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R - Letter R is for Robbery

R - Robbery

My letter S post Spoof Card is out of place and should be after this post, but it is before it. You can find my letter S -Spoof Card Post here. You might want to read it, if you are planning to solve the murder mystery.
I don't know why this post disappeared from my blog. I discovered that it was missing, after I clearly saw in on my blog, I found it in the draft stage and published it, but the font all came out in pink. I am attempting to fix the mess now.

Robbery is often confused with the somewhat similar criminal offense: Burglary

Full Disclosure: This is a repeat topic from another A to Z Blogging Challenge Year. 

If you want to read the full, in-depth earlier Robbery For Crime Fiction Writers post. Here it is.

                                                                           R is for Robbery

Before I explain the difference, I should tell you the elements of the criminal offense, robbery.{Keep in mind that criminal elements and definitions, vary from state to state.}

Simple Robbery: 
(1) The taking of anything of value
(2) Belonging to another
(3) From the person of another
(4) Or that is in the immediate control of the other
(5) By use of force or intimidation {but, not armed with a dangerous weapon.}

The crime is enhanced to Second Degree Robbery, when the offender inflicts serious bodily injury. It is further enhanced to First Degree Robbery, when the offender leads the victim to reasonably believe he is armed with a dangerous weapon; and the offense is enhanced to an Armed Robbery, when the offender, in fact, has a dangerous weapon.

Without going into all the details of each and every element of a burglary, here are the main distinctions between robbery and burglary:

A robbery requires the taking of something of value from another. A burglary is the unauthorized entering of a dwelling, car, boat or other structure, with the intent to commit a theft or felony, therein.

Do you recognize any of the important distinctions?

Unlawfully entering another person's home, car, or boat: Burglary, but not robbery.Breaking into someones home with the intent to steal money: Burglary, but not robberyUnlawfully entering someones home {without their permission}, but not breaking a window or lock, entering through an unlocked door, with the intent to rape the home's occupant: Burglary, not robbery.It doesn't matter that the door is unlocked, it is an unlawful entry. The intent to commit a rape is the intent to commit a felony, therefore, a burglary. For a burglary to occur, it is irrelevant that the offender does not actually commit the theft or felony therein; the only requirement is the intent to commit a theft or felony, therein.

Robbery requires the actual taking of something of value, from another, belonging to another. So a man approaches a woman in a shopping mall parking lot, unarmed and demands that she give him her watch and shopping bags (I intentionally did not say purse, because purse snatching is a separate and distinct crime).The woman is frightened by the man and his size and obvious ability to harm her so she hands it over. This is a robbery.The man knocks her to to the ground and stomps on her, leaving her unconscious~ this is a second degree robbery. 

The man has his hand inside his sweatshirt-hoodie and is pointing something at her though his clothing, but the woman is unable to determine what it is. It could be a gun or could be his cell phone or merely his finger. So long as the victim is led to reasonably believe that the man is armed, it doesn't matter if he is actually armed. This is First degree robbery.But... If the man actually has a weapon, it is an armed robbery. Robbery requires, actual taking, so an unsuccessful attempt to take is an attempted robbery.Why am I making the distinction between a robbery and a burglary?Other than the obvious reason; many writers get these two crimes confused.

Let's take a look at what is happening with Detective Coker and our A to Z Crime Fiction Murder Mystery

Evidence & Case Analysis Update:

Thomas Clinton has been going bat shit crazy, demanding the release of his wife's personal effects, but Detective Coker has repeatedly told him that anything on the victim's body at the time of her death is considered evidence and will not be released until the case is solved and prosecuted. 
Thomas knows this. After all, he is a lawyer. 
He finally broke down and told Detective Coker that he really just wants the engagement ring his wife wore on her left ring finger. 
Apparently it is a 5 carat flawless (F) emerald cut diamond ring, according to the insurance form he presented to Detective Coker, a flawless diamond is extremely rare. 
Martha's diamond fell under the letter D for color in the four C's. 
The 5 carat emerald cut diamond ring also had .5 carat baguettes on each side. 
The diamond is a Harry Winston diamond set in platinum and according the the insurance policy it is valued at and insured for more money than Detective Coker will make in his lifetime. 
Thomas Clinton claims the diamond is a 5th generation family heirloom and he would like for it to be returned to him immediately.
 He proposed that the officers take photographs of the diamond ring for evidentiary purposes.

