Very often, burglary, theft and robbery are used interchangeably by the public. It’s very important that citizens understand that each crime is very different and each comes with different responses from law enforcement professionals and prosecutors.

“Put very simply, someone is guilty of robbery if he steals from a person using force or makes them think force will be used. Theft means taking someone’s property but does not involve the use of force. Burglary means illegally entering a property in order to steal property from it.”

Burglary and theft are nonviolent

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a domicile for the purposes of theft when no one is thought to be there. Theft is the unauthorized taking of property when there is nobody present as a witness.

Robbery is a violent crime

Robbery involves violent threats and physical force against individuals and groups who are present at the time of a crime.

250,000 burglaries turn violent each year because someone is home or walks in on the crime.

Taking the profit out of property crimes

Burglary, theft and robbery are all property crimes. In 1963, law enforcement professionals developed Operation ID, and in 1979, the U.S. Department of Justice rolled out the Operation ID strategy nationally.

The strategy consists of three steps.

  • Mark property with a globally unique number
  • Record the make, model and serial numbers
  • Post warning signs on doors and windows

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