Trust your legal defense to an experienced lawyer. Call 615-953-8796 (866-572-1886 toll free).

Trust your legal defense to an experienced lawyer. Call 615-953-8796 (866-572-1886 toll free).

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What is the difference between theft, burglary and robbery?

A lot of people use the terms theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably. However, there are differences between these terms.

In the most basic terms, robbery is stealing property with force. Theft is stealing property without using a weapon. Finally, burglary involves trespassing to steal from someone. Here is a more in-depth summary of each of these terms.


Theft is stealing property, which the owner reports. That could involve taking from a store, work, house, picking pockets or taking a car or bicycle. Depending on the severity of theft, an individual who commits this crime could end up in prison for several years.


Robbery is stealing with force before, during or immediately after the theft. That can range from mugging on the street to holding up a store, business or vehicle. Since robbery involves violence, someone could end up in prison for life for this crime.


Burglary is when someone enters a private property to steal, harm someone or cause damage. However, there are three different types of burglary. These include domestic, non-domestic and aggravated burglary.

Domestic burglary is the most common and involves entering a residence. Typically, it refers to houses and apartments. However, it also includes houseboats, RVs and accessory houses. This is a serious crime and people who commit it can end up in prison for a dozen years or more.

Anyone who uses a weapon to steal can face aggravated burglary or robbery charges. These sentences are much more harsh, making it even more important to fight these charges.