Private investigator talks about homeowners fighting back against suspected crooks

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - There have been several cases in the last few weeks where homeowners are fighting off suspected crooks. So we asked an expert with decades of experience when you should get involved and when it might get you in trouble.

Private investigator and former sheriff Dan Corsentino

We turned to private investigator and former Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino. He does not comment on any specific case, just in general.

We asked him if he thinks homeowners in southern Colorado are more likely to fight back.

"Yeah I think so," said Corsentino. "I think that not only because of the military, but I think we have a lot of correctional officers in Fremont County and a lot that live in Springs and Pueblo, and they certainly are involved in the criminal justice system, and they understand that they can be subject to victimization from certain people."

"I think that they're more inclined because of their training that they have, many people, that they can defend themselves and defend their families," he added.

He said more homeowners here may be armed.

"I think Colorado in general, yeah," said Corsentino. "All my friends and the people I know in the retail business have said that gun ownership is up, especially in the last four years, there's been an increase in purchase of weapons."

One homeowner told us he shot the windshield of his car that a thief was stealing from his garage.

A few weeks ago, a veteran told 11 News he choked out a suspected burglar.

And in another case, a man called 911 to say he shot from a window toward someone trying to damage his car, according to dispatch recordings.

Corsentino said all homeowners need to be cautious.

“If you make an overt action toward a suspect, and they haven’t entered the house or they, you can’t explain and rationalize immediate and exigent circumstances, and you shoot and kill someone, that could be a very difficult situation for you should law enforcement and the DA decide to charge," said Corsentino.

He also said it's important for homeowners to understand Colorado's Make My Day law.

“If an individual is breaching their home and they made entry into their home and they are in immediate danger and they believe that their life is threatened, and the suspect in this case has the intent to do harm, under Colorado law, the homeowner has a right to stop the threat at that point in time," said Corsentino.

The private investigator also told 11 News they are seeing more women purchasing guns.

“In our business, we have an individual that teaches concealed carry and there’s a specific number of women, in particular, that are purchasing guns and training right now in how to use a weapon," he added.