Difference Between Theft and Robbery

Theft vs Robbery

Theft and robbery are crimes that are interrelated which makes people use these terms almost interchangeably. However, there are major differences in the two types of crimes that need to be highlighted. Both robbers and thieves make a claim over things that are not theirs. However, there is a difference in the mode in which a theft or a robbery is conducts that makes law categorize them as two different types of crimes.


Theft is an unlawful taking of another person’s property with the intention of not returning it. A thief conducts his operation in stealth when no one is around as he does not want to attract any attention. Therefore theft is simply taking something from someone without the intention of returning it back to the owner. Embezzlement is also a form of theft where an employee takes away money meant for the employer of other employees for his own use.


Robbery is also a form of theft as the robber has the intention to take away the property of someone else but in addition here he makes use of violence or intimidation. Thus robbery is a specific type of theft as there is not only theft but also violence or threat of violence. The most common examples of robbery are when a robber holds cashier and other personnel in a bank at gun point and robs money. Robbery is also conducted in homes when robber uses violence against inmates or threatens to use violence and takes away all the valuables.

Thief normally leaves making every attempt not to leave any footprint. He ensures that no one comes to get any clue about him. On the other hand, a robber threatens and loots property.

In brief:

• Theft and robbery are similar kinds of crimes where the criminal takes away property of others

• Theft is conducted in stealth whereas robber makes use of violence or threatens to use violence to conduct his operations.