Difference between Robbery and Theft

Both terms are commonly used in the wrong way as if they were synonyms, however, they are two terms that define completely different actions. It is necessary to know the difference, especially when evaluating the laws or when hiring insurance.


It is a crime committed against property, it is about the seizure of the property of another person using force, violence or intimidation to achieve it. Being an act of greater danger in criminal statutes, greater penalties are established for robbery than for theft. There are two forms of robbery, one by the use of force on objects and another by violence or intimidation of people.

In the first modality, violence is used to access the object to be stolen, objects are often used to steal such as knives and false keys. In the second modality, violence or intimidation is used against people. Physical force or intimidation is used to overcome the resistance of the owner of the object.


It is the illegitimate seizure of an object without the use of force or violence against people. It consists of the seizure without the use of special modes or forms, it is a basic type of seizure. It violates the possession of objects and the simple intention to steal is punishable.

Differences between robbery and theft

  • In robbery there is violence, threat and force to seize someone else’s property. In this case, force can be applied against an object or against what protects the property or against the victim who possesses it. For example, if a thief forces the door of a house, it is theft.
  • In theft there is no violence or intimidation when seizing someone else’s property. If a thief finds the door of a house open and without any inhabitant who exercises opposition, it is theft.

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