Theft crime charges are often confusing because they are all very similar in nature. Understanding the potential charges requires understanding the very minor differences, but it is important because each type of charge has different penalties.
Burglary and robbery are two unique crimes that may fall under the theft crime category, but when looking at their descriptions, it becomes clear how they are different.
According to The New York State Senate, a first-degree robbery involves stealing property and is a class B felony. During the criminal act, a person must also either threaten with a dangerous weapon, have on his or her person a deadly weapon or cause injury to a victim or someone else who is not part of the criminal activity.
The New York State Senate explains that burglary in the first degree occurs when a person goes into a building with the intent to commit a crime. It also includes staying in a building without permission for the intent of doing something criminal. Robbery does not require being in a building, so that is the first differentiating part of this charge.
It also does not require theft as part of this charge, which is a second distinction from robbery.
However, they become similar in that a burglary charge would require the person to have a deadly weapon in his or her possession, cause harm to another person outside of him or herself and other participants in the crime or threaten harm to others. This is the same as the requirement for burglary. In addition, burglary is a class B felony.