The crimes of theft and robbery are commonly lumped together by most people, since they both involve the unlawful taking of someone else’s property.
Theft simply involves taking something from someone else with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Embezzlement is a form of theft in which an employee diverts money intended for his employer or other employees for his or her own use. Likewise, fraud is also a form of theft, involving using trickery to permanently deprive someone of his or her property.
Robbery requires both theft and a form of violence or threat of violence used to deprive someone of their property. The most common example of a robbery is a convenience store holdup, in which a robber threatens to shoot a cashier unless the cashier hands over the loot. A person commits robbery if in the course of committing theft and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes fear of, or actual bodily injury to another. It is a more severe form of theft because the offender knowingly puts the victim in danger. Employing a weapon as a means of intimidation elevates the crime to aggravated robbery, which is considered a first-degree felony and carries a minimum five-year prison sentence.
An armed robbery charge is one of the most serious charges an individual can face and may be filed in conjunction with illegal possession and/or assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Robbery typically refers to the act of taking property away from another person by the use of force or the threat of force. The average prison sentence for robbery is significantly longer than that for burglary because of the comparative risk and trauma to the victims.
Charges of theft or armed robbery should always be taken seriously since the consequences of a conviction are so severe. Long term loss of freedom, permanent criminal record, and probation are just a few of the many penalties associated with theft and armed robbery charges. Because of the often violent nature of such crimes, prosecutors are notoriously aggressive in their attempts to secure convictions in theft or armed robbery cases.