Robbery - Encyclopedia

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ROBBERY (from O. Fr. rober, to steal), the unlawful and forcible taking of goods or money from the person of another by violence or threatened violence. Robbery is larceny with violence. It is a specific offence under the Larceny Act 1861, and is punishable by penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years and not less than three years, or imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour. Under the Garrotters Act 1863, whipping may be added as part of the sentence for robbery. In Scots law robbery is termed stouthrief. United States. - The nature of the offence is practically the same in America as in England, but what constitutes robbery is provided by statute in each state, as is also the punishment. The chief difference between English and American law is that the latter often divides the offences into grades and takes a liberal view of what constitutes force or fear. Train robbery is specially dealt with in some states owing to the prevalence of that species of crime.

Federal Statute. - Congress has made it piracy punishable with death to commit robbery on the high seas or on shore or in any harbour out of the jurisdiction of any state by landing from a piratical vessel (U.S. Rev. St. § 1047).

In Alabama it is train robbery to " enter upon or go near to any locomotive, engine, or car, on any railroad and by threats or exhibition of a deadly weapon or discharging a pistol or gun on or near such engine or car induce or compel any one to deliver up anything of value. It is punishable at the discretion of the jury by death or imprisonment for not less than ten years. Any one who stops, impedes or detains any locomotive or car with intent to commit train robbery must be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than thirty years. Conspiring to commit train robbery is punishable to the same extent (Crim. Code, §§ 5480-5482).

In Arizona, California and Missouri the " fear " may be that of the person robbed or of any relative of his or member of his family or of any one in his company. The punishment is imprisonment for not less than five years.

In Arkansas and Missouri extorting money or property by blackmail is an " attempt to rob "; it is punishable by not less than one nor more than five years' imprisonment. In Georgia larceny from the person is statutory robbery (Hickey v. State (1906), 125, Ga. 145).

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Train robbery is punishable by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years.


Train robbery is punishable by death or imprisonment for not less than ten years. It may consist in placing an obstruction on the line with intent to rob.


Robbery, committed when armed with a dangerous weapon, is punishable by imprisonment for life (Rev. L., 1902, ch. 207, § 17).


The extreme penalty for robbery is forty years' imprisonment (L. 1905, ch. 114) .

New Jersey

The extreme penalty is $3000 fine or twelve years' imprisonment.


Falsely personating an officer and by means of arrest extorting money is robbery (Burnside v. State (1907), 102, S.W. Rep. 178).

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