-in has, unfortunately for him, won a very stupid prize: A trip to the hospital where he was in critical condition.
According to KTXL-TV, the unidentified 33-year-old man was beaten by a homeowner with a baseball bat after he tried to burgle a home on March 10.
The homeowner in Turlock, California — a city of roughly 70,000 about an hour-and-a-half’s drive southeast of Sacramento — reportedly left the suspect “bloodied, bruised and fighting for his life.”
Details are sketchy at the moment and neither the name of the homeowner nor of the suspect have been released, although the former usually isn’t made public.
What is known is that the homeowner awoke to find an intruder in his house.
Armed with a baseball bat, he was able to overpower the alleged burglar during a fight, KTXL reported.
A female resident, meanwhile, ran from the house and over to a neighbor’s. From there, the station reported, she called 911.
Another resident of the area, Sheila Barrios, said the neighborhood is rife with break-ins and that, even with cameras and other security equipment, residents are mostly left to fend for themselves.
“I think we’re all just tired of it and people are taking their actions into their own hands,” Barrios told KTXL.
“Even (with security features), we still get a lot of people coming through, looking into the cars,” she added.
No arrests or charges have yet been made in the case as of a Monday update.
The burglar is apparently still in critical condition.
I don’t take pleasure in anyone’s pain nor do I endorse vigilantism. However, if you break into someone’s home, this is what could happen.
Criminals accept a certain risk for illegal behavior. Ideally speaking, law enforcement officers are the ones who stop them.
When it comes to home invasions, however, homeowners can’t take that risk. An instant could be the difference between life or death and physical force is sometimes the only way to ensure one’s survival.
Thus, if you’re going to invade someone’s home, you’re accepting this risk. You’re accepting the fact you could end up in a hospital in critical condition — or worse. And if you’re a homeowner in a neighborhood like this one in Turlock, you unfortunately need to be prepared for this tragic possibility.
We hope that this alleged burglar pulls through, just as we hope that he’s held to account for his crimes.
If he doesn’t, however, let’s face facts: He’ll have been the author of his own demise, and won one of the stupidest prizes possible.
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