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Theft Vs. Robbery: How Do They Differ?

Theft Vs. Robbery: How Do They Differ?

Crimes can happen at any time and at any place. You may or may not be present when a crime is committed. A lot of crimes are committed due to a number of reasons. One of these reasons is poverty which can lead perpetrators to commit theft or robbery.

In a legal sense, many people interchange the terms theft and robbery. However, these two terms are actually different although they share some characteristics. Knowing the difference between the two can help courts identify the right legal punishments for the perpetrators as well as determine which legal services in Illinois can the accused take advantage of.

Theft and Robbery: The Similarity

When you think about theft and robbery, one act comes into mind – stealing. In both these acts, the perpetrator takes property without the victim’s or owner’s consent and does not plan to give such property back.

The Difference Lies in the Method

Theft and robbery are committed differently. Check out how these acts take place:

  • Theft

    In a theft, the victim gets their property or belongings taken away from them without their permission. The property or belonging is taken away from the victim while they are not present. For instance, the perpetrator steals a flat-screen TV from the home of the victim while the latter is on vacation.

    While many people associate theft with stealing, this is not entirely the case all the time. When you use another person’s electricity without paying for it and that person knowing, you may already be committing theft. Not paying for public transportation may also constitute a theft.

  • Robbery

    In a robbery, the perpetrator uses force to take away a belonging or property. This can be through the use of a knife or a gun. In this situation, the victim is present and receiving the threat. For instance, a perpetrator aiming a knife at the victim’s throat telling them to give them their money or jewelry is a robbery.


It is important to check with a law firm in Chicago, Illinois to help determine the severity of the theft or robbery that happened. Theft can either be considered as a misdemeanor or a felony. But, robbery is a felony and may lead to a conviction.

At The O’Neal Law Firm, our legal experts are knowledgeable and familiar with the legal definitions of various crimes. As a result, we understand your case and will do everything we can to give you the best outcome possible. Our legal solutions are available to you so contact us today!

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