Alabamians More Likely to be Robbery Victims in December

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabamians are more likely to be robbed in December than any other month of the year, according to state crime statistics.

Kent Kerley, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said the frequency of robberies during the holidays is because there are more suitable targets and people are less guarded.

According to information from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, there were 607 robberies reported statewide during December of last year.

Hoover Assistant Police Chief A.C. Roper said another reason for the increase of robberies has a lot to do with shoplifting.

Kerley said a crime is considered robbery when property is forcibly taken from another person when that person is present.

Basic robbery is when something is grabbed out of someone's hand. The crime become armed robbery when someone is threatened with a weapon.

State figures show other traditional holiday season crimes on the decline in December, including property and violent crimes.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)