Crimes Against Property

Crimes against property are crimes of theft, where no force or threat of force is directed against an individual.  It includes:

  • Crimes in which property is destroyed, and
  • Crimes in which property is stolen or taken against the owners will

Crimes like arson and vandalism will come under the purview of former.  The latter consist of crimes such as:

  • burglary,
  • larceny,
  • Robbery,
  • Embezzlement,
  • Extortion and,
  • Motor vehicle theft.

Burglary means the unlawful entry into a structure, such as home or building with the intention to commit a crime.  Likewise, larceny is the unlawful taking of property, but does not involve unlawful entry.  Larceny is an unlawful taking and carrying away of another person’s property with the intent never to return it to the owner.

Most States identify Larceny as either grand or petty.  Grand larceny occurs when anything above a certain value is stolen.  Petty larceny is the theft of anything of less value.

Robbery is the taking of property from a person’s immediate possession through the use of force or threats.  A person who is entrusted with property but then takes it unlawfully is guilty of Embezzlement.  Extortion occurs when one person either obtains money, property, or services from another through coercion, intimidation, or threats of physical harm.  Threats may include harm to the victim’s body, property, and reputation. Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal substantially true information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand made upon the victim is met. Motor Vehicle theft includes stealing automobiles.

Arson is a crime against property that involves an intentional burning of a structure.  In most States it is a crime, even if the wrong doer is the owner.  Vandalism is the willful destruction of or damage to another person’s property.


Inside Crimes Against Property