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Multistate Study of Convenience Store Robberies

NCJ Number
Date Published
83 pages
This multistate study of convenience store robberies indicated that the number of clerks on duty was not a significant factor in explaining whether convenience store robberies resulted in injury and that interaction between victim and offender was far more important.
The five States involved in the study had previously conducted research to estimate the probability of convenience store robberies in their jurisdictions and the extent of injury. Interviews with 148 offenders and 80 victims showed that clerks apparently believed there was little they could do to prevent robberies and injuries during robberies. In this regard, clerk responses paralleled those of robbers in that they believed only the presence of police or security could reduce the likelihood of robbery and injury. Certain factors appeared to influence offenders in the selection of convenience stores to rob, but data suggested a very simple selection process guided primarily by offender perceptions of the existence of "place guardians" in the particular location. Traditional environmental design elements were not identified by victims or offenders as factors in the occurrence of robberies. The notion that repeat and novice convenience store robbers differed in their selection of locations and motivation for committing robberies was not supported by the data. Offender planning for convenience store robberies was minimal, offenders were motivated by the need for money and drugs, and offender behavior after robberies was poorly planned. Implications of the findings for crime prevention efforts and robbery theories are discussed. Appendixes contain victim and offender interview instruments and data. 38 references and 9 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1997