The “poster child” of civilian crime-fighting just gave two suspected would-be burglars in Washington state a valuable lesson about the Big Picture.
It wasn’t just that they shouldn’t be trespassing and looking to steal other people’s property. It wasn’t even that a billy club is no match for a loaded gun in the hands of a man who knows how to use it.
Both of those things are true, but farmer Sam Krautscheid had something more important to teach the men he caught outside a store on a Saturday night with “stolen items” in the back seat of their car.
“God has bigger plans for you than the path you are on now,” he wrote in an “impact statement” he wants the court to consider if the two men are convicted of burglary, according to a Fox News report published Monday.
“I encourage you to take your lives back. Take the time to reflect and get the help you need while in jail. The resources are available, the choice is yours. Distance yourselves from bad friends and family members.”
Krautscheid was interviewed by Fox News Digital about the incident that took place Sept. 9 in Grant County, in central Washington.
According to Fox, Krautscheid said he had finished baling for the day and rounded up three of his sons into his pickup to go to a concert by country singer Eric Church at the Gorge Ampitheatre in the nearby town of George. (Yes, believe it or not, there really is a town called George, Washington.)
He and the three boys had just passed a farm store Krautscheid leases and is in the middle of buying, according to Fox, when they saw a car parked outside.
“I turned, pulled around and parked… and walked over and looked in the car and there’s a gas can in the passenger seat, it was a very small car. And in the back seat, had a massage table and a weed eater and some other items that screamed to me you know ‘stolen items,’” Krautscheid said.
Krautscheid said he got his gun from the truck and called 911.
As he approached the building, he saw a man’s arm around a corner, then saw his companion, who was armed with a club. With the comforting weight of the gun in his hand, he said he ordered the men to the ground.
“I’ve got a loud voice. And I just started yelling to get down. ‘Get down, get on the ground and don’t come any closer,’” Krautscheid told Fox. “I don’t want to shoot, but I will shoot.”
The man with the club complied immediately, he said. (The club versus gun odds were probably pretty clear to him.) The other argued, claiming they were there to rent the store. He argued almost too long.
“The rear individual got down pretty quickly,” Krautscheid told Fox. “The front individual stayed up for quite a bit, was somewhat defiant of the process and made me nervous to the point I felt I was probably a couple of seconds away from having to put one on the ground next to him to try to get them compliant. But, thank God, I didn’t have to.”
Deputies arrived within minutes, according to Fox, and arrested Glenn Richard, 45, and Jesus Rangel, 28, both from towns in Grant County.
Would-be burglars armed with ‘billy club’ pick the wrong farm to rob: ‘I will shoot’
— John R Lott Jr. (@JohnRLottJr) September 25, 2023
Nothing was taken from the store. It had been “stripped to the studs” pending his purchase, Krautscheid told Fox, so there wasn’t much to steal even if he hadn’t intervened.
Still, with help of shoe prints found inside the building and the material in the car, deputies were able to charge the men with second-degree burglary, a Class B felony in Washington state, according to Fox. Under Washingon law, Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
And that’s where the bigger lesson is, with the statement Krautscheid wants the men to hear.
“Ask God for his mercy on your prior behavior,” he told Fox. “The devil wants us to be riddled with shame and guilt. The devil wins by telling you that you are only as good as your past and have no hope. God’s mercy is undeniable. God will forgive you for your sins and welcome you with open arms if you change your hearts.”
As forgiving as all that sounds, it doesn’t mean Krautschied is a bleeding heart when it comes to criminals.
He runs a Facebook page for area farmers to talk about criminal behavior, he told Fox. “They hit the poster child” of civilian anti-crime efforts, he said.
And he wants the men punished to the full extent of the law.
“I do not believe allowing them to stay and live as they are now will be beneficial for them,” his statement said, according to Fox.
“I am praying the court and jail can give them resources they need and the time away from their associates to make the break for good in their life. May the Lord have mercy on their souls, and may the court give Glen and Jesus full sentences.”
That’s Big Picture thinking from a guy who not all that long ago was faced with the potentially dangerous situation of two strangers where they shouldn’t be, one of them armed with a club.
Fortunately, Krautscheid had something smaller, but much more powerful — a firearm ready for use.
“I’m lucky because… I’ve had handgun and self-defense training classes,” he told Fox. “But in this situation, I was focused on those two individuals. I had four houses and a yard behind me, and a building behind me, I am lucky nobody was back in there.”
He called the whole incident an example of the importance of the Second Amendment and firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans, according to Fox.
“I told somebody I’m too old to take a beating from a billy club. And my friend joked to me, ‘Is there an age limit to that?’” Krautscheid told Fox.
“He didn’t bring [the billy club] just to carry for looks.”
No, it’s a pretty good bet the suspected burglar didn’t bring the club for looks. With some luck, though, and hopefully enough time to think things over, both men might change the way they look at things and get a different path in life.
Men have made bigger changes in their lives later than these two — much later in Rangel’s case.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, there’s always a way back if there’s the will to take it.
And Krautschied’s pretty much given them all the Big Picture anyone needs.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.