Burglary Robbery Homicide Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Burglary, Robbery, Homicide

Burglary, robbery and homicide are all criminal activities directed against the average man. There is never a specific indication as to the person who is going to fall as the next victim, and thus every individual needs to know what precautions should be taken. Since we are discussing three different types of crimes, the analysis is also spread up in three different sub-sections -- Burglary, Robbery and Homicide.

Burglary is a crime generally preventable if the person to whom this occurs takes adequate precautions. Yet there are a high number of these crimes that take place and all over United States there are an estimated 2,329,501 burglaries that take place during a year and the loss by victims is a staggering amount of $3.1 billion. In general, it has been seen that a burglary takes place every 12 seconds in the country and causes a loss of $1,675 for every case of burglary. As a result, the incidence is high and one in six homes is likely to be burgled. Their action is also very swift and the time spent in entering the house which is to be burgled is generally not more than one minute. It is also wrong to think that all burglaries take place during night and actually 60% of the burglaries in residential houses take place during the day. (Know the facts)

According to information available with police, burglars look for targets of opportunity or easy pickings when selecting a house to burgle. Thus some simple actions taken by the persons staying, occupying or owning the home, residence, apartment or office can reduce the chances of burglaries. The first of these steps is obviously to increase the security arrangements for the place. Simple and straightforward methods for this is to have strong windows, doors, locks as also good security habits and lifestyles. These are simple precautions like locking doors at night even when one is at home, or absent, and arranging for a neighborhood watch when one has gone on a vacation. This is required as insurance can never replace the keepsakes or family heirlooms that may be lost due to a burglary. Another important point to remember is that all burglars are not simple thieves and may also harm family security when they enter a house. One of the general rules is that all criminals do not like to come into spotlight and thus it is useful to have good lights at night on all entrance to the residence, porches, yards, and garages. Even when a person takes a house on rent, they should make sure that good arrangements are available for lights and within the parking lot where they have to park their cars. This is likely to reduce chances of burglary. (Burglary is Everyone's Problem)

When goes out of the house on a holiday, some simple precautionary measures may reduce the chances of burglary. One of this is to put the common area lighting around the apartment buildings on a timer or a photocell so that they automatically come on at dusk and switch off at dawn. This will give the burglars an impression that a resident within the house is taking these actions. There are also some other activities that will reinforce this. One of them is that trees and shrubs near windows and doors should be left trimmed as if they grow up into thick and tall shrubs provide cover for burglars as they are not likely to be detected. When one goes out for a short period after dusk, it is better to leave lights on. Another item that stops burglars is a radio playing inside the house as then the burglars feel that there is some person inside the house.

Another simple safety measure is to ensure that deliveries do not accumulate during one's period of absence. This can be done on the phone or in person, or even through asking neighbors to collect newspapers and other circulars. There should be no notes or indications on the entry that can tell burglars that one has gone out for a period. The sound of the telephones and answering machines should be lowered so that they cannot be heard from outside. Similarly, lawns and walks should have grass and snow removed as they also tell the burglar that somebody is at home. Another important aspect is the car, and the general practice should be to park the cars in the garage at all times, and have the garage locked. Then it will be difficult for burglars to determine when there are residents in the house or not. (Burglary is Everyone's Problem) All this will not stop burglaries, but make the burglars uncertain of their chances of success when they come.

There have been recommendations from the Burglary Prevention Council that all doors and windows in houses where the owners are away for a holiday, the doors and windows should be well secured with ornate, but yet sturdy door handles and deadbolt locks. When there are no deliberate gaps around the doorframes, the security will depend on the insides of doors and this will make it impossible for a regular thief with a screwdriver to remove the entire door and thus make his entry. Even when the doors are of a sliding type, they can be removed from the tracks on which they are supposed to slide. For this reason a metal or a solid wood rod like a broomstick should be placed on the inside track of the door to stop a burglar from being able to force it open. The general tendency seen is that there is an increase in burglaries by an amount of 10 to 18% during the summer months of June, July and August. The highest number of burglaries occurs in August according to the statistics available with FBI. The next highest number occurs in July. (State of the Nation) Thus it is clear that burglaries are most likely to take place when the residents of houses go on their summer vacations, and this is likely to be repeated every year, unless the house owners are a little more careful.

The next type of criminal activities that we are to discus is robbery and according to the legal definition of the act it is a felony which involves the illegal taking, through violence or threats of property which is in the possession of another person or under his control. This makes it different from larceny as larceny does not involve any threat of violence. This makes certain legal differences and when somebody's pocket is picked, without resistance from the person whose pocket is picked, it is a case of larceny. On the other hand, if the person whose pocket is picked becomes aware of the situation, and this leads to the pickpocket using force to collect or retain the property, then it becomes an act of robbery. (Robbery: Encarta)

For any act to become robbery the threat of violence may be to the person from whom the property is taken or a close relative of the person from whom the property is taken. This means that the threat may be to his or her child, wife or husband, or any other person closely connected. On the other hand "if the removal of the item is done without force or threat, and the use of force or threat is only to help the person committing the crime to escape, then according to law, no robbery has been committed." (Robbery: Shalley and Murray) Earlier when common law was applicable, the act was punishable by death and this was the case in both England and most of United States. Now degrees of robberies of different types have different penalties and presently the most severe penalty is life imprisonment when there is a first degree robbery committed by an offender armed with a dangerous weapon. (Robbery: Shalley and Murray)

There're differences between states, and New York State has defined robbery into three major types -- First Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree. Again, robbery of the first degree is classified as a class B felony in New York. This is viewed as the most dangerous form of robbery and the punishment that it carries is a 25-year maximum prison terms if the criminal is finally convicted. The general case of robbery of the first degree is the same as what most people think of incidences of robberies -- robbing a store or a bank under the threat of a gun. The same activity of robbery in the second degree is a class C violent felony. This is also a serious form of felony, and the concerned punishment is a 15-year maximum prison term when there is conviction. This type of robbery generally refers to what is otherwise called a group robbery as the use of a second degree robbery is said to occur most frequently when there are a large number of people working together to commit the…

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