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CA restaurant owner stops attempted burglar with pistol, holds until police arrive

A man holds a handgun. (MaxPixel/Released)
July 12, 2021

A San Francisco restaurant owner used his handgun to stop an attempted burglary last week and held the suspect at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.

According to the San Francisco Police Department, Danny Babineaux, 37, climbed through a window into a 66-year-old male’s apartment on July 6 around 10:20 a.m. on the 1600 block of Folsom Street.

“The investigation revealed that the victim, a 66-year-old male, heard noises coming from the kitchen of his apartment, which is located on the second floor. He went to his kitchen and encountered Babineaux who was climbing through the kitchen window,” the department said in a statement on the incident.

Police said the victim, fearing for his life, retrieved a handgun before returning to the kitchen.

“According to the victim, Babineaux was now inside the kitchen, attempted to leave by a rear door but then turned towards the victim. The victim discharged the firearm, but Babineaux was not struck by gunfire,” the department said.

The victim told the suspect to stop as he fled downstairs to an area between the restaurant and apartments. Babineaux complied with the victim’s request, and the victim was able to hold the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived.

Babineaux was taken to SF County Jail and charged with two counts of burglary. Despite the arrest, police said an active investigation remains open, and anyone with information is directed to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Callers have the option to remain anonymous.

The incident comes as California continues seeing a surge in shoplifting across the state, a trend law enforcement attribute to the passage of Prop 47. Known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, the 2014 law increased the amount a person could steal before facing felony charges from $450 to $950.

In June, video of a bold theft at a San Francisco Walgreens circulated on social media, highlighting the spike in brazen shoplifting that has been forcing businesses to flee the city.

According to Lieutenant Mark Donaldson of the Vacaville Police Department, the suspects are aware of the nearly $1,000 limit and are taking advantage of it, CBS 13 reported.

“They know the law,” Donaldson said. “One of the first things they ask us [is] ‘Can’t I just get a ticket so I can be on my way?’”

Donaldson explained that the thieves who are caught are most often written a citation, given a court date and released.

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” Donaldson said.