Lancaster, South Carolina authorities have made an arrest regarding the overnight armed robbery that occurred at an Applebee’s restaurant on Highway 9 West.  This occurred just before closing time at the restaurant when a masked gunman entered the restaurant and demanded money.

An arrest warrant was issued for the man, who authorities believe was not working alone in the robbery.  They believe he was working with accomplices.  It has not been reported how much money was taken, and no injuries are reported.

Armed Robbery occurs when a person uses a deadly weapon during the course of a robbery, or even when they pretend to use a weapon.  For example, a plastic gun would qualify as armed robbery.  In South Carolina, armed robbery is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to 30 years in prison.  Further, parole cannot be granted until at least 7 years has been served.

Common law robbery, on the other hand, occurs when there is no deadly weapon used during the robbery.  If a jury finds that the element of the use of a deadly weapon has not been proven, the defendant can be found guilty of strong armed robbery instead of armed robbery.  This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and does not have a minimum mandatory sentence.

These distinctions are why it is so important for someone who is charged with robbery to retain a competent attorney who knows the distinctions.  If you or someone you know has been charged with Armed Robbery, or Common Law Robbery, call the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP at 803-548-4444, or toll free at 877-374-5999.