Theft, burglary, and robbery are all different in their own distinct ways. However, there is one thing that they all have in common: They are each illegal and involve the unauthorized stealing of someone’s personal property by another person.
Theft is a pretty basic crime – it involves stealing an item from somebody with the intentions of permanently depriving that person of their property. Larceny, defined by most states, can be referred to as a general “theft” crime. However, in other states, larceny could be considered its own criminal offense. This occurs when a person unlawfully takes and carries away another person’s personal property without consent and an intent to permanently deprive the owner.
Robbery refers to theft that is accomplished through the usage of physical force and fear. Someone who steals a purse after it is set down is indulging in theft. However, if that person threatens and uses violence to take the purse away, it falls into the realm of a robbery.
Burglary, simply, is the unlawful entry into a structure, usually a home or business. It carries intent to commit a crime inside. Many burglaries will involve theft, but really any crime can take place when a burglary takes place, including something as heinous as a murder.
A person may be charged with burglary whether or not the crime intended was actually committed. The entry must be unlawful, which could include something as simple as entering through an unlocked door.