Acquaintance robbery

R. B. Felson, E. P. Baumer, S. F. Messner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


More than one-third of the robberies reported in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) involve people who are acquainted with each other in some way. Why do offenders so frequently target someone who can identify them to the police? This issue is explored by comparing acquaintance robberies with the typical robbery involving strangers using NCVS data. The authors find that people who are Black, poor, young, and single are particularly vulnerable to acquaintance robbery. Their vulnerability is attributed to opportunity factors, and for youth, a reluctance to report incidents to the police. Evidence suggests that some acquaintance robberies are expressions of grievances, whereas others involve inside information about what the victim is carrying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-305
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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