Property crimes refer to those crimes that relate to either theft or destruction of someone else’s property. Property crimes can range from the lowest-level vandalism charges to the felony charges of armed robbery or arson. The elements of property crimes vary considerably according to the crime, but most of the charges include a range of degrees that relate to the severity of the incident.
Theft refers to intentionally depriving another of his or her own property; some states use theft interchangeably with larceny and robbery.
Larceny refers to taking something of value without the owner’s consent and with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the thing of value. Most states use theft rather than larceny.
Burglary refers to unlawful entry into a closed structure, usually by force or coercion, with the intention of committing a crime.
Robbery refers to the act of using actual or threatened force to take something of value from someone else.
Shoplifting refers to either the theft or the concealment of merchandise from a retail enterprise without the intention of paying for it.
Arson refers to intentionally burning almost any kind of structure or forest land, and it has several degrees of severity which focus on whether bodily harm occurs, whether the burned structure is inhabited, or whether there is intent to defraud insurers.
Vandalism refers to the act of destroying, defacing, or otherwise degrading someone else’s property without obtaining their permission. Some states refer to vandalism as criminal damage, malicious trespass, or malicious mischief.
Property crime charges are complex and can be pressed on a wide range of severity levels. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a property crime, the stakes are too high not to seek immediate legal counsel.
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