Theft vs. Burglary vs. Robbery: What’s the Difference?

The words theft, burglary, and robbery are often used interchangeably. But in Missouri, these are three different crimes that each carry serious consequences. Here’s a look at the differences between theft vs. burglary vs. robbery:

What is Theft?

Theft is referred to as stealing in the state of Missouri. According to the state law, a person commits this crime when he takes property or services without consent and with the intention of keeping them from the owner.

This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the type and value of the property or services that were stolen.

See also: Defining Theft Under Missouri Law

What is Burglary?

Burglary is very different from theft. The crime of burglary is committed when a person enters a building or home with the intent to commit a crime while inside. It’s important to note that the offender does not need to actually commit a crime in order to be charged with burglary. If he had the intent to commit the crime once inside the building but he never committed it, it’s still considered burglary.

It is common for someone to illegally enter a building with the intention of committing theft, but the crime of burglary does not always involve theft. For example, let’s say someone illegally enters a building in order to vandalize it. This person would be charged with burglary because he entered a building with the intent to commit a crime-even though the crime he planned on committing was not theft.

Burglary is charged as a class D felony in many cases. However, if the offender was armed at the time the crime was committed, it is charged as a class B felony. It’s also a class B felony if someone was present inside the building or if someone was injured or threatened while the burglary occurred.

What is Robbery?

Both robbery and theft involve stealing another person’s property or services. But, the crime of robbery involves the use of force, whereas theft does not. Robbery is a class B felony, but it becomes a class A felony when the use of a deadly weapon was involved. It’s also a class A felony if the victim is seriously injured as a result of the robbery.

Have you been charged with theft, burglary, or robbery? If so, contact The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC at once. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will stand by your side and fight for your freedom until your case has been resolved. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today

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