What is the difference between theft, robbery and burglary?
Theft in Illinois is defined as obtaining or exerting control over another person’s property without that person’s permission. It is considered theft to take the property through the use of threat or deceit, or to obtain property you know to be stolen or can be reasonably expected to believe to be stolen. Theft is distinguished from retail theft, or shoplifting in that the property is taken from another person; shoplifting involves property taken from a retail establishment.
Robbery in Illinois is defined as taking property from another person or place through the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force. The distinguishing factor between robbery and theft under Illinois law is whether force was used during the commission of the alleged crime.
Aggravated robbery occurs if a weapon is used during the commission of a robbery and armed robbery occurs when an individual forcibly takes or attempts to take property through the use of a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon, although typically thought of as a firearm, is anything that can be used to maim or kill another person.
Burglary, although frequently associated with theft, does not have to involve the act of taking or attempting to take property. Burglary is a crime of breaking and entering; an individual may be charged with burglary in Illinois for entering another individual’s property with the intent to commit a felony. The property involved may be any building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle or railroad car.
A conviction on theft, robbery or burglary charges can carry serious consequences. If you have been arrested for theft, robbery or burglary, it is crucial to enlist the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney to help ensure a positive outcome for your case.