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The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary


Original Post: 1/11/2019

A burglar breaks into someone's home in order to take something they do not own. Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of someone’s personal property by someone else.

In this article, we break down the differences between burglary, robbery, and theft.

What is Theft?

A situation in which there is an unauthorized taking of property from another person to deprive them of it is considered theft, or larceny as the two terms are used interchangeably. Theft typically involved three main elements

  • taking someone’s money or property without their permission,
  • carrying the property or product away, and/or
  • intending to keep the property or product permanently.

Someone can also commit the crime by taking unattended property such as a bike, cash left on a restaurant table, or even a parked car. 

What is Robbery?

For some, theft and robbery sound the same because it involves stealing. Though the differentiating factor is that robbery is theft that includes physical force, fear, or intimidation. An individual cannot commit a robbery unless they take something from someone else, such as taking something they’re holding or taking property that is within their control. 

What is Burglary?

Burglary is the unlawful entry of a premise, such as a home, with intent to commit a crime once inside. Typically, burglary is a crime that can often include theft; however, an individual doesn’t necessarily need to take any property in order to be convicted of the crime. You can be charged with burglary whether or not the offense intended was actually committed. 

Criminal Defense from an Experienced Michigan Attorney

Although burglary, robbery, and theft have similar descriptions, they’re all different crimes that have their own set of penalties and consequences. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with any of the above crimes, give Aldrich Legal Services a call today. Our team of lawyers are familiar with the local system and can give you the help you deserve.

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