Criminal: Snatch Theft Essay

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Snatch larceny is going a serious issue today. During the months of June and July 2004. the local media. particularly the imperativeness. have been full with studies of offense and force in Malaysia. There have been many studies of bit larcenies which has given a great impact to the society. Police statistics on these offenses indicate that they are on the rise. Therefore. there is a sense of anxiousness. even panic and fright in the air.

The earnestness of this offense can be proven when on January 29th. 2005. the Prime Minister. Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself has addressed throughout the state his funny concern on the rise of the offense and the demand to implement more terrible penalties. There are tonss of articles in the newspapers and on the cyberspace to demo the earnestness of the offense of bit larceny. On January 30th 2005. our nation’s taking newspapers. viz. Berita Minggu and The Star had reported bit larceny offenses. which had happened near Ipoh. Perak. The suspect had snatched the bag from a 60 twelvemonth old adult female at a shopping promenade at Jalan Kampar. as the adult female was walking to her auto. The 20 twelvemonth old stealer. who had tried to get away in his auto. besides knocked down a adult male. who suffered minor hurts. The suspect ran through the traffic visible radiations and collided with two autos. This has caused him to lose control of his vehicle. which so hit the route mark. The fishy so was detained.

The 2nd illustration of this bit larceny offense happened on January 9th 2005. Berita Minggu had reported another bit larceny incident. where two female pupils were injured after their bike crashed into a concrete drain while get awaying from a bit felon. The suspect had followed the misss with a bike on their manner after go toing tuition category. In another instance. on June 10th 2004. Ros Saliza Burhan. a mill worker on her manner waiting for the coach was followed by two work forces on a bike. Failed to snap the victim’s bag. the felon had used force against her by knifing her three times so that she will let go of her bag. The victim fainted because of the hurt.

Those were merely among a few instances occur in our state. There are other instances. which cause a more terrific consequence such as decease. dangerous injury. shocked and so forth. The earnestness of this offense can be seen when Chin Wai Fong died in Brickfields in May when she fought back against a bit stealer. Then Chong Fee Cheng fell. went into a coma and died while defying a bit stealer in Johor Baru in mid-June. This was followed by the violent death of Rosli Mohamed Saad who had gone to the assistance of an Indonesian adult female whose bag was snatched in Ampang in June 29. The newspapers besides carried statistics on the figure of snatch larcenies. Trusting on constabulary statistics. Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon revealed that there had been a sum of 515 instances of bit larcenies in Penang between January and May 2004. Meanwhile the Perak Chief Police Officer reported a sum of 374 instances of bit larcenies in his province during January to May 2004.

With all the illustrations and treatments given. the issue of whether or non the offense of “snatch theft” should be separated from the offense of “theft” and “robbery” will enforce a batch of legal treatment in order to guarantee public safety. The chief and important issue to be discussed here is that whether the offense of “theft” and “robbery” sufficiently address the offense of “snatch theft” . In other words. whether or non the elements of the two offenses. which are already in the Penal Code are sufficient to be raised for a individual who commits bit larceny. In order to undertake this issue. the elements of “theft” . which is under subdivision 378 of the Penal Code and the elements of “robbery” which is under subdivision 390 of the Penal Code have to be analyzed one by one. First and first. we would wish to discourse the elements of “theft” which is under subdivision 378 of the Penal Code. The said proviso defines theft as “Whoever. meaning to take venally any movable belongings out of the ownership of any individual without that person’s consent. moves that belongings in order to such pickings. is said to perpetrate theft” . Basically. from the definition. there are five elements of “theft” .

The first component is dishonesty. It is defined under subdivision 24 of the Penal Code as “Whoever does anything with the purpose of doing unlawful addition to one individual or unlawful loss to another individual. irrespective of whether the act causes existent unlawful loss or addition. is said to make that thing “dishonestly” . ” This shows that the of import thing is to find whether or non there is an purpose to do unlawful addition or unlawful loss to the other individual. What is “wrongful gain” and “wrongful loss” so? It is farther defined in subdivision 23 of the Penal Code. whereby a individual is said to derive wrongfully when such individual retains wrongfully. every bit good as when such individual acquires wrongfully. A individual is said to lose wrongfully when such individual is wrongfully kept out of any belongings. every bit good as when such individual is wrongfully deprived of the belongings. Since dishonesty requires the purpose to wrongfully derive or lose. the purpose must be at the clip of traveling of the belongings. This is because. it is non theft if there is no purpose at the clip of taking of the belongings.

The authorization for the first component can be seen in the instance of Raja Mohamed v. R whereby the rule is that there must be an purpose to take venally any movable belongings out of the ownership of another individual without that person’s consent in order to represent larceny. Meaning to state. it is sufficient that the individual. who has such dishonest purpose moves the belongings in order to such taking. In add-on. it is non necessary to travel such belongings in order to travel out of the ownership of the other individual.

