Using police data, this study identified the characteristics of 98 cases of larceny by coercion in the Zagreb area of Croatia, in the years 2004 (n=61) and 2005 (n=36), as well as the length of time between the commission of the offense and police knowledge of it, and whether there was a statistically significant correlation between this time period and the time required to identify the perpetrator.
In the Croatian Criminal Code, larceny by coercion differs from robbery in that the stolen property is not obtained directly from a person through confrontation. Rather, a confrontation occurs after the theft has occurred, at which time force or the threat of force is used. The study found that larceny by coercion was similar to robbery in crime scene type; both are two times more likely to occur indoors than outdoors. These offenses differed in other respects, however. Perpetrators of larceny by coercion used physical force against victims more often than robbery perpetrators; they took less valuable objects; and the offense was more often committed by a single offender. Police were most often informed of larceny by coercion by the victims. Reports to police were equally likely to be done by phone and visits to a police station. In only 13.3 percent of the cases was the perpetrator known to be a victim or witness. Fifty percent of the cases were reported to police within 30 minutes of the crime; in 55 percent of the cases, perpetrators were identified within 1 day. Approximately 45 percent of the cases were judged to be unsolvable in spite of a reasonable amount of police work. The data sources were police files, and the data were compared with the findings of previous research on robbery in which the same questionnaire was applied. 12 tables, 2 figures, and 12 references