The act of stealing from another occupies a very large portion of the criminal law corpus. Indeed, the law has evolved to incorporate almost every instance of stealing: robbery, larceny, or extortion just to name a few. Distinguishing what definition of theft applies to specific cases necessitates the existence of the legal profession.
Robbery is classified in most states as the act of taking something from another person utilizing violence or the threat of violence. But if you threaten someone with something other than violence in order to take something from another, for instance, exposing an embarrassing secret, then you have committed extortion. If you use fraud to take from another then you have committed larceny. But what happens if you simply ask nicely for the belongings of another?
Well my friends, as far as I know, there is nothing in statute law that forbids asking for another’s property and receiving it. This sounds like a gift. But this is, of course, more complicated when applied in practice. Take, for instance, the following scenario:
An individual walks into a bank and says something along the lines of the following: “Hello, I was just stopping by your bank and I was hoping you could give me some money. I have no weapon and intend no harm to anyone but I would really appreciate it if you slid a few thousand dollars across the counter.”
A man in Israel, Michael Hadar, did precisely this and walked away with $28,000. The operation was so successful that he applied the same tactic at other banks in the area. He had no intention or indication of harming anyone during these very unique heists, and it is clear that his action fails to fit the mold of any parameters laid out in statute law. What do you do with a case like this?