Types of Theft

Even if you are not facing any type of criminal charge, it is always best to have a basic understanding of the different types of theft. You might have heard of embezzlement, fraud, robbery or larceny. Some of these terms are too legal for most people to understand. Many interchange these terms. But they differ, and it’s important to know such differences. This is most important for both those who have been charged with any of the above mentioned crimes, or a victim thereof. If you are charged, make sure that you hire a great and reputable criminal defense lawyer. Meanwhile, learn about these different types.


This legal term is used to describe simple theft. It is a crime which involves unlawful using or taking of another person’s property. This can refer to grand theft, shoplifting, or misdemeanour. These crimes share basic elements. However, they differ in an element or two. For example, in grand theft, the value of the item stolen is an element; or in shoplifting, the item needs to be taken from a retail store. The penalties imposed upon those who are convicted of these crimes include jail time, probation and fines. This is one of the types of theft with the lightest punishment.

Identity Theft

As the term suggests, this is a crime that refers to illegal use of other person’s name, identifying information, credit card and/or bank account. Because of the advent of technology and the internet, many people have become a victim of identity theft. This can damage the financial resources and even the reputation of the victim. The offender can make purchases using the victim’s credit card or  bank account. By the time the victim notices the problem, the damage done might already be too large and devastating.  Because of the gravity of this offense, in some cases, it is considered as a federal crime. The offender, if proven guilty, can be imprisoned for a lengthy period.


Of all the types of theft, this is perhaps the most common. It is defined as a theft that uses threats, intimidation, or violence in illegally obtaining the property of a person. It shares the same elements with theft, but with an added one, which is “that it must be done with actual violence, intimidation or threat. Because of this added element, it has heavier penalty than other theft. It is sometimes referred to us mugging or armed robbery.


This is a type of theft that uses false pretenses to deceive someone in order to get that person’s property. This can be done in various ways, but with a common factor, that deception is used in the theft. This is also known as a “white collar crime.” The reason for this term is that it doesn’t involve the use of violence or threat in taking a property illegally. Rather than physical force or imminent threat, deception is used in the commission of the crime. Because of this, many people fall victim to this crime. People are deceived, which can result to serious monetary loss, like when all your savings have vanished simply because you have fallen victim to one of those investment schemes. The penalty and sentence vary, depending on the amount taken and other determining factors.

The types of theft have slight differences in penalties, depending on a particular jurisdiction. This is because these crimes are rooted deeply in common law. If you are charged with any of the above mentioned theft, you should contact a reliable and experienced defense lawyer. Make sure that your rights are protected. Contact Roy & Associates to ensure that your side will be heard and weighed properly in court. Also, if you simply want to find out more about the types of theft, their elements and penalties, feel free to contact us.