Here at The Warner Law Firm, we are often asked by our clients in the Amarillo and Panhandle, TX area about the difference between theft, larceny, robbery, and burglary. Although all of these terms involve unlawful taking of someone else’s property, they have specific meanings and different elements of crime. Needless to say, it is vital to know which is which because of the necessary legal actions that goes along with each of them.

In case you are new to these terms, below is a quick read on how to identify the difference i.e. if it is a misdemeanor or a felony.

  • Theft – Oftentimes people assume that every unauthorized taking is called theft, but this is not always the case. Theft is different because of the lack of force, fear, or intimidation. One common example is taking an item/property from a bag, the ground, or a table without the consent of the owner.
  • Larceny – Usually interchanged with theft, larceny differs from the latter because it mainly involves taking an item that is physically on the body of the owner. It also does not involve intimidation or force. Common examples include snatching or pickpocketing.
  • Robbery – This is when the suspect unlawfully takes an item/property by force, intimidation, or both. Fear, whether of immediate injury or potential damages, is also important to consider the crime as robbery. Most states consider this as a violent crime with mainly two classifications. First is armed robbery, which involves an instrument knife, gun, pipe, etc. to cause harm to the victim. Strong arm robbery, on the other hand, doesn’t involve any weapon.
  • Burglary – The unlawful entry of a structure i.e. house, building, or boat (but used as a living space) with a proven intent to steal or commit felony is classified as burglary. By the law, unauthorized or unlawful entry means going inside a space with four walls and a roof with no consent, permit, and rights of the owner.

Visit our blog to learn more about theft and crimes related to it. For a more personal guidance from a highly reputable name, schedule a free consultation with Mike Warner of The Warner Law Firm. Thank you and have a nice day.