The Difference Between Theft and Burglary

Theft and Burglary are two crimes we hear about on a regular basis.

But did you know that there is actually quite a few differences between these two crimes? Read on to find out the difference between theft and burglary, and what to do if you’ve been burgled.

What is Theft?

In the eyes of the law, theft is the act of taking something from someone else without their permission. This is accompanied by the intention to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the item’s possession.

For example, if you ask to borrow your friend’s laptop and they say yes, this is perfectly legal, as long as you return it.

However, if you borrow the laptop with no intention of ever giving it back, this counts as theft.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is a crime that often comes hand in hand with theft. However, to commit burglary, a person does not necessarily have to take something that doesn’t belong to them.

To commit burglary, you must enter a structure or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime within it.

For example, if you break into someone’s house with the intention of stealing some jewelry, but don’t actually end up stealing anything, you have still committed burglary.

What Should I do if I’ve been Burgled?

If you have been burgled, you will most likely be feeling distressed, afraid and/or angry. Even though you will be feeling a variety of emotions, it is important to act fast and keep a level head.

The first thing you should do, even before you contact the authorities, is to cancel any credit cards or bank cards that you suspect have been stolen.

A bank card in the hands of the wrong person can have devastating consequences for the victim. Call your bank immediately and get your card/s cancelled, this way the robber won’t be able to use it.

If your card has already been used, your bank will usually refund it if you report the incident to the police. However, each case is dealt with on an individual basis.

The next thing you need to do is contact the authorities. Call the police and they will send an officer round to your home to asses the damage and advise you of your next steps.

I’ve been Accused of Theft, What Should I do?

If you’ve been accused of theft, there must be a substantial amount of evidence to back up the claim for it to be taken seriously by the authorities.

However, if you have been accused of theft and would like to discuss your next steps, feel free to contact our expert team of solicitors and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.