A person commits the offense of robbery when he or she knowingly takes property from the person or presence of another by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force. 720 ILCS 5/1801 (2012)
There are three major distinctions between robbery and theft:
- Robbery requires the use of force or the threat of the imminent use of force
- Theft requires the intentional or knowing effort to permanently deprive a person of the use or benefit of the property taken, robbery only requires a showing of a general intent to take another’s property
- Unlike theft, the value of the property taken in a robbery is immaterial as long as it is shown to have some value. People v. McCarty, 94 Ill. 2d 28, 33, 445 N.E.2d 298, 302 (1983)
Interesting Point: Where no property is taken from an alleged victim, no robbery occurs. People v. Triplett, 138 Ill. App. 3d 1070, 1073, 487 N.E.2d 39, 41-41 (1st Dist 1985).
Two standards to determine whether the force or threat of force requirement is met:
1) If the fear of the alleged victim was of such nature as in reason and common experience is likely to induce a person to party with property from the sake of her presence.
2) The degree of force necessary to constitute robbery must be such that the power of the owner to retain his property is overcome either by actual violence physically applied, or putting him in such fear as to overpower his will. People v. Bowerl, 111 Ill. 2d 58, 63, 488 N.E.2d 995, 997 (1986) –the force requirement was satisfied where a defendant took a wallet from a woman, who, upon noticing the taking, demanded the return of the wallet and was pushed in the should by the defendant as he made his escape.
The sole difference between armed robbery and simple robbery is that the person committing the robbery must be carrying a dangerous weapon. People v. DeLeon, 400 Ill. App. 3d 308, 312, 352 N.E.2d 234, 238 (1st Dist. 1989)
Interesting Point: Where a defendant leads a victim to believe that he or she possesses a dangerous weapon when in fact he or she does not, the defendant has not committed armed robbery. People v. Bias, 131 Ill. App. 3d 98, 106, 475 N.E.2d 263, 259 (4th Dist. 1985)
Interesting Point: In determining whether a particular weapon is dangerous, it is the weapon’s potential for inflicting deadly or serious injury that must be determined, not whether the weapon was in fact used or threatened to be used in a harmful or deadly manner. People v. Thomson, 125 Ill. App. 3d 665, 678, 466 N.E.2d 380, 390 (2nd Dist. 1984)
Aggravated Robbery differs from armed robbery in that armed robbery requires that a defendant carry on or about his person or be otherwise armed with a dangerous weapon while aggravated robbery occurs where a defendant indicates verbally or by his or her actions to the victim that he or she is presently armed with such weapon, whether or not the defendant is in fact armed. People v. Gray, 346 Ill. App. 3d 989, 994, 806 N.E.2d 753, 758 (2d Dist. 2004)
Lesser Included Offenses
Theft may be considered a lesser-included offense of robbery. Robbery is a lesser-included offense of armed robbery .