What are the differences between theft, burglary and robbery?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Some of the serious crimes that occur in Pennsylvania involve stealing someone else’s personal property. However, there are three chief types of these offenses, namely, theft, burglary, and robbery. It’s important to understand the differences.

What is theft?

Theft is also known as larceny and is one of the most common offenses involving the taking of another person’s property. Criminal defense strategies are available for this crime even though it’s considered the least serious of all three offenses. Depending on the monetary value of the property taken, a person can face a misdemeanor or even a felony charge. The basic idea of theft is that a person deliberately and knowingly takes property that belongs to another person with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of that property.

What is robbery?

Robbery is a crime that is more serious than theft. As a result, a strong criminal defense strategy is required in a case involving robbery. While theft merely involves taking someone else’s property without their permission, robbery is also a type of theft. However, it’s more serious due to the use of force or fear over the victim.

What is burglary?

Burglary is often a misunderstood crime. While the average person believes it’s a crime that’s committed when someone breaks into a home or place of business, there’s more to it than that. Burglary doesn’t necessarily involve a break-in as it can be committed even if a person simply enters a building unlawfully. However, in addition to that, there must be an intention to commit another crime once inside the structure. A person can face a charge of burglary even if they did not actually commit a crime while inside the structure.

While these three crimes do share some characteristics in common, they also have notable differences. If you are facing any of these charges, you should definitely take them seriously.