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What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?
secondary October 01

What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

Robbery and burglary are often confused or used by people as synonyms when discussing societal challenges. The fact is that for many, these two can be interchanged in the context of stealing from another person’s possession; this isn’t true, though. While burglary and robbery share similarities, burglary stands apart.

Picture a family coming back from an evening hangout and finding the front door of their house open and all their jewelry was taken away. When they contact the police, what are they reporting: a robbery or a burglary?

Basically, burglary is when somebody breaks into any building and has intentions of committing criminal act; robbery has elements of stealing from others — either forcefully or by fear. Therefore, this time the criminal broke into the house of the family which is BURGLARY.

Difference Between Burglary and Robbery

The key disparity between these criminal acts lies in the presence of violence and intimidation. Robbery typically involves the intent to harm or frighten someone, often with the use of a weapon, whereas burglary centers on the sole intention of stealing from a property. This distinction may elude most individuals, barring those with expertise in these matters, leaving them puzzled about why one offense carries more gravity than the other.

In the event of a burglary, complications may arise if the property owner confronts the intruder, potentially leading to an altercation, though violence is not inherent to this crime. Conversely, robbery almost always encompasses additional criminal activities. It is considered a more aggressive offense and consequently entails sterner legal consequences compared to burglary.

When do Burglary and Robbery Take Place?

Burglary is committed when a person unlawfully and without consent enters an enclosed structure or dwelling, with the intent to commit larceny or any felony therein. An investigation into a break-in for a single, identifiable item makes the investigation of said crime a little more straightforward than when several properties in one location are broken into at once, requiring more resources.

Theft is different, however; robbery involves stealing something directly from an owner, or in their presence, with the use or threat of immediate physical force. Burglaries are usually simpler crimes to solve; they have a lower clearance rate than robberies when there is one identifiable item or article stolen. Preventing these crimes is possible. How? By enlisting the services of a skilled locksmith to install a robust security system for you.

Is Burglary a Violent Crime?

Burglary, by definition, is primarily a crime against property and doesn't inherently involve violence. However, it can escalate to a violent crime if the burglar encounters occupants of the premises. The handling of burglary cases can differ based on this potential for violence. Typically, burglary becomes a violent crime when it includes a robbery alongside the break-in. The dynamics shift significantly if the burglar is armed during the commission of the crime.

What Does Theft Mean?

While burglary frequently encompasses theft, it's important to note that one doesn't necessarily have to abscond with something to be charged with the offense. Robbery, conversely, naturally entails theft as the offender appropriates or attempts to appropriate something from the victim.


One of the dependable methods to safeguard your home from robbery or burglary is to invest in a home security system. To get one installed, reach out to a residential locksmith.

Not sure which locksmith to reach out to? Contact Top St. Louis Locksmith. We are here to assist you anytime you need help with your home security needs.