If you are a loyal watcher of crime TV shows, you might understand burglary to involve someone breaking, entering and stealing. However, Colorado law takes a different view of property crimes that does not always equate burglary to theft.
What is theft?
The law defines theft as a property crime involving a person taking something that does not belong to them. It happens on purpose with the goal of keeping the item for oneself.
When burglary does not have the theft element
Burglary and theft do not always share a connection. Burglary means that a person enters a structure unlawfully. This could be someone’s home, a business or any other building.
The charge of burglary applies if the person plans to commit some other crime once inside the building. For example, they enter a residence unlawfully to kidnap a person. Clearly, there is no theft element even though the charge is one that most people would connect to a property crime.
Where does robbery fit in?
In the case of robbery, there is the element of a threat. The robber might use a gun or threaten to use a gun if they do not receive the goods they are looking for. It is interesting to note that the mere threat of violence is enough for the robbery charge to go forward. This means that someone could face an accusation or robbery even if they did not have a gun at the time they made the threat.
If you or a loved one is facing burglary, theft, robbery or other property crime charges, it’s important to understand the legal nature of the offense. This may better help you prepare a strategy to fight the charges.