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Armed Robbers in Action: Stickups and Street Culture

NCJ Number
S H Decker; S H Decker
Date Published
168 pages
This book describes and interprets urban, predominantly African American, street robbers, and their daily lives and crimes.
The book is based on interviews with active armed robbers to determine their motives and needs, and attempts to shed new light on the process of committing armed robbery. Unlike previous studies, which focused on the often distorted accounts of incarcerated offenders, this work presents the results of field research on the streets of St. Louis. By examining how active armed robbers interpret their circumstances and prospects in the situation of real stickups, the book attempts to determine: what makes a person put a gun next to the head of another human being and demand money; why persons decide to commit armed robberies; what it feels like to participate in an armed robbery; why armed robbers target certain victims; and how armed robbers get their victims to obey commands. The book suggests measures to prevent armed robbery, including job creation, deterrence and incapacitation, reducing victim vulnerability, and situational change. Tables, figure, appendix, references, index