Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Robbery Definition:

Theft under threat or use of force.

Related Terms: Hiraba, Theft, Larceny

Theft under threat or use of force.

Or an assault or battery with intent to rob.

In R v Sayers, 1983 OJ 176, the Ontario Court of Appeal adopted these words:

"(T)o constitute robbery all that is necessary is some act of violence or ... some demonstration from which physical injury to the person robbed may be reasonably apprehended.  In order to conclude that such reasonable apprehension exists it is necessary to look at the totality of the conduct of the accused."

Australia's Criminal Code, at s. 392, defines robbery as:

"A person who steals a thing and, immediately before or at the time of or immediately after doing so, uses or threatens to use violence to any person or property in order ... to obtain the thing stolen; or ... to prevent or overcome resistance to its being stolen, is guilty of a crime...."

robbery imageCalifornia's Penal Code, s. 211 and 212:

"Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

"The fear ...may be either ... of an unlawful injury to the person or property of the person robbed, or of any relative of his or member of his family; or, ... of an immediate and unlawful injury to the person or property of anyone in the company of the person robbed at the time of the robbery."

Canada's Criminal Code, s. 343, "Every one commits robbery who:

  • Steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property;
  • Steals from any person and, at the time he steals or immediately before or immediately thereafter, wounds, beats, strikes or uses any personal violence to that person;
  • Assaults any person with intent to steal from him; or
  • Steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation thereof."

England's Theft Act of 1968:

"A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force."
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