Difference Between Robbery & Burglary

How is Robbery any different than Burglary?

Burglary is when you forcefully enter into another person’s property without their permission. In most cases this is done to commit a crime of theft against the owner of the property, burglary can occur even if nothing is stolen.

This is normally done when the owner of the property is not around. If the owner of the property is around when this crime is committed knowingly or by accident then the burglary become a robbery. Whenever the owner of the property that is being taken is present it changes the type of crime weather the suspect uses force or intimidation it is a robbery.

Robbery poses a violent threat to individuals, which is why it is treated with more remorse than any other form of theft.

On the contrary, a burglary is committed when the suspect enters into any type of property that is not theirs as a trespasser to steal, snoop around, or damage property.

Robbery vs. Burglary: The Key Difference

One ordinary share: both are theft, and the critical difference between the two terms is: a robbery is committed in the presence of a victim. Burglaries, on the other hand, are done without the presence of the victim.

Are there any other related terms to Robbery and Burglary?

Yes, there are a few terms that involve both robberies and burglaries. Here they are:


Extortion is a dangerous crime in which the suspect forces the victim to do something against their will. Extortion is often related to burglary because it poses a threat to the victim’s life or property.

·Property Destruction

Property destruction can include either robberies or burglaries. Here, the property is not the only thing the suspect is interested in but arson and vandalism.


Larson crimes are very interrelated to robbery and burglary. Larson crimes will generally have a value attached to them whereas with a robbery there is no value attached. Larceny crimes are often attached to other charges in the theft of property of another person.

The Importance of Learning the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary

There are many different ways to identify the differences between these two crimes. Still, the public uses these terms interchangeably, which often creates confusion. 

Any term that relates to theft may sound similar, robbery and burglary have different legal jargon. The criminal law is complicated, especially when it comes to stealing crimes. 

To learn the difference, you have to define the meaning of theft. Theft is any crime where the victim steals property without the owner’s consent. So, how can you identify a theft crime as a burglary?

As we’ve mentioned countless times above, a burglary occurs when the victim enters another person’s property without permission to commit a crime. However, this does not mean that the burglar breaks into the property, as force is unnecessary to commit burglary.

The victim can even walk through an open door; you may not even know how he got in. Even if the burglar does not destroy property or steals anything, he will still be charged because he maybe had intended to steal.

What differentiates robbery is the use of force or threat. Robbery is not restricted to one person; a group can execute it. During the theft, encountering the suspect is necessary, burglaries usually occur when victim are not present.

In case of robbery, the victim snatches the property directly from the suspect – which is far dangerous than what happens in burglaries.

The Best Example

The best example that’ll fade your doubts about these two terms is a bank robbery.

When a victim threatens an innocent bystander trying to use the ATM, that’s robbery. On the flip side, breaking into a bank under the absence of workers or public is called burglary.

To conclude, the fundamental distinction between robbery and burglary involves force, breaking into a structure, and threatening.

A Clear-cut Difference between Robbery & Burglary

Includes the stealing of a property using intimidation or forceEntering into  another person’s property to commit a crime
It involves violence,Involves entering into a building without consent with criminal intentions
It takes place in the presence of victimsIt takes place in the absence of victims
The most dangerous form of crime, where there are high risks of getting hurtA less violent crime

To Sum Up

Now, it must be easy for you to determine whether an act of theft is a robbery or burglary.

Without a doubt, today’s criminals are smarter than ever, but that doesn’t mean you cannot outsmart them. An excellent way to keep you and your loved ones safe from these unpleasant circumstances is to install proper security systems in your place of living. CWP

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