Difference Between Robbery and Extortion

In daily life, we hear about the occurrence of several crimes (an illegal and disgraceful act). Robbery and extortion are two types of crime that are becoming more and more common nowadays around the globe. People who commit such crimes are punished as per the law by the higher authorities.

Robbery vs Extortion

The main difference between robbery and extortion is that robbery means to rob somebody by using force. However, extortion means to obtain money or any valuable item from somebody by threatening the victim. Moreover, under robbery, a person does not give consent. On the contrary, the victim consents due to the danger of extortion.

Robbery vs

A robbery is an illegal activity in which robbers rob people of their money or other valuable objects by intimidating them with lethal weapons (revolvers, knives, and others). The majority of robbers intend to steal large sums of money by robbing wealthy people and banks. Depending on how the heist was carried out, the law stipulates several penalties.

Extortion is another prohibited crime in which a criminal uses threats and force to induce someone to do something. As a result, the person gives over his valuable goods to the criminal in exchange for his life’s safety. If the victim disagrees with the criminal, the criminal will harm them.

Comparison Table Between Robbery and Extortion

Parameters of ComparisonRobberyExtortion
Origin of the wordThe word robbery is originated in the French language.Extortion is made up of two words: ex (out) and torque (by force).
PunishmentRobbery is punishable in the universe by a penalty and imprisonment of up to 7 years.The punishment of extortion involves a penalty amount and lower imprisonment of up to 3 years.
Degree of the CrimeRobbery is mostly second-degree crime.Extortion is both first-degree as well as second-degree crime depending on the seriousness.
ConsentPeople do not give any consent to the robbers.People give consent to the exporter when he is taking valuable items from them.
TypesCarjacking, home invasion, bank robberies, and street robberies.Threats, cyber extortion, and blackmail.

What is Robbery?

A robbery is an act of robbing somebody or stealing from somebody forcefully. It is a felony crime in which victims can lose their lives if they do not corporate with the robbers.

Robbery is not a new crime; robbers have existed throughout history, robbing people at dawn or dark when people used to cross woodlands by foot or cart before the invention of technology. These were known as street robberies.

After that, robbery tactics altered in the late 1800s, and criminals began committing bank heists. The most well-known bank heist occurred in Maiden when a single guy shot bank employees and stole nearly 3000 dollars. Bank robberies became popular because many robbers started targeting the banks for robbing.

A bank heist is also shown in several renowned films and television shows. Other types of heists are also prevalent such as carjacking, which means stealing people by stopping their vehicles in remote areas by frightening them with weapons.

Moreover, snatching the precious ornaments from ears, hands, and necks is a common type of robberies. The victims are not only are robbed of their valuable jewels but also are hurt badly. They are hurt because the ornaments are grabbed, resulting in deep cuts on the victims’ bodies.

All of these forms of robberies are illegal. Police apprehend criminals, and the judiciary punishes them by imposing harsh penalties and incarcerating them globally with minimal variation in the laws of each country.

What is Extortion?

Extortion is a combination of two Latin words, ex, and torque. Ex means out, and torque means by force. So, from the name, it is clear that extortion means snatching people’s assets by frightening them.

Frighted people agree to give their expensive and valuable products to the criminals. These valuable items could be cash, property, or other assets. Criminals employ a variety of strategies to frighten the public. They can extort valuable stuff by using dangerous weapons.

Blackmailing people is one of the other tactics that can be used. Furthermore, this crime has been recorded in history too. When powerful kings compelled weaker kings to relinquish their thrones.

Then there were instances of extortion during the British Raj when Britishers seized the lands of ordinary people in many countries by displaying force and threatening them.

Furthermore, even the landlords used extortion to snatch away the properties of the poor people by threatening them and forcing them. Cyber extortion is at an all-time high in the modern era, due to technological improvements.

Cyber extortion occurs when cyber thieves gain access to sensitive information held by wealthy companies and demand a ransom in exchange. Distinct countries have different punishments ranging from severe fines to jail.

Main Differences Between Robbery and Extortion

  1. Robbery is a simple term for robbing some person. On the other hand, extortion is snatching someone’s assets by frightening them.
  2. The victims of robbery do not consent to the criminals. However, victims of extortion give consent to take away their assets under threat.
  3. Robbery is a felony crime. On the contrary, extortion could be a felony or not, depending on the corporation of the victims.
  4. Types of robbery are carjacking, invasions in homes and banks. On the other side, blackmailing, cyber extortion, and threats are types of extortion.
  5. Punishment of the crime of robbery in terms of imprisonment is higher as compared to the crime of extortion.


Robbery and extortion have existed since the dawn of civilization. Previously, robberies were perpetrated as a result of unfair resource distribution. When the poor looted the wealthy to have access to necessities such as food. With time, the heist evolved into a business, and thieves began planning crimes in areas with a large flow of valuables. Rather than working hard, they prefer to commit a crime.

Extortion is an obvious demonstration of authority over the weaker. Criminals choose to seize people’s assets because they have the power (force and threat). Criminals use this way to make money without being part of a business.


  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/tlj35&section=22
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/pnlr141&section=44
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