Theft, Burglary, Robbery

Theft, Burglary, Robbery

Theft, burglary and robbery are all classed as dishonesty offences. Whilst there have been numerous judicial attempts at defining dishonesty it really is what it says on the tin. We all know what dishonesty means and recognise it when we see it. The concept of dishonesty is an important element in all the possible offences which arise from the Theft Acts 1968 and 1978 and also the Fraud Act 2006.

All dishonesty crimes are serious offences and you should seek immediate legal advice from a specialist solicitor if you have been arrested or charged with an offence of theft, burglary or robbery.

Our team of criminal defence solicitors deal with this type of charge on a daily basis and are highly experienced in defending this type of case.


Theft is an either way offence that can be dealt with in the Crown court. The Magistrates will usually deal with this unless the value is high.

Theft is defined as the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive. For an item to be appropriated it doesn't have to be physically taken away. If you do something with someone else's property that only they should do then you can be said to have appropriated it. As an example, if whilst in a supermarket you put an item in your pocket rather than in a basket you could be said to have appropriated it as the owner of the item, the supermarket, wants you to put it in the basket. It may have been done innocently and you may have intended to pay, you may be believed and you may not.

To show that you have stolen an item the prosecution generally needs to show that it belongs to someone, if they can't then it cannot be classed as theft. You can also be guilty of theft by finding.

If you have a charge for theft and you don't feel you are guilty we would be happy to discuss it with you. Contact us to speak to one of our specialist criminal defence solicitors.

Theft is a crime of specific intent so you cannot be guilty of theft by accident


Burglary is an either way offence. It is an offence requiring intention and often dishonesty with the additional requirement of trespass.

A burglar must be shown to have entered property as a trespasser with the intention of stealing, actually stealing or the intention to cause damage, to assault someone or commit the offence of rape. Property can be any structure that is in occupation. Burglary of a dwelling house is seen by the court as more serious than burglary of commercial property.

Dwelling burglary is generally sent to the Crown court and is subject to a three strike provision, where there is a minimum sentence for a burglar who is before the court for the third time for dwelling burglary.

This is a serious offence and one where you should exercise your right to a solicitor at the police station. For dwelling burglary the penalty is routinely a prison sentence.


Robbery is an indictable only offence and one where the spectrum of seriousness is massive, running as it does from children taking sweets from each other to cases like the great train robbery

The basic elements of the offence are similar to theft but with the additional element of violence or the threat of violence.

Robbery is always a serious offence and one where the advice and assistance of a solicitor should be sought as soon as possible.

There are generally two factors in assessing the seriousness of a crime of robbery: the value and the amount of violence involved, the second of these often being the most important in deciding the sentence which is often custody.

Please contact us and we will be pleased to discuss your case with you.

Contact us arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors.