WICHITA, Kan. – There’s a video circulating online of a Wichita couple going live on Facebook as they claim they’ve found their stolen vehicles at a residence in the city.
In the video, they’re seen holding someone at gunpoint, while police are called. Things escalate, and at one point the couple, both armed with handguns, confronts a man about their missing trucks.
Wichita police say that man was not arrested, but they did arrest a woman on four counts of suspicion of criminal deprivation of property. The video online has been viewed thousands of times.
Nina Smith says she reported two of her trucks stolen over the weekend.
“We came home from vacation Friday night, and the Yukon is missing from my driveway so I call and make a police report on it,” said Smith. “We left to pick up our dogs from my mom’s house, we come back and my Dodge pickup is now gone, so now I’m down two vehicles.”
The next day, Smith says a friend told her about an online post where stolen vehicles may have been found. She and her husband decided to check out the location and said they found their vehicles. That’s when things started to escalate.
The pair confronted a man at a North Wichita home, both pointing their guns.
“We were on the phone with 911 whole time — the whole 17 minutes,” said Smith.
She says when police arrived, the intensity continued.
“All three got on hands and knees with handcuffs, and they had to put us in back of vehicle and detain us until they got whole story, they didn’t know if we were lying or not they did what they had to do,” said Smith.
Wichita police confirm that Saturday morning, 911 received multiple calls of a disturbance at a north Wichita residence. Police say four stolen vehicles were recovered at the home, and a 38-year-old woman was arrested for four counts of criminal deprivation of property. Police say they’re still investigating.
“They said we did citizen’s arrest, we feared for our safety, and we retrieved stolen vehicles,” said Nina.
Nina and her husband say they were eventually let go, and they stand by their actions.
“Couple elements I would have changed, but I would have definitely held him at gunpoint again,” said Nina.
Defense Attorney Dan Monnat says it can be dangerous when individual citizens take the law into their own hands, but it can be legal depending on the circumstances.
“We have laws in the state of Kansas that allow people to use such force as a reasonable person would use to recover their property, and we have laws in the state of Kansas that allow people to make citizens arrests,” said Dan Monnat, Defense Attorney. “There may be some discussion about whether or not in modern day Wichita we want gun-toting vigilantes making arrests like in the wild, wild west, but the law is what the law is.”
Police say every situation is unique, the best bet is to call 911 to report a theft or any crime.
“It’s important to notify authorities if you do see your stolen vehicle so that we can respond, and investigate the situation appropriately,” said officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department.
Police say if you know anything about this investigation to contact them or call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.
See full interview at KSN.com