Robbery In General

I. Concept: the taking, with intent to gain, of personal property belonging to another, by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.

A. The two major classifications are based on the manner by which the robbery was committed. The first is commonly called “hold-up” while the second is robbery by “breaking –in”

B. If none of these two methods are used, the taking will constitute theft.

C. If both methods were used, the result is complex a crime i.e. robbery with Force Upon things complexed with Robbery with Violence.

D. In robbery with violence, the violence need not be present at the start of the taking so long as it was resorted to before the taking was complete.

II. Elements Common to Robbery and Theft

A. The subject matter must be a personal property

1. These include licit as well as illicit articles such as drugs and unlicensed firearms as well as stolen articles

2. The term” Personal Property” does not follow the meaning provided for by the Civil Code. It means such property, whether tangibles or those with physical appearance and form or intangibles, as long as they maybe subject of appropriation and may be carried away without altering its nature.

a. Thus this includes those considered as Real Property by Immobilization or destination” or those attached to the soil or building for so long as they were detached there from and carried away. Such as trees, machineries, statutes, soil, stones and rocks

b. Accessories of real properties such as fruits of trees, fishes, paintings   

3. In theft the article must have a value because the penalty, and jurisdiction over the offense, is based on the value of the article taken  

a. The value must be proved as courts will not take judicial notice thereof. If no value is proved, the court uses the lowest value in the law value as basis

B. The property must belong to another

1. This means the property does not belong to the accused. Hence there is no robbery or theft of one’s own property. The offenses are either Grave Coercion instead of robbery and Impossible Crime of Theft instead of the ordinary crime of theft.

2. The victim need not be the owner. He may be a mere possessor or even a robber or thief himself. Thus robbery or theft may be committed against another criminal robber or thief. It is enough that the accused is not the owner of the property.

C. There must be an act of taking or “apoderamiento”, which is the physical act of divesting another of the possession of a thing, or to separate and remove the property from the actual or constructive possession or custody or control of the victim

1. The accused must hold the thing in a manner sufficient to enable him to dispose of it had he wanted to

2. The possession may be permanent, temporary or transitory

D. There must “Animus Lucrandi” or intent of gain

1. The gain need not be in terms of financial or material gain as this includes: intent to obtain some utility, enjoyment, satisfaction, or pleasure. Example: X boxed Y so that Y will hand over the magazine for X to see the nude pictures. X returned the magazine thereafter.

2. If there is no animus lucrandi but force was used to get an object, the crime is coercion.

3. Robbery and theft maybe a continuous offense as in the case of robbery of several persons. The accused entered a classroom and robbed the 20 students of their money at the point of a gun. Or, when the several robberies are component parts of a general plan to rob within a specific place or area. Example: Robbery of several houses in subdivision or robbery of the various stalls in side the shopping mall.