Monday, May 9, 2011

Robbers Often Get Little Reward For Big Risk

There were a couple of stories late last week on the topic of robbery that I thought were worth noting, one was here locally when an armed robber that held up a soldier outside his home was hammered with a 50 year prison sentence. The interesting part is in how friends of the victim placed a call to the cell phone stolen from the victim to lure the suspect into a trap for police. From the article at the Killeen Daily Herald:

The robbery occurred around 4 a.m. Oct. 29 as the victim was leaving for physical training at Fort Hood. Robinson pointed a gun at the victim and stole his phone, wallet and keys.

After hearing about the robbery, the victim's colleague, Sgt. Adolfo Siliezar, immediately placed a phone call to the stolen phone, Waldman said.

Robinson answered the phone and pretended to be the victim. Siliezar knew it was an imposter on the phone, so he decided to see if he could lure the robber out by telling him he wanted to loan him money.

Killeen police were contacted and Officer Givon Emeana began surveilling an area outside a McDonald's restaurant on Rancier Avenue where Siliezar told Robinson he had left a sum of money.

Twice Emeana observed Robinson examine a Redbox movie rental kiosk where Siliezar had claimed to have left money. Emeana told the court it appeared Robinson was "frisking" the machine as he looked for money Siliezar had told him was wedged under the machine.

Police approached Robinson during his second trip to the kiosk. Inside his car, they found a black shirt and bright green bandana that matched clothing provided in the victim's description of the suspect. Robinson also matched the victim's physical description.

Police found the stolen phone by placing a call to it. It was located in a secret compartment in the dashboard of Robinson's gold Cadillac.

There was another interesting story over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where they looked at statistics of armed robbery suspects over time. In this story, they note that not only are armed robbery suspects getting younger, but that often there is a new offender "learning the trade" when they are committing these offenses.

"These guys are less experienced than some of the robbers we've had in the past," Milwaukee police crime analyst Nicole DeMotto said in an interview.

Offenders also are younger: When excluding the youngest and oldest who were arrested, the average age of a robber was 22 a year ago, but that number is now 20.

"We're finding that in the groups of arrests, there tends to be a younger person along with them, 'learning the trade,' so to speak. So we don't necessarily have two 13-year-olds out with a gun robbing people. We have a 13-year-old running with a 16-year-old," Milwaukee police Capt. Michael Dubis said. "We've had a significant number of robberies being done by more than one person."

One thing I noticed about armed robberies in the sleepy little burg where I work is that amount of money and/or good netted by these criminals is usually a pittance. Most late night convenience store chains have cash handling policies that forbid employees from keeping more than a small amount of money in the register at any given time. In fact, in most of them, the robbers will take a carton or two of cigarettes and this will often be of greater value than the cash taken. Given the little money usually netted, it wouldn't surprise me if a greater motivation to commit these types of robberies may be peer pressure or the thrill factor.

What is your agency doing to combat armed robberies?

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