The glitch .... Detective Coker doesn't remember any such ring. 
He checked though the evidence inventory and spoke to all police officers and CSI techs and employees at the morgue, all deny ever seeing a ring on the victim's finger.

The evidence inventory sheet for the victim's body shows:

one gold and platinum Rolex watch
 one platinum diamond wedding band
 one sapphire cocktail ring 
one five dollar bill in the front pant pocket

This might change the direction of the investigation.

If, Martha Clinton was in fact wearing this expensive diamond engagement ring at the time she was killed and the perpetrator took the ring from the victim, he committed the crime of robbery
Robbery is another crime that would allow the district attorney to charge the suspect with first degree murder as opposed to second degree murder. 
If the suspect killed Martha Clinton, during the commission or attempted commission of one of the enumerated felony offenses (Rape & Robbery) both included, then the DA will be going for the death penalty once they arrest the offender.

Or ...

Detective Coker, being the person he is,  finds it difficult to trust people at face value ... his mind is always considering the more cynical theories of the crime.

Maybe ...

Thomas Clinton, being in financial trouble ... knows that if his wife divorces him he will suffer a severe financial set back. 
He has a girlfriend. 
He doesn't want his wife, but he can't afford a messy divorce. 

Perhaps ...

Thomas Clinton killed his wife and stole the engagement ring from her finger.

Why would he do this?

To add credibility to the theory that someone other than the husband killed the wife

and ...

He could make a shit load of money by filing a theft claim with his insurance company. 
He has the ring insured for over half a million dollars.

If this was a robbery that ended in murder, why didn't the suspect also take Martha's other valuable jewelry? 
Just because the other jewelry was not taken ... in and of itself doesn't prove anything.
 A variety of factors could have prevented the killer from taking the other jewelry. 
A car drove by. 
The killer was in a hurry and became spooked when he saw a person walking toward the garage apartment. 
The killer might have known the significance of the ring and decided to take only that ring in an effort to cast suspicion on the husband, Thomas Clinton. 
Detective Coker has a lot of new information to consider and investigate. 
If this was a robbery/murder, chances are the killer will make an effort to fence or pawn the ring. 
A ring that valuable and that distinctive shouldn't be hard to track down on the black market.

Why didn't Thomas Clinton mention the ring as soon as he learned of his wife's death?
 He could have been so distraught over his wife's murder that he wasn't thinking about her jewelry. 
Or, he may have taken the ring. 
If he took the ring and makes an insurance claim for the ring, he certainly can't give it to his girlfriend or even keep it. 
He would need to get rid of it. 
If someone is found to be in possession of said ring, they would look very guilty in the eyes of the law. 
Detective Coker put in a request for 24 hour surveillance on Thomas Clinton. 
If he has that ring, Detective Coker intends to nail him with it. 
Clinton is a lawyer and Coker hates lawyers and he is anticipating Clinton's next move. Coker is willing to bet that Thomas Clinton will soon publicly accuse the police or an agent of the police of taking the ring.

Detective Coker intends to have Thomas Clinton walk though the family home with him ... again. 
This time searching for any other missing items.
 Did a burglary also occur on the night Martha Clinton was killed?

Today's Clue - Two Clues Today: Letter R - Replication and Rejection

For an update on the crime fiction murder mystery challenge, the murder of Martha Clinton, you can click on my Legal Fiction page at the top of my blog in the navigation bar for up to date facts, evidence, case analysis, clues and other relevant information

Also, at the top of my blog, in the navigation bar, you can click on the Idea Bank page for a complete list of all witnesses and suspects and a list of all of the daily letter clues.

You can find all of the other 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge participants with this link.


Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa - I realise they haven't found the ring but platinum is a modern setting, and they'd need to establish the age of the diamond and if it had been reset and I understand they can now if it's a modern gem establish which mine it came from and when .. the gemologists in Amsterdam have a way of marking stones now. Anyway that's slightly beside the point ..

Did Clinton give a list of what his wife's jewellery was ... because the police would have checked that at the time ... Something that valuable and of ancestral importance (5 generations is over 100 years) would surely have been uppermost in his mind, regardless of his wife's death - if he was thinking straight, and wasn't actually distracted by what he'd done, if he'd done anything.

Seems sensible to keep Clinton under surveillance for all things and put out an alert for the ring .. I guess there'd be a photograph of the ring for insurance purposes in the house ... and perhaps previous insurance documents and references to the changes made to the ring over the years.

Cheers for now .. Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa .. I'd never heard of a Spoof Card ... devious means are bad enough - without these around ... I suspect they'll never be got rid of, even if they're legal or illegal ... cheers Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

The detail you go into here is fascinating and also distracting when trying to put pieces together. This seems to be a tactic used often by crime writers, kind of red herring-ish and very well done. I will have to go back and catch up with your previous posts. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. Glad to have found your intriguing theme! Lisa co-host A to Z Challenge 2015, @

Melissa Sugar said...

Never heard of a spoof card but would have used that sort of thing when I was a younger lad and prank calling was the 'in' thing to do.

Melissa Sugar said...

Quite an interesting tale so far. I'm horrible at piecing clues together, but I've started to really like mystery stories.

Melissa Sugar said...

I have heard of this. I've also heard that it sometimes fails. Which was, actually, how I heard of it. LOL

Stopping by from the #atozchallenge 2015! Thanks for visiting me.Congratulations on making it past the first half of the challenge.

Great post. I'm following you on your listed social media sites.

J @JLenniDorner

Melissa Sugar said...

So if the thief is unsuccessful, it's a burglary? That makes sense.

Melissa Sugar said...

Thanks for clarifying burglary and robbery. I feel like that gets mistaken a ton. This is a great new wrinkle and now I'm suspecting Mr. Clinton again, when I was just feeling like he had to be innocent. That's just what good crime writers do so it's not too easy to figure out the crime.

Melissa Sugar said...

I've always used these interchangeably. Oops!

Melissa Sugar said...

I have never really thought about the difference, but now I will!

Melissa Sugar said...

Can't get anything by you, Hilary. You really know your stuff. You are quite the detective. Glad you are paying such close attention. Keep it up.

Melissa Sugar said...

Yes, too many red herrings can be a put off, I realize. But, I did just throw this little mystery together for the challenge. I didn't put the time into it that I would a novel, but I am trying to distract readers from some clues by diverting your attention elsewhere. You nailed that. Thanks for visiting.

Melissa Sugar said...

They are my favorite. Thanks for visiting

Melissa Sugar said...

That's a very astute way of looking at it. The thief is still guilty of burglary if he unlawfully enters a home with the intent to commit a theft there in or some other crime. It is different for robbery, the bad guy must actually take something of value from someone

Melissa Sugar said...

The husband is always the first and most obvious suspect so its hard to make readers suspect him for that very reason. That's why I like to take the suspicion off of him for a while and then toss it back later on

Melissa Sugar said...

Most people do. I mean unless you are involved in the legal field, you don't really have the need to learn the differences. Another one I find that most people confuse is assault and battery

Melissa Sugar said...

Just in case you ever plan on going criminal, lol

Melissa Sugar said...

Would you believe my teenage kids introduced me to this and it is very dangerous. If the caller enters the same number that they are calling as the number that appears on the caller ID, while calling a cell phone, the phone believes you are calling yourself and goes straight to voicemail message. You can listen to someone's personal and private voicemail. Now, I know this part is illegal. I just read an article about a woman who got jail time for doing this.

Melissa Sugar said...

It is marketed as a prank calling device, but is really quite dangerous if in the wrong hands

Melissa Sugar said...

Thank you. I don't know how often it fails , but I know that deceptive people can wreck havoc on someone's life with this card.

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