The FBI recently released the crime statistics report for 2016. As per the report, approximately 327,374 robberies occurred in the United States in 2016, 40.8% of which involved the use of firearms.

Robbery refers to the act of taking something - cash, product, property – unlawfully, by force. Robbery is extremely similar to larceny and theft with just one exception. While larceny and theft do not involve physical violence in any form, robbery involves physical assault of the victims. Robbers – people who conduct robberies – aim to deprive the victim of a valuable by means of force and brutality.

There are various types of robberies that take place around the world:

  • Armed robbery
    The robber uses a weapon to rob the victim. The weapon may or may not be deployed, but the robber uses the weapon to instill fear in the victims.
  • Aggravated robbery
    Here the robber usually uses an extremely dangerous weapon to rob the victim. Brutal physical assault occurs in many cases of aggravated robbery.
  • Mugging
    Here, victims are stopped on the way, attacked and robbed. Robbers frequent places which have less traffic and low footfalls and attack victims who are either by themselves or look physically weak and incapable of defending themselves. Carjacking is common during mugging when robbers forcibly take the victim’s car from them. About 44.5% of all robberies take place on the street and usually occur at night.

Apart from these bank robberies and robberies at convenience stores are quite common around the world. In some countries, trespassing on a person’s property with the intention to commit a theft can also be constituted as an attempt to rob and perpetrators are penalized based on the severity of their crime.

Why do people rob?

Most robberies occur as a result of greed and jealousy. In fact, many robbers come from economically weaker backgrounds and choose to rob someone to make quick money. Many times these people are exposed to such crimes early in life and believe that robberies are only the solution out of their problems.

However, not all robbers come from economically weak backgrounds. Some high-profile criminals, such as those who indulge in art theft, are often well-educated and come from good backgrounds. With them, robbery serves as an easy way to make a living.

The Baghdad Bank robbery

12th July 2007 was the setting of Baghdad's worst robbery. Three bank guards were observed making off with a whopping $282 million in cash from the Dar Es Salaam bank. To this day, no one knows how the guards managed to get their hands on this money or where they went. The only speculation is that the guards had the support of the militia to commit the crime.