Next. the 2nd component is that the individual must take without consent. It means that there must be an purpose to take another’s belongings without consent. The of import point here is how the accused conceives of the state of affairs whether or non the individual whose belongings is taken would accept to it. In other words. this element depends on the head of the proprietor of the belongings. In the state of affairs when a individual consents. so the actus reus of larceny is non fulfilled and hence there is no larceny.

The 3rd component is to take out of ownership. It means that the belongings must be taken or moved out of the ownership. If the accused has a dishonorable purpose and moves the belongings. so he is said to travel the belongings out of ownership. It is to be noted here that larceny is an offense against ownership and non of ownership. Therefore. the offense is against the individual who is in ownership. A ownership for the intent of larceny relates to movable belongings and movable belongings. which is lost or abandoned may non be in any ownership of any individual. However. when it is neither lost nor abandoned. even if it is so placed in the ownership of person else. the ownership may still stay with the true proprietor.

Subsequently. the 4th component is movable belongings. What is “movable property” is defined under subdivision 22 of the Penal Code. which states that the words “movable property” are intended to include material belongings of every description. Except land and things attached to the Earth. or for good fastened to anything which is attached to the Earth. It means that every bit long as the thing is attached to the Earth. therefore it is non movable.

Furthermore. a thing attached to the Earth is non movable and can non be a topic of larceny until it has been severed from the Earth. Land within the significance of subdivision 22 of the Penal Code does non include dirt from the land. However. when it is dug out of the land. it is so known as movable belongings. In the instance of Lim Soon Gong & A ; Ors. . the respondents were charged with perpetrating larceny of sand from the foreshore. The rule of this instance sing the 4th component is that sand. which has been dug out from the foreshore is a movable belongings. Finally. the concluding component of larceny is there must be a moving of the belongings. It means that the belongings must be moved out of ownership. This can be seen in the authorization of Raja Mohamed v. R. the accused had removed boxes incorporating two tonss of spectacless from the company’s land floor storage room. He was charged of convicting larceny. The rule of this instance is that it is sufficient if the individual had formed a dishonorable purpose and moves the belongings in order to such pickings. Furthermore. it is non necessary to travel the belongings to the full out of ownership in order to perpetrate larceny.

Having fulfilled all the five elements under subdivision 378 of the Penal Code. the accused so can be held apt for perpetrating larceny. Section 379 of the Penal Code further provides the penalty for larceny. whereby one can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may widen to seven old ages or with all right or both. It further adds that for a 2nd or subsequent offense. one shall be punished with imprisonment and besides be apt to ticket or floging. The inquiry to be asked is whether the offense of “snatch theft” can fall under the offense of “theft” under subdivision 378 of the Penal Code. It seems like it is deficient as when bit larceny is committed. there will be the component of force on the individual who is being snatched. whereas the elements of larceny are more mild in the sense that there is nil in the proviso states that there is a usage of force or further may ensue to a more critical state of affairs such as decease. Therefore. this will do the penalty for larceny does non accommodate the offense of bit larceny. Snatch larceny as being said earlier can do hurt to the other individual and it can even come to the extent of doing decease to the other individual. Besides that. there besides should be an component of force. These elements seem do non show in the elements of larceny. Therefore. we submit that the offense of “theft” does non sufficiently address the offense bit larceny as bit larceny is more serious and causes more terrible hurt as compared to theft.

Having discussed the elements of “theft” . we will travel into inside informations the offense of “robbery” in order to come to the decision of whether or non it is sufficiently address the offense of bit larceny. Section 390 of the Penal Code which is sing the offense of “robbery” will be analyzed. Clause ( 1 ) of the said proviso provinces that in all robbery there is either larceny or extortion. In other words. for the offense of robbery to originate. either the two chief elements. which are larceny or extortion has to be.

Section 390 ( 2 ) provinces that larceny is “robbery” if. in order to perpetrate larceny. or in perpetrating the larceny. or in transporting off or trying to transport away belongings obtained by the larceny. the wrongdoer. for that terminal. voluntarily causes or efforts to do to any individual decease. or hurt. or unlawful restraint. or fright of instant decease. or of instant injury. or of instant unlawful restraint. Section 390 ( 3 ) defines extortion as robbery. if the wrongdoer. at the clip of perpetrating the extortion. is in the presence of the individual put in fright and commits the extortion by seting that individual in fright of instant decease. of instant injury. or of instant unlawful restraint to that individual or to some other individual. and. by so seting in fright. induces the individual so put in fright so and at that place to present up the thing extorted.

