What is Robbery?
Robbery is the act of illegally taking something from a person using force or the threat of force. This violent element is what makes robbery different from other crimes of theft, such as burglary or pickpocketing. Unlike burglary, robbery can take place anywhere and it doesn’t always involve breaking into a building. Using force to take something that a person is legally in charge of but doesn’t own is also classed robbery. For example, demanding money from a bank clerk.
What is the Penalty?
In the United States, most states class all crimes of robbery as a felony. Some other types of theft are often charged as misdemeanors, such as shoplifting. Punishments for robbery can be very severe, especially armed robbery which is when the perpetrator uses a weapon to inflict or threaten violence. Sentencing guidelines vary by state, but in some jurisdictions, someone found guilty of armed robbery could be imprisoned for life. Most states have a maximum prison term of between 10 and 20 years.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
You can avoid street robbery by sticking to well lit and crowded areas at night, and by trusting your instinct if you think something is wrong. If you suspect someone is following you or behaving strangely, don’t take any risks. It’s best to head inside a store or cafe and wait for a while.
If you need to move to a different area, walk with confidence and purpose to avoid looking like an easy target. If you are unfortunate enough to be robbed, stay calm, and hand over your possessions. Your personal safety is more important than your belongings. As soon as you are able, make sure to report to your financial institutions that your credit cards have been stolen and have them put a freeze on them. If you can, take a mental note of what the robber looked like and call the police as soon as it’s safe.
Most potential intruders who want to enter a home or business premises do so stealthily, and they will try to avoid detection. But on occasion, they may use force to take possessions. Home security devices such as alarms, cameras, motion sensors, and security lighting help to protect against both robbery and burglary.
An exterior camera often called a doorstep camera, should be positioned so you can see who is at your door. You can then avoid answering the door if you think the person is suspicious. A burglar is unlikely to wait around on your doorstep, but a robber might try to enter your property through deception.