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Atlanta, GA

I accidentally locked myself out of my house on a Friday evening.  A kind neighbor called Top At Locksmith  LLC they were able to respond within a few hours.  The technician was professional and proficient and had the door open within a matter of minutes. Thanks  for saving  me

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Nov 13 2023

Burglary vs Robbery: What's the Difference?

Two terms that are often used interchangeably by security professionals and locksmiths but carry distinct legal implications are robbery and burglary. The confusion extends even in the realm of criminal law!

While both crimes involve the unlawful acquisition of another person's property, they differ significantly in terms of execution and legal consequences. Have you been a victim of any of these crimes and how did you describe what happened to the police or insurance company? No worries if you are still confused about distinguishing these terms because, in this article, the experts at Top Atlanta Locksmith will elucidate the disparities between robbery and burglary.

We will go further to shed light on the key elements that define each offense. However, if you are a burglary victim and need help, our residential locksmith will be there for you. Read on to learn more.

Definition of Robbery

Robbery is a crime characterized by the use of force, intimidation, or threat to take property directly from an individual. Unlike burglary, which involves the unlawful taking of property without confrontation, robbery necessitates a confrontation between the perpetrator and the victim. The force or threat of force is a crucial element in distinguishing robbery from other property crimes.

Elements of Robbery

  • Force or Threat of Force:

The use of physical force or the threat of harm to the victim is a defining aspect of robbery. This force creates an immediate and direct confrontation, differentiating robbery from other property crimes.

  • Direct Victim Interaction:

Robbery requires direct interaction with the victim, whether through physical contact or verbal threats. This direct engagement distinguishes it from crimes where the perpetrator does not confront the victim directly.

  • Definition of Burglary

In contrast to robbery, burglary involves unlawful entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime, typically theft or another felony, within that premises. Unlike robbery, burglary does not necessarily involve direct confrontation with the property owner or occupants while committing the crime. Note that thieves can break into cars and such crimes are part of burglary. But an auto locksmith can fix or upgrade your security system.

Elements of Burglary

  • Unlawful Entry:

Burglary begins with unauthorized entry into a building or structure. This entry may involve breaking or trespassing without the owner's consent.

  • Breaking and Entering:

While not a universal requirement, many jurisdictions include breaking and entering as an element of burglary. This implies forcibly gaining access to a structure, though some statutes consider unauthorized entry sufficient.

Legal Consequences

The legal consequences for robbery and burglary vary based on jurisdiction and the circumstances of the crime. Robbery is generally considered a more serious offense due to the direct threat or use of force against individuals. Penalties for robbery often include imprisonment, fines, and restitution to the victims.

Burglary, on the other hand, is typically categorized based on degrees or classes, taking into account factors such as the presence of occupants, use of weapons, or the time of day.


While robbery and burglary share the common thread of unlawfully acquiring another person's property, the key distinctions lie in the crime and the involvement of force. Robbery entails direct confrontation and the use or threat of force against individuals, while burglary involves unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime inside.

At Top Atlanta Locksmith, we want the public to understand these differences.  Also, we’d be there to help restore your security in case you are a burglary victim. Call us and we will send a qualified locksmith to handle the situation.