Recently, a woman that a Fremont man made contact with through the use of an online prostitution site used the meeting to swindle him out of a whole lot more than the price he would have paid for an evening of sex. According to the man, earlier this month, he set up a meeting with a woman that calls herself “Krissy” (her alias on a specific prostitution site). Not long after he picked her up and took her to his home, however, he began feeling drowsy. He claims that the next thing he knew, he was tied up and being threatened by several of “Krissy’s” buddies, 3 others to be exact. The 4 suspects took nearly everything the man owned, including his cash, more than one laptop, and some valuables.
California law is clear concerning incidences like the one described above. The actions of the 4 suspected criminals fall under the legal category of ‘robbery’ (CA Penal Code 211). ‘Robbery’ includes the taking of any personal property of another, but this must be accomplished in the presence of the person who is being robed and must be against their will. In other words, whereas ‘burglary’ might happen while the victim is not at home, robbery occurs while the person is in the immediate vicinity and is being threatened by the use of force or fear.
Violation of CA PC 211 is never considered a misdemeanor in California; it is always prosecuted as a felony robbery charge. To that effect, there are subtle differences between 2 kinds of robbery, first-degree and second-degree. In order to be considered first-degree robbery, the crime must take place in a building that is inhabited (or on a bus or other means of public transport or at an ATM). Second-degree robbery covers any other kind of robbery, like that of an uninhabited building. First-degree robbery of the kind in the case above could mean that each of the alleged assailants might spend up to 9 years in state prison.