Police in Kalamazoo County are looking for two suspects who allegedly held up a 7-11 on the evening of Dec. 6. Police reportedly believe the same two African-American males who allegedly held up the convenience store may have been involved in two incidents of armed robbery at Western Michigan University.
Both men were wearing ski masks and hoodies. They took off from the 7-11 with some cash and have not yet been found by police.
In order for a crime to be considered robbery, it must incorporate several key elements. The suspect must have intentionally taken a piece of property from another person against his or her will. In addition, the owner of the property must have been present when the robbery took place and the robbery must have occurred by the use of threat or violence.
To complicate things further, there are several types of robbery. Normal robbery -- without the use of a weapon -- is often considered a second-degree felony. If a suspect uses a gun or other weapon or intentionally inflicts harm on a victim, then the incident can be classified as armed or aggravated robbery, which is a first-degree felony crime.
Robbery can be a state or federal crime, depending on the type of business that was robbed. Robbing a bank or financial institution is considered a federal crime, as is a robbery that affects multiple states, such as the robbery of a tractor-trailer shipping items to multiple states. Anything else would typically fall under a state crime.
Prosecutors in some cases may try to press charges that are not in keeping with the nature of the crime. Individuals accused of robbery, armed or otherwise, are well advised to work with a legal professional who knows the ins and outs of the criminal defense system and can respond to this tactic as necessary.
Source: WKZO.com, "Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputies seek two armed robbery suspects," Dec. 7, 2012