Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 55–81 | Cite as

Victim resistance and offender weapon effects in robbery

  • Gary Kleck
  • Miriam A. DeLone


What happens when victims resist robbers? Logistic regression analysis of over 4500 sample robbery incidents reported in the 1979–1985 National Crime Surveys reveals the following about various forms of victim resistance. Self-protection (SP) of any kind apparently reduces the probability of the robbery being completed, i.e., the robber getting away with the victim's property. Armed resistance is more effective than unarmed resistance, and resistance with a gun, though relatively rare, is the most effective victim response of all. Resistance with a gun also appears to reduce the likelihood of the victim being injured, while two types of resistance appear to increase it: (1) unarmed physical force against the robber and (2) trying to get help, attract attention, or scare the robber away. The robber's possession of a gun appears to inhibit victim resistance, which can sometimes provoke a robber to attack; robber gun possession thereby reduces the probability of victim injury. However, even controlling for victim resistance, robber gun possession, is associated with a lower rate of injury to the victim. Finally, robbers with handguns are much more likely to complete their robberies, and those with knives and other weapons are somewhat more likely to do so, compared to unarmed robbers.

Key words

robbery victim resistance gun control guns weapons. 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Kleck
    • 1
  • Miriam A. DeLone
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida State UniversityTallahassee
  2. 2.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of NebraskaOmaha

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