1 minute read

Robbery - Related Crimes

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawRobbery - Legal Definition, Particular Requirements, Related Crimes, The History Of Robbery, Types Of Behavior

Related crimes

Some crimes closely related to robbery are larceny, larceny from the person, assault, battery, kidnapping, extortion, and murder.

Larceny is the principal common law form of theft, and differs from robbery in that it involves neither the element of force or fear nor the requirement that the taking be from the person of the victim. Larceny from the person is an aggravated form of theft that does involve a taking from the person but that does not involve the use of force or fear. Originally created by an Elizabethan statute designed to deal with a cut-purse and pickpocket problem that was serious even then (An act to take away the benefit of clergy from certain offenders for felony, 8 Eliz. 1, c. 4, § 2 (1565) (repealed)), the most common forms of larceny from the person today continue to be purse-snatching, pick-pocketing, and thefts from sleeping or intoxicated persons.

Assault is a common law crime that involves putting another person in fear, and battery is an unlawful touching or hitting. These crimes thus involve force or fear, but do not involve theft.

Kidnapping for ransom involves an unlawful seizure of a victim and, in most states, a carrying away of that person for the purpose of gaining money or other valuables. Since such movement of the victim is present in almost every robbery, there is considerable potential for overlap in the two crimes. The courts have generally sought to avoid this by ruling that for a crime to be kidnapping, the movement of the victim must be greater than that necessary for robbery to be committed.

Extortion or blackmail is a statutory crime involving threats to expose a crime or other shameful deed perpetrated by the victim unless money is paid or some other act performed. In many states the crime also covers future threats of bodily harm. The crime developed largely to protect against harms not covered by the law of robbery.

If a robber intentionally shoots or seriously injures a victim and the victim dies, the robber is guilty of murder. In most states even an accidental shooting by a robber that ends in the death of the victim is also murder because of the felony-murder doctrine, which provides that killings in the course of a felony (or at least of a dangerous felony such as robbery) constitute murder.

Additional topics