In law, the crime of taking the property or services of another without consent. Under most statutes, theft encompasses the crimes of larceny, robbery, and burglary. Larceny is the crime of taking and carrying away the goods of another with intent to steal. Grand larceny, or larceny of property of substantial value, is a felony, whereas petty larceny, or larceny of less valuable property, is a misdemeanour. The same principle applies to grand theft and petty theft, which need not necessarily involve the carrying away of property and may include the theft of services. Robbery is an aggravated form of larceny involving violence or the threat of violence directed against the victim in his presence. Burglary is defined as the breaking and entering of the premises of another with an intent to commit a felony within. Two offenses usually distinguished from theft are embezzlement and fraud.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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