Key Difference – Theft vs Extortion
Theft is a generic term for all crimes where property belonging to someone is taken without that person’s consent whereas extortion is the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats. The key difference between theft and extortion is the consent or permission of the rightful owner; extortionists obtain the consent of the victims by fear or threatening whereas thieves don’t have the consent at all.
What is a Theft?
Theft is a general term for all crimes where property belonging to someone is taken without that person’s consent. A theft occurs when an individual takes the property of another without consent, with the intention of permanently depriving that person of the property. Property here can refer to tangible, intangible or intellectual property. A theft can include many types of crimes such as embezzlement, robbery, burglary, identity theft, swindling, and intellectual property theft. All these crimes have two key elements.
- Taking the property from the rightful owner without his consent
- Having the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property
The theft can be categorised into petty theft and grand theft depending on the value of the items stolen. The term theft can be used synonymously with larceny, but there are some technical differences between the two.
What is an Extortion?
Extortion is the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats. An extortionist can obtain money or property by using threats against the victim, his family or property. He may threaten to cause physical harm to the victim or his family, damage the victim’s reputation or his financial well- being.
Let’s look at some examples of extortions to understand the situation better. A gang in your neighbourhood may threaten to harm your family if you don’t pay them a fee. Someone may threaten to publish your nude photos online if you don’t pay them money. Both these situations are cases of extortion although one doesn’t involve physical harm.
What is the difference between Theft and Extortion?
Theft: Theft is a generic term for all crimes where property belonging to someone is taken without that person’s consent
Extortion: Extortion is the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
Theft: The thief doesn’t have the consent of the owner.
Extortion: The extortionist obtains the consent of the victim through threats and intimidation.
Force and Violence:
Theft: Thefts do not usually involve causing physical injury.
Extortion: Extortion may involve physically harming the victim.
Forms of Crimes:
Theft: Theft is a generic term for offences like swindling, embezzlement, identity theft, burglary, etc.
Extortion: Extortion may also include blackmail.
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