Some people use terms “burglary” and “robbery” interchangeably, but their meaning is different. If you would like to know what's the difference between a burglary and a robbery, this article will provide you with the information you're looking for. Before we begin let's establish the definition of one simple term – theft. Theft is taking something from someone without his consent and with no intention of returning it whatsoever. You probably know this, but I just wanted to be clear.




Burglary is the intent to break into a building. Of course the term “break into” implies that someone is entering a building without the consent of an appropriate person. Take note, that the term “break into” doesn't imply that someone enters a building using force. If one enters the building through unlocked back door, it's still a burglary. Burglar breaks into the building with the intention of committing a felony while being inside. The felony could be of any kind – from a theft to even a murder, so a naming a crime as a burglary doesn't imply that a theft has been committed. It also doesn't necessarily mean, that the offender used force against anyone or anything. The last two statements are critical when it comes to the difference between burglary and robbery. Bear them in mind.




When one is depriving someone of their property by the use of force or threats, that event is called a robbery. As you can see, the first major difference between a burglary and a robbery is that a robbery involves a theft. The second difference is that a robbery requires also some form of violence. If someone have stolen something from you, but didn't use any kind of violence and didn't threat you, that event is classified as a theft. The use of force or threats can mean anything from a physical assault to threatening to shoot until the victim hands out the requested property. Unlike a burglary, a robbery involves at least two people – an offender, and a victim (the person that has been threatened of has suffered from a physical attack).



All these are the major factors that separate a robbery from a burglary. As you can see the difference between burglary and robbery is pretty huge and both felonies are easy to distinguish. Since you know those differences, you can use those terms in correct meaning, to avoid any misunderstandings with your interlocutors.