Many people confuse the terms robbery and burglary. I see the misuse of those two terms everywhere, including in books written by some of my favorite authors. I also hear the terms interchanged on TV and radio news. They are not the same, not even close.
Robbery occurs when a crook uses physical force, threat, or intimidation to steal someone’s property. If the robber uses a weapon the crime becomes armed robbery, or aggravated robbery, depending on local law. There is always a victim present during a robbery.
For example, you are walking down the street and a guy brandishes a handgun and demands your money. That’s robbery.
Burglary is an unlawful entry into any building with the intent to commit a crime. Normally, there is no one inside the building when a burglary occurs. No physical breaking and entering is required to commit a burglary. A simple trespass through an open door or window, and the theft of an item or items, is all that’s necessary to meet the requirements to be charged with burglary.
For example, you are out for the night and someone breaks into your home and steals your television. That’s a burglary. Even if you are at home asleep in your bed when the same crime occurs, it’s a burglary because you weren’t actually threatened by anyone.
The Bulletin Board
– The town of Millersburg, Pa. fired their chief of police to save money. Three full-time officers will remain on the job. However, funds for all part-time positions have been cut. The town will now rely heavily on the assistance of state police officers to help out during emergencies and calls for assistance from town officers.
– New laws in six states require people who have been convicted of DUI to install breath-monitoring/ignition blocking devices in their cars.
– Police in Columbus, Ohio received over 400 shots fired calls in one hour on New Years Eve. Officers actually engaged in a shootout with party-goers, wounding several people.
– I hope 2009 is a wonderful year for everyone. We sure need it…