WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROBBERY AND THEFT?
In Kansas, robbery is a crime that involves the taking of another person's property through the use of force or fear. This means that in order for an act to be considered robbery, the person committing the crime must use or threaten violence in order to take the property.
Theft, on the other hand, is the act of taking another person's property without their consent and with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Theft can be committed in a variety of ways, such as pickpocketing, shoplifting, and embezzlement. Unlike robbery, theft does not involve the use of force or threats of violence.
Both robbery and theft are serious crimes and can result in significant penalties, including jail time and fines. However, robbery is typically considered a more serious offense because it involves the use of force or threats of violence.
This case addresses the following issue: Kansas v. Bateson, 970 P.2d 1000 (Kan. 1998).
What is the difference between robbery and theft?
This case explored the difference between robbery and theft. In exploring the difference, the court held that robbery involved an offender taking property from another by force or by threat of bodily harm and theft did not involve any type of force or threat. Id. at 1001.
In this case, the victim was alone in her work office. Id. After leaving briefly to get some information from an adjoining office, she returned to observe the defendant bent over behind her desk. Id. She then asked what he was doing and he replied, “looking for somebody.” Id. The victim then saw that her lower desk drawer where she kept her purse was partially opened. Id. Upon looking inside her purse, the victim noticed that $95 in cash was missing as well as her address book. Id. Once the victim saw the missing money, she demanded the defendant give it back. Id. The defendant then turned, left the office, and walked rapidly to the stairs (never threatening or applying force to the victim). Id. After the defendant fled, the victim followed him, some 6 to 8 feet behind. Id. In order to get out of the building, the defendant had to go through several doors. Id. While the victim was following the defendant, one of the doors slammed in her face. Id. Eventually, the defendant was apprehended and found guilty by a jury of robbery. Id. As a result, the defendant appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Kansas. Id.
On appeal the defendant argued that the court should have convicted him of theft instead of robbery. Id. According to the defendant, he did not take the property by force or threat. Id. Contrary to the defendant’s opinion, the State (plaintiff) argued that the defendant used force (slamming the door) to effect the removal of the property from the victim’s presence and the office building. Id.
In responding to the defendant’s argument, the court first examined the Kansas statutes on robbery and theft. Id. The robbery statute stated, “Robbery is the taking of property from the person or presence of another by force or by threat of bodily harm to any person.” Id. Additionally, the theft statute stated, “Theft is any of the following acts done with intent to deprive the owner permanently of the possession, use or benefit of the owner’s property: (1) Obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property.” Id. After examining the two statutes, the court determined that the defendant’s use of force did not come before nor was it at the same time with the taking of the cash and address book. Id. at 1005. Furthermore, the court noted that the defendant had control of the property when he left the victim’s office. Id. Also, the court found that the defendant was out of the victim’s sight at the time of the door slamming incident and the taking was complete before the force occurred. Id. Therefore, the court held that the evidence supported a theft conviction and not a robbery conviction. Id.