Tourists often flock to the ‘world’s most crooked street,’ Lombard in San Francisco. Of course, the traditional thing to do is to stand on the brick pylon near the S-curve sign and to take photographs from this bird’s eye location as the cars below wind down what can only be described as a lush green maze. However, for 2 Dutch tourists, men in their 20s, this normally calm destination turned to frustration and fear. As they stood taking photographs, 2 other men came up behind them and, threatening them with a gun, proceeded to force the tourists to give them their expensive cameras and tripod. The 2 Dutch men never even saw their attackers as they were instructed not to turn around before the crime was complete.
In California, the crime of robbery is said to be committed when one person takes another’s property. The property in question must be taken directly from another person (as opposed to theft, which only requires that property was taken) and fear or force must be used. This crime is always considered a felony, according to California Penal Code 211, and may either be considered ‘first degree’ robbery or ‘second degree.’ First degree robbery is a much more serious crime than second degree robbery; if you rob a home or other occupied building, someone using an ATM, or someone working for or utilizing public transportation, then you may be accused of first degree robbery, which carries with it a sentence of up to 9 years in state prison. On the other hand, a second degree robbery conviction may result in only 5 years maximum in state prison. Whoever robbed the 2 Dutch tourists at Lombard Street, if identified, will most certainly be arrested on suspicion of first degree robbery, considering that a firearm was used as part of the incident.