Criminal Law, Pages 461–463

People v. Rizzo

New York State Court of Appeals, 1927


Defendants were planning to rob Rao of a $1,200 pay roll he was taking from the bank and drove around looking for him to do so. They checked multiple buildings but could not find him however. Eventually, police found the defendants and arrested them before they found Rao.

Procedural History:

Defendant was convicted of attempted robbery.


Dis defendants' actions constitute attempted robbery?


An act must come very near the accomplishment of the crime to constitute a criminal attempt.


Defendants did not come near to accomplishing the robbery. Even if the police had not stopped them when they did, defendants were not likely to have accomplished the robbery. They were not at the building where Rao was, and the pay roll had not even been withdrawn from the bank yet. They were merely looking for a crime to commit; they did not actually get an opportunity to commit one.


No, defendants were not guilty of attempted robbery. Reversed and a new trial granted.