or property of a relative or member of his family or of anyone in his company at the time of the robbery,
is guilty of robbery.
In order for there to be a "taking in the presence of the victim," it is not necessary that the
property taken be located within any certain distance of the victim. If persons enter a house and force
the owner by threats to disclose the hiding place of valuables in an adjoining room, and leaving the
owner tied, go into that room and steal the valuables, they have committed robbery. Part IV, MCM
1984, para 47(c) (1). Presence for purposes of robbery means that the owner's possession or control is
so imminent that force or intimidation is required to remove the property. United States v. Cagle, 12 MJ
736 (AFCMR 1982).
QUESTION: DURING THE INVESTIGATION OF AN ALLEGED ROBBERY, LAW
ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL INTERVIEW THE VICTIM, WHO MAINTAINS THAT
ALTHOUGH HE HANDED OVER HIS WALLET BECAUSE A GUN WAS DRAWN ON HIM, HE
WAS NOT AFRAID. IS THIS ROBBERY?
ANSWER: YES. IN THIS CASE, THE REQUISITE FORCE WAS PRESENTED BY THE GUN.
UNDER A FORCE THEORY OF ROBBERY, FEAR IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE
CRIME. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT POINT BECAUSE SOME INDIVIDUALS ARE UNLIKELY TO
ADMIT THAT THEY WERE FRIGHTENED.
QUESTION: A THIEF LIFTS A WALLET FROM THE POCKET OF A SLEEPING INDIVIDUAL
WITHOUT WAKING HIM UP. THE THIEF THEN KICKS THE VICTIM. SINCE THERE IS A
TAKING AND FORCE, IS THIS ROBBERY?
ANSWER: NO. FOR ROBBERY TO BE COMMITTED BY FORCE OR VIOLENCE, THERE
MUST BE ACTUAL FORCE OR VIOLENCE TO THE PERSON, PRECEDING OR
ACCOMPANYING THE TAKING AGAINST THE PERSON'S WILL. IN THIS CASE, FORCE
WAS APPLIED AFTER THE TAKING WAS COMPLETE. THEREFORE, THIS IS LARCENY
QUESTION: HOW MUCH FORCE IS REQUIRED FOR A ROBBERY?
ANSWER: ANY AMOUNT OF FORCE IS ENOUGH TO CONSTITUTE ROBBERY IF THE FORCE
OVERCOMES THE ACTUAL RESISTANCE OF THE PERSON ROBBED, PUTS THE PERSON IN
SUCH A POSITION THAT NO RESISTANCE IS MADE (E.G., HOLDING A GUN ON THE
VICTIM), OR SUFFICES TO OVERCOME THE RESISTANCE OFFERED BY A CHAIN OR
OTHER FASTENING BY WHICH THE ARTICLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PERSON. THE
OFFENSE IS NOT ROBBERY IF AN ARTICLE IS MERELY SNATCHED FROM THE HAND OF
ANOTHER OR A POCKET IS PICKED BY STEALTH, NO OTHER FORCE IS USED, AND THE
OWNER IS NOT PUT IN FEAR. HOWEVER, IF RESISTANCE IS OVERCOME IN SNATCHING
THE ARTICLE, THERE IS SUFFICIENT VIOLENCE, AS WHEN AN EARRING IS TORN FROM
A PERSON'S EAR. THERE IS SUFFICIENT VIOLENCE WHEN A PERSON'S ATTENTION IS
DIVERTED BY BEING JOSTLED BY AN ASSISTANT OF A PICKPOCKET WHO IS THUS
ENABLED TO COMPLETE HIS CRIME. PART IV, MCM 1984, PARA 47(c) (2).
When a robbery is committed by putting a victim in fear, there need be no actual force or violence.
However, there must be demonstration of force or threats by which the victim is in such fear that he is
right in not resisting. The fear must be a reasonably well-founded one of present or future injury and the
taking must occur while the fear exists. Part IV, MCM 1984, para