Property crime is a classification of crime which includes theft, burglary, larceny, shoplifting, arson, and vandalism, among others. Property crime is the unlawful acquisition of property, money, and other things. The majority of this type of crime involves threats or forceful involvement, such as in cases like extortion or robbery. These crimes are mostly committed to enriching the involved perpetrator.
Types of property crimes
Property crimes are divided into stolen property and destroyed property. Vandalism or arson includes any damaged property. Embezzlement or robbery involves stealing property. Regardless, property crimes are considered high-volume crimes and may also include power tools, electronics, cash, jewelry, and cameras.
Burglary of retail establishments, residences, or commercial facilities entails breaking into these establishments and stealing property. Burglary is also the forceful and unlawful entry into a residential or business establishment. The rate of burglary is considered low in the United States, with only 27% of total crimes falling under this category. However, almost 50% of burglary cases are unreported.
Distraction burglary happens when the offender dupes, tricks, or distracts the occupants of an establishment, thereby allowing themselves or their accomplices to gain access and commit burglary. Critical targets for this kind of burglary are the elderly. Despite some crime prevention programs in place, like Neighborhood Watch, they have only shown little effectiveness when it comes to burglary reduction.
Arson is another property crime that involves the intention or attempt to set a property on fire. Even if a person burns his property, he is deemed to have committed arson. The most common form of arson is insurance fraud, wherein the fire is made to appear more natural or accidental. Other arson motives include mischief, vandalism, thrill, hate crime, and revenge among others.
The theft of tools, clothes, motor vehicle parts, and money is also a type of property crime, with money theft being the most common. Shoplifting is also property theft and involves stealing of products from retail shops with no intention to pay.
Extortion is a type of property crime whereby threats are used to facilitate the process of obtaining property from another person. These threats may include destroying one’s reputation, character, property, and sending death threats.
Theft involves stealing of property. Bicycle owners are frequent victims of theft. Bicycle thieves use different methods to achieve their goal. The thief can choose to pick the lock or use a hacksaw or bolt cutter to cut through it.
Penalties and sentence terms for the criminals involved in property crime include paying fines or serving a jail sentence. The duration of the jail sentence depends on the severity of the crime. Serious offenses merit higher penalties and longer jail sentences.