According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the following offenses are considered property crimes:
-- Motor vehicle theft
-- Larceny theft
With a theft offense, a person has the intention to take property or money; however, there is no threat of force or use of force against a victim. Because there is so much gray area, many people are charges with a property theft crime such as burglary when they did not actually take part in the crime.
These stats will give you a better idea of how widespread these crimes have become:
-- In 2011, there were more than 9 million property crime offenses committed in the United States.
-- Of all the property crimes in 2011, larceny theft was responsible for 68 percent.
-- In 2011, property crime resulted in losses of approximately $15.6 billion.
These statistics show that property crime is serious. Not only does it have a negative impact on society as a whole, but it can lead to financial losses.
It is not uncommon for a person to be charged with one type of property crime -- such as larceny theft -- when in all actuality this is not the crime he or she committed. Even the most basic of mistakes can lead to a person being wrongfully charged, which could have an impact on his or her penalty.
Many people who are charged with a property crime realize the importance of learning more, including their legal rights and penalties. Some consult with an attorney shortly after their arrest to ensure they are treated fairly.
Source: FBI, "Property Crime" Nov. 06, 2014