Arson Willful and malicious burning of another person’s property. It’s a crime to burn a building, even by the owner.
Arson Burning a building to defraud insurance is a separate crime. Arson has been used for racial violence, now it is sometimes a bigger crime to burn a church than to burn anything else.
Vandalism Willful destruction of, or damage to, the property of another. Includes breaking windows, graffiti, taking car hood ornaments, etc.
Larceny Unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another person with intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. Two classes – Grand larceny is larceny of $100 or more (felony). Petty larceny is taking anything under $100 (misdemeanor).
Larceny also includes: Keeping lost property when a reasonable method exists for finding its owner. If you find a wallet with ID in it and decide to keep it instead of returning it, that’s larceny.
Shoplifting A form of larceny. Taking something from a store without paying or intending to pay for them. Concealment is attempted shoplifting.
Embezzlement The unlawful taking of property by someone to whom it was entrusted. Who do we entrust property to?
Embezzlement Lawyers, stockbrokers, bank tellers, employees, clergy, etc.
Robbery The unlawful taking of property from a person’s immediate possession by force or intimidation. Robbery must include theft of property and actual or potential harm to the victim.
Robbery Would a pickpocket be charged with robbery?
Robbery No, because there’s no threat of harm or harm. A pickpocket would be charged with Larceny.
Extortion Called “Blackmail” The use of threats to obtain the property of another. Statutes cover threats to do physical harm, destroy property, or injure a person’s character or reputation.
Burglary Unauthorized entry into a building with intent to commit a crime. Many states have harsher penalties for burglaries committed at night or with weapons.
Forgery A person falsely makes or alters a writing or document with intent to defraud. Usually means signing another person’s name to a check or changing/erasing part of an existing document.
Uttering Passing onto someone as real a document known to be fake. If you know a check has been forged, it’s illegal to use it at a store.
Receiving stolen property Receipt of property that you know or have reason to believe is stolen. This includes buying out of the trunk of a car or buying at an unreasonably low price.
Carjacking The use of force or intimidation to steal a car from a driver. This is a federal crime punishable by up to life in prison.
Computer Crime Any violation of criminal law that involves the use of computer technology to commit the prohibited act. Examples: making fake IDs, stealing credit card numbers, Identity theft, spreading viruses to other computers, etc.
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