Identifying Effective Strategies for Robbery Investigations: An Examination of Organizational, Procedural, and Individual Characteristics

Jacqueline Amber Scherer

Advisor: Cynthia Lum, PhD, Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Committee Members: Christopher Koper, Devon Johnson, John Jarvis

Enterprise Hall, #318
January 07, 2019, 01:00 PM to 03:00 PM


Despite the importance and expense of police investigations there is surprisingly little research evaluating the effectiveness of investigations compared to patrol operations. While the research examining investigative processes is scarce, there is even less research examining robbery investigations specifically. However, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) most recent and available Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Statistics, robbery is unfortunately one of the most frequent violent crimes against persons in the United States and remains the lowest Part I crime cleared by arrest or exceptional means. However, not all law enforcement agencies suffer from low robbery clearance rates, demonstrating significant variance over time. This project evaluates techniques for investigating robberies and organizational practices in five trajectory groups of agencies with 100 or more officers (N = 729) based on their 30-year clearance rate patterns. A survey was employed to collect data from the identified law enforcement agencies. Regression analyses were used to determine if organizational, procedural, and investigator specific characteristics predict trajectory group membership. Findings and implications for the field, as well as ideas for future research, are discussed.