Teenage Robbers

Rosemary J. Erickson, Ph.D.
August 30, 2003, San Diego, CA
Released February 10, 2004


This is a powerful and significant study of teenage armed robbers, conducted by one of the country’s leading experts on crime and violence. Dr. Rosemary J. Erickson, a forensic sociologist, led this investigation into why teenage robbers commit their crimes, how they do it, and what they look for. The study explores the thinking and motives of the robbers and reveals what they think made them violent. For the study, 178 incarcerated robbers, ages 13 to 18, were surveyed and interviewed. The teenage robbers are compared with the adult robbers from one of Erickson’s previous studies reported in the book Armed Robbers and their Crimes. The robbers from both studies include ATM, bank, fast food, convenience store and home invasion robbers; street muggers; and car jackers. The study confirms that, as expected, the teenage robbers are more violent than the adults. They are, in fact, almost twice as likely to injure or kill their victims as adult robbers are. Dr. Erickson’s message from this study is that “If you save these kids and others like them, you will end up saving lives—theirs and yours”.

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Teenage Robbers