Select Page

Say that you live in a residence in Ohio with several other people, or maybe you work with several other people. Either way, you may find yourself face-to-face with police accused of burglary, robbery or theft one day. What is the difference between the three?

With the involvement of law enforcement comes the need to speak factually rather than rely on speculation. A Secure Life breaks down the definitions of theft, burglary and robbery.

The breakdown

Both robbery and burglary are different types of theft. With robbery, the perpetrator uses threats, intimidation or force to separate victims from valuables. Burglary, on the other hand, is a crime of opportunity, wherein the victim does not need to be physically present.

Categories of theft

Going a bit deeper, theft has different levels. “Petty theft” is a misdemeanor crime reserved for the theft of items with a value of less than $500 or $1,000. With “grand theft,” the value of the item exceeds $500 or $1,000, and the crime becomes a felony. “Financial theft” is when the perpetrator engages in such white-collar crimes as forgery or embezzlement.

Additional terms

You may hear or learn about related terms during discussions of theft. “Extortion” is similar to robbery, where the perpetrator resorts to intimidation but also forces the victim to commit a crime against her or his will. “Larceny” and burglary are closely tied to each other, but forced or illegal entry do not come into play with larceny. Finally, “property crime” may consist of robbery or burglary, but arson and acts of vandalism may come into play, as well.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.