When we read or hear anything about a crime in which money or property is taken the words theft, burglary and robbery are used, and whilst we always consider the news disturbing most people do not know the difference in the meaning of each offence.

Although all three crimes are shocking and upsetting each offence has a specific meaning as explained below:


Theft means a person or persons dishonestly obtaining property belonging to someone else with the intention of depriving them of it. The scenarios of this could include:

  • Pickpocketing from bags or pockets.
  • Stealing goods from a shop.
  • Stealing a motor vehicle or bicycle.
  • An employee stealing from their workplace.
  • A visitor to your home stealing something.


Burglary is committed when a trespasser enters or breaks into a building with the intent to steal. This could be a commercial premises or a residential property and may include inflicting grievous bodily harm on any person present or causing damage to the property.

The term burglary can be used when someone enters a building lawfully but then enters another room for example a storeroom and steals something. An example of this could be a shop that sells fragrance, if a thief steals a perfume on display that is considered theft, but if they were to enter a storeroom and steal a perfume that would be classed as burglary.

Aggravated Burglary

This offence is a situation when at the time of a burglary the criminal is carrying a weapon, this may be a knife, an imitation firearm or a real firearm. Where a weapon is used to attack the occupants of a property a charge of assault will be added to the offences. Sometimes in the instance of a weapon being used the offence could be classed as robbery. This could result in a life sentence.


Robbery is an offence in which a thief in the event of stealing something uses force or attempts physical harm on an individual. The situations which would be classed as robbery would include:

  • Threatening staff whilst stealing from a shop or any business.
  • Threatening security personnel whilst trying to steal from a security vehicle.
  • Breaking into a home and threatening the occupants with violence.
  • Street crime involving muggings for mobile phones, bags, expensive jewellery or watches.

Robbery carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

There are many ways you can help protect yourself, your family and your business from criminals. LSS London have been protecting people and property across North London, Hertfordshire and the Home Counties for over 15 years. We provide a vast range of security services for large commercial businesses and residential homes alike. 

For more information on how LSS can give you peace of mind 24/7 do not hesitate to contact our friendly knowledgeable team of security experts.