The New York Criminal Law Blog

Theft, Robbery and Mugging in New York

Taking anything of value without the owner’s consent is referred to as theft (technically referred to as larceny in New York), while robbery or mugging is theft committed with actual or threatened physical force against one or more victims. For example, sneaking that Louis Vuitton wallet into your pocket is larceny, while pointing a gun at the cashier and demanding that same wallet is robbery. The much more serious crime of robbery usually is charged as a felony. There are also varying degrees and classes of larceny; such as petit larceny (Class A misdemeanor) versus grand larceny (varying classes of a felony).

Shoplifting and armed robbery are vastly different charges requiring different levels of expertise to defend against. Finding the right New York criminal defense attorney is crucial to ensuring that you pay the correct time for the crime.

Recently in Theft / Robbery / Mugging Category

How Are Mob Bosses Charged?

The recent arrest of five alleged mobsters said to have inspired the movie "Goodfellas" has given some insight into how mob bosses are charged with crimes.

Five reported members of the Bonanno crime family were arrested and charged with racketeering, murder, and the 1978 Lufthansa storage facility heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Reuters reported. The Lufthansa heist inspired the film "Goodfellas" and involved the theft of more than $5 million in cash and jewelry.

While it's a difficult and lengthy process to arrest and charge known mob families, the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as the RICO Act, helps prosecutors charge the mobsters.

10 Tips to Prevent iPhone Theft

iPhone theft is rampant in New York. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take that are practical and effective.

Here are 10 tips you may want to consider to prevent iPhone theft:

Snatching and the City: 5 Ways to Keep Your Smartphone Safe

In an almost unbelievable turn of events, a Flushing resident used her iPhone's GPS capabilities to track it down, along with the thief who allegedly snatched it.

The luckiest woman in New York accomplished the impossible -- getting her stolen smartphone back -- with the help of the "Find My iPhone" app and the very motivated NYPD Officer Haaris M. Hamid, reports The New York Times.

For everyone else in New York City, here are five tips to keep your smartphone safe on the streets:

UPDATES: Looting Okay, Maybe; Pizza Delivery Rapist Indicted

Our stellar news and information often leaves our readers wanting more. It’s understandable. Many times, you’ll read a post and wonder “what happened next?”

Well friends, today is the day for those updates.

It’s cold outside. Many in Gotham have no electricity or heat. We reported earlier this week that looting had already begun before the waters had drained from the streets. It’s generally understood that looting is illegal and immoral. But, are there cases where it is legally perfectly acceptable?

Hurricane Sandy is Over; Prepare for the Looters

We were all pretty sure this was going to happen, right? After all, it happened after Hurricane Irene. It happened to an even larger extent after Hurricane Katrina. Even in times of disaster and tragedy, there will always be some idiots that choose to take advantage of the situation for profit.

Even before the storm made landfall, people were tweeting about their plans to loot.

Online Fraud and Identity Theft: Vigilance and Common Sense

Want to stay safe online? Three words: paranoia and common sense.

Back in the days of dial-up, no one shopped on the Internet. True geeks and crazy collectors would shop on eBay, but your momma certainly wouldn't. Thanks in large part to online security measures such as encryption and secure connections, even Grandma is on Amazon. Even with these protections however, online fraud and identity theft present a surprisingly common problem.

The good news is steps that can be taken to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crime. Many of these steps are free. If you have already been hacked, we've also got information on remedying the problem.

Teenage Pizza Boy Accused of Rape, Used Pizza to Get Past Doorman

Many Gothamites are up in arms over the emergence (and eBay sale) of master keys to the City of New York. These magical keys will get the bearer into many construction sites, city buildings, and other supposedly secure facilities. However, we’re thinking it’s a little overblown. After all, you don’t need keys to get into nearly any door in New York. Apparently, all you need is a pizza.

Sixteen-year-old Cesar Lucas already has a severe criminal record. According to the New York Daily News, Lucas was arrested back in August after he allegedly used his pizza delivery gig to get access to a W. 42nd St. apartment and stole a woman’s wallet and credit cards. Despite the arrest, he kept his job at Sal’s Pizzeria on 10th Ave.

Prevent iPhone Theft: Register with NYPD, Use Find My iPhone App

We've complained about the NYPD's big brother tactics a bit. We've also pointed out the massive increase in thefts of iPhones and other Apple gear. After all, if you are a thief, that $600 phone is much more tempting than a Walkman, right? If you've spent the last eight days waiting in line, or even just spent a few hundred dollars and sold your soul to a long-term cell phone contract, the last thing you want to worry about is finding a new cell phone after some miscreant rips the phone from your warm, loving embrace.

The NYPD is here to help with Operation I.D. According to NBC New York, officers are posted at six Apple stores, seven Verizon stores and eight AT&T stores for today's launch of the iPhone 5. (Apparently, Sprint gets no love from the boys in blue.) They will be registering the serial number of your phone as well as engraving an optional new serial number (beginning with NYC, of course) on the phone's casing. This will allow them to identify property if it is lost or recovered from a thief.

Central Park Rape Suspect Arrested in Attack on Woman, 73

She is an avid bird watcher and regular visitor to the Strawberry Fields area in Central Park. She refers to it as "my park." She was bird watching the first time she came across her alleged attacker, 42-year-old David Albert Mitchell. She caught him masturbating in the park. She snapped a photo of him. He immediately threatened her and tried to seize her camera. She escaped unharmed.

A week later, the 73-year-old Upper West Side resident was again bird watching when Mitchell approached her and asked if she remembered him. He then allegedly raped her and slammed her face into the ground multiple times. In addition to the trauma, scrapes, and bruises, she also suffered a broken eye socket. Hours later, she told the New York Post:

Two Violent Incidents at Gas Stations Leave Attendant, Attacker Dead

It was a bad night for gas station employees. In the first of two violent altercations, a pair of thieves arrived at RC Petroleum on bikes. After robbing an outside attendant for $30, one entered the station and robbed 28-year-old Lamin Sillah. During the altercation, the robber shot Sillah point blank. He then shot him again, went through the victim's pockets, and took off, reports the Daily News. He has not yet been identified. Sillah did not survive.

A few hours later, a drunk gas station patron had issues with an ATM. After questioning the clerks about the malfunctioning machine, one of the attendants came out to assist him. That's when the 28-year-old drunk attacked the worker. The fight spilled out into the street, where the attendant eventually put his attacker in a choke-hold. At the end of the fight, only the attendant was left standing. The attacker was dead, reports the Daily News.