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Different Types of Theft Crimes: Burglary, Robbery & Larceny

There are numerous types of theft and property crimes on the books. For the most part, they can be categorized into three main forms: burglary, robbery, and larceny. Knowing how these different crimes compare and contrast can be helpful if you have been accused of one of them. After all, the first step in defending your rights is understanding what the prosecution intends to use against you.

What is the Crime of Larceny?

Theft comes in many forms but larceny is about as close to the overall concept of theft as it gets. By most definitions, larceny is simply the act of taking property of value without the intent of returning it to the original owner. It can also be the act of accepting valuable services without the intent of paying for them as agreed upon or expected. Effectively, larceny is stealing in its most basic form. In California, committing larceny to steal a good or service valued over $950 could escalate the crime to grand theft, rather than petty theft.

What is the Crime of Burglary?

By many states’ definitions, burglary is the act of trespassing onto or breaking into unoccupied private property with the intent the commit another crime. As burglary can be committed without actually stealing something of value, it is sometimes considered a property crime, not necessarily a theft crime. Burglary is associated with theft, though, since most people enter an empty building or area with the intent to steal. You can differentiate between larceny and burglary in that burglary requires the burgled location to be unoccupied while larceny does not.

What is the Crime of Robbery?

By its definition, robbery is theft in the presence of the property owner, usually conducted through force, violence, or intimidation. If you are charged with robbery, you need to talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. As robbery implies the defendant is dangerous in some capacity, prosecutors will be eager to land a conviction. Indeed, robbery in its basic form is a felony in California. The charges escalate if the robbery included the use or involvement of a deadly weapon, such as a firearm.

Your Legal Defender When Accused of Theft in California

The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C., led by Attorney Zelig, has successfully represented thousands of criminal defense clients in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area. If you have been accused of burglary, larceny, robbery, or any other form of theft, do not hesitate to reach our offices by calling (707) 418-5352. During a free initial consultation, we can discuss the details of your case and potential defense strategies to implement. Get started today.