When you envision a robbery, you may envision an armed robber wearing a ski mask, holding up a bank. Or perhaps you picture a hoodlum pointing a gun at a cashier inside a convenience store, demanding the money in the register. But what you probably don’t realize is that armed robberies occur across America every day.
Robbery is the act of taking or attempting to take something of value that someone else owns by way of force, threat, and/or placing fear in the victim. Robbery is different from shoplifting or stealing something when the owner is not around, as robbery involves the use of intimidation and/or violence towards the victim.
Over 400,000 robberies occur each year, with approximately 90% of them occurring in large metropolitan areas with dense populations. The remainder of robberies occur in smaller cities and less populated rural areas.
According to the 2009 FBI Uniform Crime Reports on robbery in the United States:
- 2% of robberies happen at banks.
- 2.5% of robberies occur at gas stations.
- 16% of robberies happen in a victim’s residence.
- 6% of robberies take place at convenience stores.
- 43% of robberies take place on streets and highways.
- 14% of robberies occur at commercial housing complexes (apartments/condos).
- Approximately 17% of robberies transpire in locations other than those listed above!
About half of all robberies involve a weapon of some type, with a gun being the main weapon of choice. Other robberies are committed by force, such as shoving, punching, kicking, and verbal threats. This is commonly due to an easy opportunity presenting itself to a robber when not armed. It is also sometimes due to robbers knowing that the punishment for robbery with a weapon (if caught), is more severe than robbery without a weapon.
Robbers use the element of surprise and scare tactics to rob their victims. If a victim does not respond accordingly, robbers have been known to resort to injury and even murder.
Robbery is more commonly committed after 8.00 PM. Multiple studies on robbery have shown that in the selection of their victims, robbers look for people who are alone and in isolated areas, with ideal escape routes and very few witnesses. Robbers also take into consideration the amount of cash on hand and the age of the victim. Unfortunately, the elderly are often targets of robberies.
Robbery Prevention Tips
As you can see from these disturbing statistics, you are more likely to be robbed while walking on the street, driving in your car, shopping, or just hanging out at your house vs. visiting a bank or gas station—all the more reason you need stay aware of your surroundings and on the lookout!
To reduce your risk of becoming the victim of a robbery, adhere to the following tips whenever possible:
- Avoid walking in dark and/or dimly lit areas, especially when by yourself.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry when going out for the evening on the town.
- When at home, do not open the door to strangers, even if they say they need help.
- If you are ever the victim of a robbery, NEVER follow the robber. Call the police immediately!
- Always be aware and alert of your surroundings, even while stopped at lights and intersections.
- When you step out to run an errand, never leave a note on your door that tells when you will be back.
- Only use ATMs during the day and that are highly visible. Avoid those that are isolated. Do not use ATM machines at night!
- Call the police if something suspicious stands out to you, such as a stranger hanging around. It’s much better to be safe than sorry!
- Avoid storing personal information in your vehicle, such as car registration and other documents with your name and home address on them.
- Robbers prefer victims that are alone. That means there is safety in numbers. When leaving a store or restaurant, walk with a friend or in a group of people.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.