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Facts of robbery do not leave much room for criminal defense

The crime of robbery in New Hampshire and other jurisdictions is the taking away of property of another by using force or threats against the victim. It is a theft with the use of a weapon or other means of communicating threats or a show of force to intimidate the victim. The element of placing the victim in fear of imminent bodily harm is central to the idea of robbery under the law and the lack of that element could provide a viable criminal defense to the charges.

The stealing of property from a convenience store by using threats or weapons to place the clerk in fear of imminent bodily harm is a classic example of robbery in most states. That factual scenario is well known to convenience store owners, who try to combat the problem by having no money available and other similar ploys to dissuade robbers. One recent incident in a New Hampshire convenience store illustrates that even robbers can have a bad day.

A 29-year-old man allegedly went through the proper motions for robbery in a Manchester convenience store recently. The man came to the register and demanded money while trying to make it look like he had a gun under his sweat shirt, police say.  The clerk, however, refused to cooperate and reversed the fear of imminent bodily harm back onto the perpetrator. The clerk engaged the store's alarm system, refused to turn over money and hit the would-be robber several times with a broom handle.

The robber fled in a car that the clerk allegedly described in detail to the police. The car was spotted and pulled over shortly after the robbery. The police arrested the man on charges of robbery and theft by unauthorized taking pursuant to New Hampshire law. Assuming that the reported facts are accurate and the identification a correct one, the accused will fare best by having an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively negotiate a favorable plea bargain in his behalf.  

Source:, "Pelham man charged in botched Manchester store robbery", Dec. 13, 2016

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