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Violence is the first
refuge of the violent
              Aaron Allston

Types of Robbery

On this page:
Who is going to rob you? | Individual robbery | Armed robbery | Strong arm robbery | Home invasion robbery | Establishment | Bank run | Wrong place & wrong time | Flavors of robbery | Further Resources


The bad news is there are many ways to get robbed. The good news however is that depending on what you do for a living (or where you live) significantly reduce your chances.

According to the Uniform Crime Report (see footnote), robberies of the person make up for approximately 75% of all robberies. The remaining 25% are of establishments and banks.

Now believe it or not, that is good news. The reason is even though there are three times more robberies of individuals, there are far more people than there are businesses - like a few billion more. Add to that the fact that robbery has been decreasing over the last ten years and you end up with significantly reduced chances of being robbed.

While it can still happen, the odds are in your favor. Sheer numbers protect you.



The most common type of robbery is of the individual.

And the most common place for it is on your way to and from your car, nearly half of all robberies occur on the streets and in parking lots. With another 14 % happening in other locations, like subway and train stations, indoor ATMS and other locations. It is always important to recognize when you are entering into a "fringe area" where the likelihood of you being robbed increases.

There is over a 60% chance that you will be facing a weapon when robbed. That is however, a statistical norm across all types of robbery. The odds of facing a weapon go up significantly if you are being robbed by only one person. Strong armed tactics tend to be the domain of the pack, the individual mugger tends to prefer weapons - and guns are the most common.


While all robberies are felonies, the use of a weapon tends to bring about stiffer penalties. While all robberies are considered violent crimes, it is not uncommon for states to upgrade the class of felony if a weapon is used in the commission of a robbery. That means the person who is robbing you is risking a much greater prison sentence if he is caught and convicted. And this doesn't bother them.

The weapon of choice is a gun. It is fast, easy to get and, since most robberies happen at point blank range, requires very little training to hit the target. All the robber has to do is point in the general direction and pull the trigger until either he runs out of bullets or you are on the ground screaming in pain. Guns make up for 40% of all robberies with knives and other weapons making up another 20%. Again these numbers are a national average that incorporate every kind of robbery.

Needless to say, guns, knives and other weapons make up a hundred percent of all ARMED robberies. And weapons are the norm for robberies of establishments.


Strong arm
Many people do not realize that 40% of all robberies are committed by strong arm tactics.

That doesn't sound too bad until you realize that this means you are being mugged by a wolfpack. A varying number of individuals surrounds you and then either threatens to, or proceeds, to savage you for you possessions. That means ten or so people proceed to pummel you, and often once you are on the ground, they continue to kick and stomp you.

Furthermore most states recognize both an extreme disparity of force and the shod human foot on a downed individual as legal justification for the victim to use lethal force in order to protect himself from immediate death or grevious bodily injury. Both of which can, and often do, occur during a strong arm robbery. It doesn't matter if they don't have weapons, ten people stomping you can kill or hospitalize you for months just as well as one person with a weapon.

Packs of young toughs roaming or loitering in an area are a serious danger sign. One that should be steniously avoided whenever possible. And do NOT walk into their midsts. That is literally walking into the lions jaws.

What makes these kind of robbery's even more difficult is how often the interviews of these kinds of robberies will be explained away as "they were just messin' witcha." And since no weapons have been displayed it is difficult to prove intent in such cases. Until the robbery has actually occurred there is no overt crime such as displaying or menacing with a weapon.


Home invasion robbery.
The sad news is that home invasion robberies have become common.

In areas where automatic garage doors are standard, a tactic often used is to follow the victim home from someplace and then either pull into the garage or jump out of the car and rush the person before the garage door closes.

In other areas, entry through the front door is common. Whether this is achieved by simply ringing the doorbell and crashing the door when the person answers it, through deceit (i.e. "My car is broke down, can I use your phone?") or just kicking in the door depends on the robbers.

While an individual can do a home invasion, these types of robberies tend to be the domain of packs and gangs. And they tend to be armed as well. This is because they expect there to be multiple people at home.

Fortunately, many of the best protections against a home invasion robbery will also keep your home safe from burglars. Other simple habits that will protect you from other kinds of robberies will cover the rest.

Establishment robbery
This part under construction

Bank run
This part under construction

Wrong place, wrong time
This part too...

Flavors of robbery
Walk up and shoot
Five stages.

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