Larceny vs. Burglary: Difference between the charges and Penalties


At first glance, the criminal justice terms get confusing. Larceny and burglary seem to have a similar meaning, but the two get distinguished by minute but significant differences. The legal definition of both terms may vary depending on your local statute’s law.

Getting to the bottom of the difference between larceny vs. burglary needs an understanding of both terms. Whether you witnessed a crime or the crime that happened to you, you need to know the difference. It helps you to understand the strategy for your situation.

Larceny vs Burglary:

  • Larceny: It’s a crime of removing or taking possessions without the owner’s consent. It gets treated the same as theft, petty theft, grand theft, or separate criminal offense in some states. If somebody takes away tangible property without the owner’s permission, the individual could get charged with larceny. 

The intention behind larceny includes depriving the owner of its use or possession. If the accused takes away the property by force or threat, the charge can move from theft to robbery.

Some examples of larceny of the movable property include cars and jewelry, while some examples of immovable property may include real property, like land or things attached to it.

Larceny could also include theft of documents, like stock certificates and personal services. Click here to know the difference between Larceny vs. burglary.

  • Burglary: It’s more encompassing than larceny, as it involves unlawful entry of a dwelling or structure. Burglary is a crime in which a person breaks into a house or building to commit a crime.

Typically, an individual does burglary with the intent to commit a crime of theft. However, the unlawful entry into a property to commit any crime like- assault or arson may constitute burglary. 

In simple terms, burglary can get defined as an act of unlawful entry.

Both Larceny and burglary can get committed at the same time and separately too. A person can commit burglary without removing the property, and larceny can also get committed without unlawful entry. So, understanding larceny vs. burglary can help you and your property from crime. Get more details about theft vs. burglary by clicking here.

Larceny vs. Burglary: Which are misdemeanor and felony?

  • Larceny typically gets classified as a misdemeanor. It means the punishment cannot involve more than one year of jail time and a negligible fine. But some larceny may lead to more severe penalties and may become a felony charge. 

The determinant for larceny as a misdemeanor or felony gets based on the severity or value of the property stolen.

  • Burglary is often considered a felony, but some jurisdictions treat it as a misdemeanor crime. However, some states treat it as both a felony and a misdemeanor based on the seriousness or the degree. If violence or a weapon gets used in the crime, it could result in more serious felony charges.

Factors for determining how serious the burglary may include:

  • How the person entered the property;
  • damage is done during the crime;
  • If anyone was present on the property;
  • Any violence or threats used;
  • Any weapons or weapon used during the crime

Larceny vs. Burglary: What are the penalties?

  • Larceny: As it gets typically included in misdemeanor crimes, the punishment usually does not have jail time of more than one year. Depending on the value of property stolen, the charge can get elevated to a felony. 

Petit larceny gets charged for any property that amounts to under $1000 and grand larceny for property valued over $1000. If the crime involves any threat or weapon, it could have severe penalties that apply punishment of more than a one-year jail term and a hefty fine.

  • Burglary: The penalty for burglary depends on whether the convicted committed a felony or misdemeanor felony. Many people prefer having electronic surveillance to prevent any crime as it helps to get solid proof against the accused. To know more about electronic surveillance, visit

The penalties for burglary, depending on the severity, may include:

  • Jail or prison sentences
  • Probation
  • Hefty fines
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Rehabilitation programs

Punishment for both larceny and burglary may vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

The grainy surveillance systems operated on analog technology represented a breakthrough in security and monitoring for businesses everywhere. But times have changed, and digital video surveillance makes analog technology obsolete and understands the differences between theft vs. robbery.

Suppose you consider installing a new digital surveillance system or considering upgrading your old system. In that case, it is essential to know the advantages a digital video surveillance system can provide your business.


Benefits Of A Surveillance System 

For decades, analog video surveillance has been the standard for security across various industries. But technology and supporting software have drastically improved over time, making now a good time for your business to upgrade to a digital video surveillance system.

Here are some advantages of how a system can integrate the fundamentals between theft and robbery. 

Reducing Loss, And Vandalism

Let’s start with the obvious advantages a digital system provides compared to analog. Digital surveillance cameras capture and store more video than analog systems, but the video feed quality is far superior. 

Digital video cameras offer high-definition clarity and wider viewing angles. This quality gives businesses the ability to see what is taking place – good and bad – within and around their facility.

Experience Easier Installation And Quick Surveillance

Digital systems can be installed more quickly than analog systems, require less equipment, and help your security team operate the surveillance system more effectively. 

Understanding analog surveillance systems need complex wiring to cameras to view multiple video feeds. Today’s advanced digital surveillance systems require much less work to install and maintain.

Remote Monitoring

It might be the most overlooked advantage of a digital surveillance system. With a highly integrated digital video system, you can monitor the activity on your surveillance feeds from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a connection to the Internet.

Mobile devices, laptops, and tablets are all fair game. You can log in to your security system from any of these devices and view live streams or access archived footage.

To learn how advanced systems can help identify theft vs. robbery, click here


In larceny vs. burglary, burglary is considered to get more serious. However, the penalties of both may lead to misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the crime and the person’s prior criminal record.


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