Appeal from orders of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1954, Nos. 138 to 142, inclusive, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sylvester Lockhart, Jr.
Morris H. Wolff, and Stassen, Kostos and Mason, for appellant.
James T. Owens and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Packel, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J. Wright, P. J., and Watkins, J., dissent.
[ 223 Pa. Super. Page 61]
Appellant has raised numerous contentions that he believes we should consider in this appeal. The sole meritorious contention, however, that is before this Court is the narrow issue of whether a single or separate robberies occur upon the theft of property from a single individual, but belonging to different owners, where the robbery occurs at the same time and at the same place. It is, therefore, necessary only to set out those facts which are relevant to the disposition of appellant's claim.
On July 2, 1954, appellant was tried together with three co-defendants for his alleged participation in a payroll robbery which occurred on February 5, 1954 at the United Provision Company in Philadelphia. Appellant
[ 223 Pa. Super. Page 62]
was convicted on five separate indictments of armed robbery, for the robbery of four individual victims and the company payroll funds. The trial judge suspended sentence on Bills 140-142, and sentenced appellant on Bills 138 and 139 to consecutive terms of 10 to 20 years imprisonment.
Appellant contends that he was tried twice and convicted on two indictments for the same offense. The specific facts of appellant's allegation of double jeopardy concern Bills 138 and 140, both of which charged appellant with robbing one Samuel Skversky, at the same time and the same place. Bill 138 charged appellant with robbing Mr. Skversky of $800, which Skversky was carrying in his wallet, and which was his personal property. Bill 140 differs from the previous indictment only insofar as the subject matter of this "second" robbery was the company payroll funds taken from a desk drawer directly in front of Mr. Skversky, and taken at the same time and place as the robbery described in Bill 138.
Our Supreme Court has defined the crime of robbery in the following manner: "The crime of robbery consists of two important elements: (1) The felonious intent to take money or goods from the person, presence or control of another; and (2) the accomplishment of that end by violence or putting in fear." Commonwealth v. Simpson, 436 Pa. 459, 464, 260 A.2d 751 (1970). By that definition, a necessary element of the crime is that the violence or threat of violence must be directed at another, from whose possession or presence a felonious taking occurs, Commonwealth v. Darcy, 362 Pa. 259, 278, 66 A.2d 663 (1949).
The natural and logical meaning of this definition of the crime of robbery is that a separate robbery may be found to have occurred each time another individual is put in ...