Robbery vs Extortion
You are walking in the woods in the evening, and a man suddenly emerges with a gun in his hand and threatens to kill you, if you do not give him the valuables and cash you are carrying on your person. You give him everything out of fear of your life and later report the incident to a police officer who writes FIR under robbery. There is another word extortion used in instances where people have been robbed of their money. This article attempts to highlight the differences between robbery and extortion for the benefit of those who cannot make out the difference between these two words.
Robbery is a crime, where a person uses or threatens to use force to get hold of money or other valuables from his victim. This is a crime that has gone on since time immemorial with only the modus operandi and the weapons involved changing over time. It is a kind of theft where the robber does not hide his identity or at the most wear a mask keeping his eyes open. Robbery can be a small one such as taking away valuables from a person in the dark, to a bank heist involving more persons and weapons with lots more money being snatched away. Intimidation or actual use of force is the chief characteristic of robbery, and there is an element of shock and fear that grips the victims making them give their valuables without a protest. Robbery is different from theft in the sense that valuables are taken away from the possession of the victim in his presence.
Extortion is also a crime where the criminal uses threats of use of force or revealing some facts to the family or to the general public about the wrong doing of the victim to obtain money, property or services. Extortion is today become an organized crime with large syndicates running a gang to obtain money by terrorizing victims and getting money from them. In most cases of extortion, the fear of shameful situation because of public exposure remains behind the reason why a victim pays money to the extortionist. A man cheating his wife pays to someone who knows about his extra marital affair lest he tells the wife all about this affair with another woman. In all case of extortion, use of threat to harm the person, especially his reputation, is a common feature.
What is the difference between Robbery and Extortion?
• Both robbery and extortion are crimes taking away money or valuables, property or services from a person though they differ in how they are performed as well as how they are treated by law and their penalties
• While robbery is through threat or actual use of force to take away money and valuables from a person, in extortion the victim himself, though unwillingly pays to the extortionist because of fear of harm to his person or reputation.
• In extortion, life or comfort of a loved one is also sometimes involved.