Search Box Here
TheftAfter a Theft Quick Tips from Police OfficersHere are some tips for dealing with home and car theft, gathered from police officers across the country.Key Legal Terms Burglary Robbery and MoreAlthough you may say, "I've been robbed," by definition, you may actually have been "burgled." Read the about the different terms below to learn more.

Key Legal Terms: Burglary, Robbery and More

Although you may say, "I've been robbed," by definition, you may actually have been "burgled." Read the about the different terms below to learn more.

WHN Tip: The following definitions vary from state to state. Consider contacting a legal advisor or a police officer in your area to learn more about the legal definitions in your jurisdiction.

Robbery

Taking or attempting to take something of value from another person by use of force, threats or intimidation, committed in the presence of the victim. Commonly known as a "holdup" or a "stickup" (i.e. bank robbery or mugging).

Degrees of robbery vary by state, can depend on whether a weapon or something that appears to be a weapon was present and/or if an accomplice was present. Any degree of robbery is considered a felony by law.

"Aggravated robbery": If a suspect makes a victim believe that he has a deadly weapon by showing a weapon, saying he has a weapon or displaying something that appears to be a weapon.

Burglary

Unlawful entry of a "structure" (i.e., physical building) to commit a felony or a theft. Commonly known as a "break in" or "breaking and entering." Not all burglaries translate to damage (see "Non-forcible entry"). Car break-ins or thefts are considered larcenies. (See Larceny.)

Burglary: "Forcible" and "Non-Forcible Entry"

"Non-forcible entry: Entering through an unlocked door or window with the intent to commit a felony or theft.

"Forcible entry": Windows and/or doors are broken or forced; screens, walls or roofs are broken; tools are used; locks are picked, etc.

"Attempted forcible entry": Burglar attempts to enter but is frightened off.

Larceny

Similar to burglary, except that the perpetrator did not illegally enter a structure by using forcible, non- forcible or attempted forcible entry (with the exception of a motor vehicle).

All thefts of motor vehicles or from motor vehicles (parts, accessories, personal property) are considered larcenies whether the vehicle was locked or unlocked.

Can also include purse snatching, shoplifting, theft of any bicycle, fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, forgery, con games, etc.

"Grand larceny"

In the U.S., usually defined as stealing an amount valued at $200 or more. "Petit (petty) larceny" involves stealing smaller amount.

Theft

Legally, theft is often synonymous with larceny. Again, the definitions vary from state to state and jurisdictions. Consider contacting a legal advisor or a police officer in your area if you would like to learn more about the legal definitions in your jurisdiction.

Extortion

When one person forces another to do something against his will (usually give up money) by threat of violence, property damage, extreme financial hardship or damage to the person's reputation. (Blackmail is one type and racketeering is also often linked to extortion.) Sometimes viewed under the category of theft or larceny,

WHN Tip: Theft, larceny and loss of personal property may not be covered under certain insurance policies. Be sure to read your policy carefully.

Investigation Differences

Robbery

The main part of the investigation will be about the identification of the perpetrator or the person who committed the robbery. If you or a family member has been robbed, the police will ask you questions about the offender: perpetrator's clothing, age, height, weight, hair color and other distinguishing factors; anything the perpetrator said, what kind of car he/she was driving and in which direction he/she was headed.

Correctly naming characteristics and information may help the police in their investigation.

Police investigations vary depending on the case and jurisdiction. Consider contacting a legal advisor or a police officer in your area if you would like to learn more about the investigation procedures in your jurisdiction.

Burglary

The main part of the investigation pays close attention to the breaking and entering areas, such as the entry and exit points. They may dust for fingerprints, take pictures and ask you questions about the burglary.

This may be a difficult time but understand that information may help the police in their investigation.

Larceny and Theft

There are many different types of larceny-thefts. Therefore, each investigation will focus on different areas. If you were a victim of a purse snatching you may be asked questions about the offender's age, weight, height. If you were a victim of identity theft, you might be asked about your credit card activity and bank statements.

Extortion

Extortion investigations would focus on the person or persons involved in the crime. Corporations and/or individuals, along with business activities, records and important documents, may be under investigation.

WHN Tip: Police investigations vary depending on the case and jurisdiction. Consider contacting a legal advisor or a police officer in your area to learn more about the investigation procedures in your jurisdiction.

TheftAfter a Theft Quick Tips from Police OfficersHere are some tips for dealing with home and car theft, gathered from police officers across the country.Key Legal Terms Burglary Robbery and MoreAlthough you may say, "I've been robbed," by definition, you may actually have been "burgled." Read the about the different terms below to learn more.