Robbery is among the most common type of violent crime committed in the United States. In fact, the number of robberies reported throughout the U.S. each year is typically ten times greater than that of any other type of violent crime.
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics for 2012 showed that there were 1.2 million incidences of violent crime reported in the United States. Of those, there were 354,520 incidences of robbery, far greater than the two other types of violent crime, which included murder/manslaughter (14,827 incidences) and forcible rape (84,376 incidences).
Due to the number of robberies reported throughout the U.S., those interested in robbery detective jobs will find most law enforcement agencies house specialized units dedicated to investigating these crimes.
Types of Robbery Investigations
Robberies, which fall under the category of violent crimes, often encompasses a number of crimes, including:
- Bank robberies
- Armed robberies
- Home invasions
- Commercial robberies
- Residential robberies
- Highway robberies
Therefore, robbery detectives may work through one or more specific units within the robbery division of a police department, depending on their area of expertise and the needs of the department.
Criminal investigators assigned to a robbery often complete a number of steps, which include:
- Reviewing the responding patrol officer’s initial report
- Conducting in-depth interviews with the victims(s) and witnesses
- Collecting evidence from the scene of the crime
- Working with forensic scientists and criminalists to gather and test DNA and other forensic evidence
- Studying past reports to identify area robbery trends
- Performing surveillance work
Robbery Detectives at Work: Robbery Investigations Process and Protocols
The work of robbery detectives begins immediately upon entering the scene and ensuring that witnesses and victims are identified and evidence is preserved. Because these types of criminal investigations involve a very methodical, precise approach, robbery detectives are usually trained to:
- Conduct robbery crime scene investigative procedures
- Conduct witness interviews
- Identify the styles and methods of robberies
- Identify the types of robberies
- Understand the stages of a robbery investigation
- Use field and eye witness identification
Bank robbery investigations almost always involve the FBI; therefore, criminal investigators often collaborate with this federal agency during these types of investigations.