Many people have found it quite difficult to differentiate between the offences of stealing, robbery and armed robbery. While these three offences may seem as though they are similar, one cannot be used in place of the other. This is because the definitions accorded to these offences are different as well as their punishments.
In this article, we would study and examine the differences between these three offences by highlighting their various definitions and the laws providing for them.
According to Section 383 of the Criminal Code, a person who fraudulently takes anything capable of being stolen or fraudulently converts to his own use or to the use of any other person, anything capable of being stolen, is said to steal that thing.
The punishment for stealing is an imprisonment for 3 years
Section 401 of the Criminal Code Act provides that any person who steals anything and before or after the time of stealing it, uses or threatens to use actual violence to any person or property in order to obtain or retain the thing stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to its being stolen or retained, is guilty of robbery.
The punishment for this offence is a sentence of not less than twenty one years
Section 403 of the Criminal Code provides that where an offender robs a person with any firearms or any offensive weapon or was is in company of any other person that was armed or if either before or after the time of the assault, the offender wounds or uses any other personal violence to any person, he would be guilty of armed robbery
A person who commits this offence will be liable upon conviction to an imprisonment for life with or without caning.
From the three different definitions above we can see that:
1. Stealing is an act of permanently depriving a person of his property
2. Robbery is an act of taking a property from a person with violence or intimidation
3. Armed robbery is an act of taking the property of another person while making use of harmful weapons.