Strong & Honest Advocacy
Se Habla Español 661.771.3077

What are the Differences Between Theft, Robbery and Burglary?

Theft crimes come in a variety of forms, including robbery and burglary. Theft encompasses terms such as petty theft, grand theft, and larceny. Although robbery and burglary are sometimes categorized as “theft crimes,” the actual crime of theft has its own provision in the California Penal Code. Theft is the taking of someone else’s property in a circumstance where there is no person-to-person interaction.

Below, we clarify the differences between robbery and burglary. If you have been charged of any of the crimes discussed in this blog, we encourage you to contact our Bakersfield criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience.


Robbery involves the taking of someone else’s property when a person-to-person interaction does exist. This crime often involves some form of force or coercion.

According to California Penal Code § 211, robbery can be committed in any of the following ways, among many others:

  • In an inhabited dwelling
  • Against a driver or a passenger of public transportation
  • Against someone using an ATM

The above offenses would be classified as first degree robberies. Other robbery cases are classified as second degree crimes.


When a person enters a building or home with intention of committing a theft crime, the crime of burglary can be charged. Property does not have to be stolen for this to be proven.

Burglary can either be sentences as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific circumstances, making this crime a “wobbler.” First degree burglary is charged when a person enters an inhabited structure, such as a house or apartment. Second degree burglary is charged when the alleged perpetrator enters a public facility or industrial site, such as a store or office building.

Taking the First Step Toward Freedom

If you have been charged with a theft crime, robbery, or burglary, make sure you are protected by our team of knowledgeable and devoted Bakersfield criminal defense attorneys. Contact Campbell Whitten today to learn about your options.