Articles Tagged with robbery

Many arrests are initiated by the victim of the alleged crime calling the police. A victim can also go to the police precinct and file a criminal complaint against the perpetrator in person. Whether in person or on the phone, the police open an investigation as soon as the victim starts talking.

The police will listen to the victim’s complaint and interview him or her for details about the event. Evidence of the alleged crime is collected and identifying characteristics of the potential defendant is gathered. At some point, the details from the investigation are written in a statement, that after being reviewed by the victim, is sworn to and signed. This statement forms the basis of the criminal complaint.

Sometimes, however, these police reports are not entirely truthful. When a victim lies and files a criminal complaint against someone, it is a crime in California. With the help of artificial intelligence, the police are actively cracking down on these fake police reports.

Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Investigations

Since the 2000s, law enforcement and artificial intelligence have been working closely to develop science and technological tools that would enable law enforcement to do their job better. Take, for example, the use of DNA collected at crime scenes in rape investigations. When used correctly, unique DNA markers can be isolated and used to identify the suspect and eliminate with almost 100% certainty all other potential suspects.

The next wave of tools to be developed will assist law enforcement with specific criminal investigations. Take, for example, robbery investigations. In California, robbery is a felony with a prison sentence of over a year in state prison. A robbery charge means a suspect took personal property in possession of another person from his or her immediate presence, against his or her will, by using force or fear. California Penal Code Section 211.

When the police are called to investigate the robbery, the victim will be asked questions to elicit a criminal complaint. What happened, how did it happen, was the victim hurt, what was taken, and who did it, are basic questions the victim will be asked. The victim will also be asked for a written statement of the robbery and the events and details described.

VeriPol can Detect Lies in Robbery Reports

VeriPol is software used in robbery investigations to identify false robbery reports. It was developed by computer scientists in Spain and used by the National Police to identify false robbery reports. The software analyzes the victim’s written statement to identify false reports. 83% of the software-identified fake reports were closed after the victim faced further questioning and resulted in no robbery charges being filed.

By analyzing the fake reports, conclusions were drawn to make robbery investigations in the future better. False robbery reports tend to be shorter, focused on the stolen property rather than the robbery itself, few details were provided about the attacker or robbery, and there was an absence of witnesses. This is just one example of how artificial intelligence is transforming criminal investigations and being used by law enforcement to go after the correct defendants. Continue reading

This time of year, there is an uptick in muggings, when someone is attacked and robbed in public. It can happen as a person enters his or her home, walks out of a restaurant, steps off the bus, or walks through a mall parking lot. Robbery is the taking of property from another person against his or her will by fear or force. The force may involve a weapon, such as a gun or bat, or physical force, like pushing the victim, punching the victim, or kicking the victim. Robbery in California is considered a serious and violent offense. Almost always charged with a felony, the highest crime classification in the state, individuals convicted of robbery face years in state prison.

Robbery Law in California

Under the California Penal Code at Section 211, anyone who purposefully steals someone else’s property by using force or fear will be convicted of robbery. The use of force can be pushing, hitting, slapping, grabbing, or any non-consensual contact. Fear includes any verbal act, such as threats of harm, conditional threats, and non-verbal threats like lifting up a shirt to show a gun.

An individual can be charged with first-degree robbery in California if the victim is a person performing his or her duties as an operator of a bus, taxi, cable car, street car, or any other vehicle used for the transportation of people for hire; the passengers of such vehicles; people in an inhabited residence; or a person using an ATM. A conviction of first-degree robbery can result in up to nine years in state prison.

Second degree robbery charges will follow if the accused person takes something that does not belong to him or her, in the presence of another person, and without the victim’s consent, and the accused person used force or fear and deprived the victim or owner of personal property. A conviction for second-degree robbery can result in up to five years in state prison. Continue reading

According to a San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) report, the San Diego region’s overall crime rate, violent-crime rate, and property-crime rate has remained relatively stable, and is even down 1 percent. While some categories of violent crime showed a few upticks, it is telling that the crime rate in the region has remained stable given the legislative changes enacted in the recent years that have allowed ex-offenders returning to local communities. A total of 5,335 violent crimes (those involving homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) were reported to local police in the region between January and June of 2015; an average of 29 per day. Domestic violence incidents are also up 4% from 2014.

While property crimes such as burglaries are reported to have dropped by approximately 13% throughout the San Diego region, the La Jolla area has seen an increase in crime. Reported robberies in La Jolla have doubled from five to 10, and rapes have increased from zero to eight incidents the first half of the year. Thefts over $400 and motor vehicle thefts have also increased from 49 to 54 incidents.

What is Robbery?

In California, Penal Code 211 defines the crime of robbery as taking personal property that belongs to someone else from the victim’s person or immediate presence, and against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear.

Robbery is different from theft in that it must occur when the victim/property owner is present during the crime. The crime of robbery can also occur during a burglary of a home if the residents happen to be inside at the time. Robbery is always a felony under California law.

Robbery is considered a first degree felony if:

  • It is committed against any driver or passenger of a vehicle
  • It takes place in an inhabited structure
  • It takes place at an ATM after someone has just used it

It is punishable by up to six years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or felony formal probation.

Robbery in the second degree is committed whenever it does not meet the definition of first degree robbery. It is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, felony probation, and a $10,000 fine. Continue reading