Many people use the terms robbery and burglary interchangeably. Many of us don’t realize that these are in fact, two very different types of crimes. Robbery is defined by the taking of something of value from another, intending to keep it, while using intimidation, force or threats. This is established by the manner the theft is committed. The perpetrator must have a specific intent to keep the item(s) in question and have used force, intimidation or threats to achieve the goal. Because the need to prove intimidation, threats or force was used, for a theft to be considered robbery – it must take place in the presence of the ‘other’ person while using force or intimidation.The presence requirement gives some leeway, allowing that the victim can be within a reasonable distance from the act itself. Simply put, if someone were to take property from a home, while someone was in another room – this is considered robbery. If the occupants of the household were on vacation while the theft occurred, it is not robbery.the full article is an excellent resource for this.
The force requirement means the threat must be realistic enough to overcome a victim’s resistance. Threats are not limited to the person the robbery occurs to. The law allows intimidation or force to pertain to the victim’s relatives, friends or other people in the victim’s vicinity.The crime of robbery is divided into different degrees (which can vary by state). The term ‘aggravated robbery’ constitutes a theft made in the presence of the victim, with the suspect making the victim believe he has and would use a deadly weapon. This can include showing a weapon, implying he has a weapon or showing that something concealed that he implies to be a weapon. Robbery is always considered a felony no matter the degree.Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of another’s property with the intent to commit a crime. This unlawful entry does not necessarily have to include the ‘breaking’ of the structure in order to enter. The crime is still considered burglary if the suspect entered the structure through an open window or door, as long as the intent to commit a crime is present.If a suspect does force his way in or damage the structure upon entry, this is considered ‘forcible entry’. The definitions of burglary do vary from state to state, so if you have questions about either robbery or burglary of a specific nature – you should contact a legal advisor in your jurisdiction.