In other words. robbery is theft or extortion in an aggravated signifier. Hence. the elements of larceny or extortion must be present in add-on to the aggravated fortunes set out in robbery. Section 390 provides for the fortunes when larceny constitutes robbery. The words “for that end” in subdivision 390 must associate to the committee of larceny. Hence where an assault has no relation to the larceny. robbery is non committed. If. for illustration. the accused foremost assaulted the plaintiff and so later formed an purpose to take his ticker. he can non be apt for robbery but merely for larceny.

The important point under the offense of robbery is to find the significance of the word “for that end” . The force or menace of force must be for the intent of perpetrating larceny and transporting off the belongings. In Karuppa Gounden. it was held that “the word ‘for that end’ in subdivision 390. Penal Code. can non be read as significance in those circumstances” . It was held by the Lahore Court in Karmun that. “…before a individual can be convicted of robbery the prosecution must turn out that injury was caused in order to the committing of the larceny or in perpetrating the larceny or in transporting off or trying to transport away the belongings obtained by the larceny. The injury contemplated must be a witting and voluntary act on the portion of the stealer for the intent of overmastering opposition on the portion of the victim. rather separate and distinguishable from the act of larceny itself…”

In the other instance of Bishambhar Nath v. Emperor AIR. the rule is that in order to perpetrate larceny of the hard currency or in perpetrating the larceny of hard currency for transporting off or trying to transport away belongings obtained by the larceny. the accused for the larceny voluntarily caused or attempted to do injury.

The word “for that end” clearly means that the injury caused by the wrongdoer must be with the express object of easing the committee of larceny or ache must be caused while the wrongdoer was perpetrating larceny or in transporting off or in trying to transport away the belongings obtained by the larceny. It does non intend that the assault or ache must be caused in the same dealing or in the same fortunes. In Nga Po Thet. the kernel of robbery is that the wrongdoer must do decease. injury or unlawful restraint or fright of decease. injury or unlawful restraint in the committee of larceny or in transporting off the belongings obtained by larceny. The penalty for robbery is stated in subdivision 392 of the Penal Code. whereby it shall be punished for a term which may widen to ten old ages and shall be apt to ticket. In add-on. if the robbery is committed between sundown and dawn. the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen old ages and shall besides be apt to ticket or floging.

From the treatment of robbery as in subdivision 390 of the Penal Code. the offense of robbery seems to fulfill some elements of bit larceny. As what has been said earlier. the offense of bit larceny involves the elements of force and the effects of the act will take to a terrible hurt to the victim and sometimes it may take to decease of the victim. In fact. subdivision 390 is being used for the clip being as to replace the offense of bit larceny which is non in the Penal Code yet. This shows that bit larceny is really unsafe to the populace at big as the offense is about similar to the elements of the offense of robbery under subdivision 390. The penalty for bit larceny is as the same as the penalty for robbery under subdivision 392. This once more proves that bit larceny is a serious offense.

However. we strongly think that there must be an component of force in bit larceny. This is because when a individual snatches another person’s pocketbook. there is an being of force used against the other individual. This is because. when a individual wants to catch the other person’s bag. it will go on fast. When this happens. the other individual will be hurt and injured as there is force used against him or her. In other words. force and injury will be given to be at the same time when a individual commits the offense of bit larceny.

In the current state of affairs. the Deputy Internal Security Affairs Minister Datuk Noh Omar has clarified in Parliament that the Police. since early 2004. had resorted to utilizing the Emergency Ordinance ( Crime Prevention & A ; Public Safety ) 1969 against bit stealers “if the Police is convinced that the suspects had committed the offence” . Under the Ordinance. those suspected may be held for 60 yearss after which the Internal Security Minister could make up one’s mind to confine them for up to two old ages without test. The Deputy Internal Security Affairs Minister farther clarified that the Police would besides bear down bit stealers under subdivisions 392. 394 and 397 of the Penal Code. which allows for floging. gaol footings ( up to twenty old ages if armed. under subdivision 394 ) . apart from enforcing mulcts. This last measure is in line with the suggestions of another politician. Karpal Singh. who called for amendments to subdivisions 392 and 394 of the Penal Code to enforce compulsory tanning of non less than six shots. It was besides the suggestion of Wong Sulong in his Column in The Star on June 15th. 2004.

Since there is still no Torahs imposed on bit larceny. it is to be tabled in the twelvemonth 2005. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Datuk Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said a Bill covering specifically with bit larceny offenses would be tabled in Parliament in July. 2005. He added that. under the new jurisprudence. the wrongdoers could be imprisoned between seven and twenty old ages and tanning could be included as portion of the penalty. Presently in the Penal Code. there is no particular proviso for bit larceny besides the separate charges for larceny and robbery. which carry a maximal gaol sentence of seven and twenty old ages severally. He farther added that the jurisprudence would be effectual by the terminal of the twelvemonth 2005 if everything goes swimmingly. The demand of holding a particular jurisprudence for bit larceny is due to the many reported instances of victims being killed or earnestly injured. This shows that the offense of bit larceny is so a serious offense.

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