On Sunday, May 23, M. Walls (F) and B. Norline (M) were arrested in Canyon Country on suspicion of robbery after an incident that occurred elsewhere in the Santa Clarita Valley. It all started at about 2 am on May 23 when the victim called police to report that he had been the target of a robbery.
According to the victim, he was sleeping in his vehicle near San Francisquito Trail when he was awakened by a man standing outside the driver’s side door wielding a tire iron and threatening him. During the mail suspect’s threatening, the female suspect rummaged through the victim’s vehicle and stole some ice chests, tools, and a bicycle. The suspects then got into their vehicle and sped off.
After police were notified, the suspects were located in Canyon Country not long afterward, arrested and transported to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station to undergo booking and processing. The victim told police that the two suspects were known to him previously. Their bail has been set at $100,000 each.
Robbery is covered under California Penal Code 211 PC and is described as the unlawful taking of someone else’s property, using force or fear to do so. Basically, robbery can be charged if you steal something from someone and employing force or fear tactics to ensure your success. In the case above, the two suspects qualified for arrest on suspicion of robbery because the suspect who wielded the tire iron used it to intimidate the victim.
Had the suspects sneakily stolen the items without rousing the victim’s suspicion, or used trickery or deceit to acquire possession of the items unlawfully, the suspects may have gotten off with theft or burglary charges instead of robbery – which is often much more serious.
Robbery is split into two degrees: first-degree robbery (which involves robbing the driver or passenger of a taxi, bus, train, etc., a person in an inhabited structure, or a person who just used an ATM) and second-degree robbery (generally, any robbery charge that does not meet the criteria for first-degree robbery). The penalties for first-degree robbery include a sentence of between 3 and 9 years in California State prison. The penalties for second-degree robbery include 2, 3, or 5 years in California state prison.