Within the context of a larger national study on convenience store (c-store) robbery, the study reported in this article examined the case files of 469 incarcerated robbers in Massachusetts; the study identified c-store robbers for subsequent detailed interviews and obtained information needed to create a typology of the 10 most frequent robbery types.
Researchers crafted a modest coding instrument to obtain information on the following variables for each offender: race, jurisdiction where robbery occurred, type of robbery, and whether the crime resulted in a more serious offense. Nearly all the offenders in the sample were male. Thirty-eight percent of the robbers were white, and 38 percent were black, followed by Hispanics (21 percent) and Asians (3 percent). Most offenders were sentenced to maximum terms of 5 to 7 years. The 469 offenders were convicted of robbery offenses committed in 100 Massachusetts towns and cities. Fifty-four percent occurred in the State's six largest cities, with Boston accounting for 26 percent of the robberies. C-stores were a frequent target for the offender and thus provided a large pool of potential subjects for the interview stage. Of the original pool of 77 c-store offenders, however, only 28 completed interviews were obtained. One pattern emerged in the c-store robbery data. Although one-fourth of all robbers, regardless of subtype, committed their crimes in Boston, only 6 percent of sample c-store offenders victimized Boston c-stores. The authors hypothesize that case attrition exists at some point, from the time the c-store robbery incident is reported to the Boston Police through the incarceration stage. Data are also provided on other types of robberies, namely, mugging, home-invasion robbery, fast-food restaurant robberies, carjacking, robbery of other businesses, bank robberies, purse snatches, gas station robberies, taxi cab robberies, and "other types." The authors recommended that fast-food restaurant robberies be included with c-store offenses in future research.
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