Armed Robbers in Action : Stickups and Street Culture

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-10-23
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of New England
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One of the most feared crimes among urban dwellers, armed robbery poses a serious risk of injury or death, and presents daunting challenges for law enforcement. Yet little is known about the complex factors that motivate assailants who use a weapon to take property by force or threat of force. Armed Robbers in Action is not like previous studies that focus on the often distorted accounts of incarcerated offenders. Richard T. Wright and Scott H. Decker conducted dangerous, life-threatening field research on the streets of St. Louis to obtain more forthright responses from robbers about their motives and methods. They also visited several crime scenes to examine how situational and spatial features of the setting contributed to the offense. Quoting extensively from their conversations with the offenders, the authors consider the circumstances underlying the decision to commit an armed robbery, explore how and why targets are chosen, and detail the various tactics used in a hold-up. By analyzing the criminals' candid perspectives on their actions and their social environment, the authors provide a fuller understanding of armed robbery. They conclude with an insightful discussion of the implications of their findings for crime prevention policy.

Author Biography

Richard T. Wright and Scott H. Decker are both Professors of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri--St. Louis. They are co-authors of Burglars on the Job: Streetlife and Residential Break-ins, winner of the 1995 SSSP Crime and Delinquency Outstanding Scholarship Award. Neal Shover is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of Aging Criminals and Great Pretenders: Pursuits and Careers of Persistent Thieves.

Table of Contents

Studying Active Armed Robbersp. 3
Deciding to Commit an Armed Robberyp. 32
Choosing the Targetp. 61
Committing the Offensep. 95
Preventing Armed Robberyp. 130
Appendixp. 141
Referencesp. 143
Indexp. 151
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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