Good Example Of Why Robbery And Larceny Are Often Confused Essay
Stealing is the act of taking the property of another without permission and with no intention to return it to them. Someone who steals something is called a thief and has committed an act of theft or larceny. However, if that individual steals something from a person, and uses force to take the property, that is an act of robbery, and the perpetrator is called a robber (Bernstein n.d.). The following paragraphs explain the meanings of robbery and larceny in more detail, to clarify the differences between the two terms, thereby avoiding possible confusion.
As mentioned above, larceny is stealing property without the use of force against a person. An example of petty larceny might be the theft a book from a bookstore, whereas stealing something of much higher monetary value (for example a car from a parking area) would be termed grand larceny. In that particular instance the theft in a legal sense might be termed grand theft auto. According to Bernstein, the threshold value differentiating between petty and grand larceny is somewhere around $500. Burglary is another form of larceny, but occurs where the crime includes unlawful entry to a property in order to steal something. In that instance the perpetrator is called a burglar (Bernstein n.d.).
Robbery is when the perpetrator steals property from a person either using or threatening physical force to do so. For example, a mugging in the street is a robbery, as is a car-jacking (stealing a car with someone still in it). Taking someone’s mobile phone by force (or the threat of force) is an increasingly frequent example of robbery, too (Bernstein n.d.).
In conclusion, it’s easy to see how larceny and robbery can be confused. Both involve stealing property, with the significant and important difference being the theft from a person with force changing the crime from one of larceny to robbery. Nonetheless, people commonly (but incorrectly in a legal sense) would say “I’ve been robbed”, even if the property stolen was not taken from them directly or by force.
Bernstein, Robin, A. (n.d.). “Theft, Larceny, Burglary and Robbery.” Translegal. Retrieved from: http://www.translegal.com/legal-english-lessons/theft-larceny-burglary-and-robbery