Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's not Snatch-theft, it's Robbery

I think we've all gotten so used to reading all those reports of people having their bags, wallets or jewelry snatched while out and about we don't feel alarmed anymore. And there are those who get confronted by menacing looking hoodlums with parangs, knives or sticks and who forcefully take away their wallets, handphones, handbags etc. Some of them even come in gangs on motorbikes.

Get it right. This second activity should be termed robbery. If there are visible weapons like knives, sticks, crash helmets, it's called armed robbery.

But these days in view of what they to their victims, the crime should be termed snatch-robbery. It's not a theft nor a petty crime anymore even when one is not threatened with bodily harm.

We've had a number of cases in our neighborhood some years ago. The modus operandi was to push the victim (mostly ladies) and as soon as they fell, grab their goods and run. One old lady I know was pushed from her bicycle and her necklace was robbed from her neck. I say "robbed" because that's what it was. Daylight robbery. Sudden, violent and without mercy. And they have no qualms about hurting, maiming or even killing their victims.

For our neighborhood, perhaps, the law to their credit caught up with the guy or guys. There's been some peace and quiet for a while now. But that doesn't mean we don’t keep our eyes open our doors locked. Our women folk wouldn't think of going out with even a single piece of jewelry in sight.

I think it's time to get this terminology right, not for the sake of being politically correct but for the proper definition for the law to mete out punishment to fit the crime. Whether the law-keepers are really doing their jobs properly or not, is a different matter.


  1. Lian Chye, i dont know wat to say..this is like current reality, it is going to get uglier with the gloomy economic outlook.

  2. Unfortunately true. It's not going to improve unless someone up there really starts making real changes...