Mack Samuel Stokes
Mack Samuel Stokes

An Indiana burglar is lucky to have escaped with his life after attempting to break into a home in Leesburg.

Michael Samuel Stokes allegedly shattered a window in the home, alerting the homeowner, who walked into the room to encounter shattered glass. The homeowner alerted her son, who grabbed his .45 ACP pistol and went outside to confront an approaching Stokes, who had gone to his car to collect a hammer.

Stokes then ran back to the car he was driving, and attempted to run over the armed son in his escape, prompting the son to fire several times in self-defense.

The car used by Stokes in the burglary.
The car used by Stokes in the burglary.

The gun shots shattered the glass of the car, making it quite noticeable to police who were responding to the homeowner’s 911 call. Stokes was apprehended quickly and without incident. It was later determined that he did not have permission to be driving the car.

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It’s a great thing that the homeowner’s son was armed and able to thwart the robbery, but he made a significant tactical error by leaving the concealment (if not cover) of the home to confront Stokes. He then made a much larger error by placing himself in a position where Stokes almost ran him down with the “borrowed” car.

While we understand the desire to “get” the burglar in the commission of a crime, it is not worth it in most circumstances if the attempt to stop the criminal puts you or your loved ones at greater risk of injury… and that is typically what you are doing when you attempt to stop a fleeing felon.

Part of being a responsible gun owner is knowing when to back off. This Leesburg son is very fortunate that Stokes was only armed with a hammer. He’s also fortunate that Stokes did not run him over.

Protect the ones you love, folks, but don’t unnecessarily risk your life to stop a petty criminal involved in a property crime.