Robbery by Force or Fear In California

"Robbery is the . . . taking of . . . property . . . accomplished by means of force or fear." ( Pen. Code, 211.) Accordingly, "to support a robbery conviction, the taking, either the gaining possession or the carrying away, must be accomplished by force or fear." ( People v. Cooper (1991) 53 Cal. 3d 1158, 1165, fn. 8 [282 Cal. Rptr. 450, 811 P.2d 742].) "Gaining possession or . . . carrying away" includes forcing or frightening a victim into leaving the scene, as well as simply deterring a victim from preventing the theft or attempting to immediately reclaim the property. (People v. Prieto (1993) 15 Cal. App. 4th 210, 211-216 [18 Cal. Rptr. 2d 761] [victim too "fearful and shocked" to intervene in nearby struggle between perpetrator and second victim over purses belonging to both victims]; People v. Dominguez (1992) 11 Cal. App. 4th 1342, 1346-1349 [15 Cal. Rptr. 2d 46] [victim ordered out of his residence at gunpoint before property was carried off]; People v. Hays (1983) 147 Cal. App. 3d 534, 541-542 [195 Cal. Rptr. 252] [fearful victim fled before taking of property].) Most robberies involve actual or threatened force, resulting in fear on the part of the victim, at the time the property is taken. ( People v. Wright, supra, 52 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 209-210.) However, the requisite fear need not be the result of an express threat. (See People v. Garcia (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1242, 1246 [53 Cal. Rptr. 2d 256] ["rather polite . . . 'tap' " of cashier sufficient where it caused cashier to fear defendant might be armed]; People v. Davison (1995) 32 Cal. App. 4th 206, 214 [38 Cal. Rptr. 2d 438] [victim is confronted by two men at an automatic teller machine, and ordered to "stand back"]; People v. Brew (1991) 2 Cal. App. 4th 99, 104 [2 Cal. Rptr. 2d 851] [relative size of defendant and victim a factor]; In re Anthony H. (1982) 138 Cal. App. 3d 159, 166 [187 Cal. Rptr. 820] [after following victim in car, suspect says, "I don't want to harm you, but I want your purse"].) Further, the requisite force or fear need not occur at the time of the initial taking. the use of force or fear to escape or otherwise retain even temporary possession of the property constitutes robbery. (People v. Torres (1996) 43 Cal. App. 4th 1073, 1077-1079 [51 Cal. Rptr. 2d 77] [use of force by car burglar after he had possession of the victim's stereo sufficient even though perpetrator subsequently abandoned the stereo and fled]; People v. Pham (1993) 15 Cal. App. 4th 61, 65-68 [18 Cal. Rptr. 2d 636] [where thief used force against victims as thief carried property away, robbery occurred even though victims subdued thief and no further asportation occurred]; People v. Estes (1983) 147 Cal. App. 3d 23, 27-28 [194 Cal. Rptr. 909] [force used against store security guard who tried to prevent escape of shoplifter].) A theft or robbery remains in progress until the perpetrator has reached a place of temporary safety. ( People v. Carroll (1970) 1 Cal. 3d 581, 585 [83 Cal. Rptr. 176, 463 P.2d 400].) the scene of the crime is not such a location, at least as long as the victim remains at hand. ( People v. Ramirez (1995) 39 Cal. App. 4th 1369, 1375 [46 Cal. Rptr. 2d 530] ["Phrased otherwise, the robbery is not 'over' until the victim has reached a place of temporary safety"]; See also People v. Haynes (1998) 61 Cal. App. 4th 1282, 1292 [72 Cal. Rptr. 2d 143].) When the perpetrator and victim remain in close proximity, a reasonable assumption is that, if not prevented from doing so, the victim will attempt to reclaim his or her property. (People v. Webster (1991) 54 Cal. 3d 411, 442 [285 Cal. Rptr. 31, 814 P.2d 1273] [assuming that murder victim had willingly given car key to defendant, jury could infer from later violence that defendant used force to prevent victim from retrieving the key].)