Regarding theft crimes in Washington D.C., specific actions can fall under either a violent crime or a property crime. In general usage, people use the terms robbery and burglary interchangeably.
In the courts, though, these words have more specific meanings and come with different sets of penalties.
Robbery in Washington D.C.
According to information from the Metropolitan Police Department, officers dealt with 1,673 robberies in 2021. Already in 2022, robberies reached a total of 1,751, with two months remaining in the year. A robbery falls into the category of a violent crime, along with other offenses such as homicide, sex abuse, and assault with a dangerous weapon.
While robbery involves theft, it also has an element of force that puts a person at risk. The robber could imply force by a threat or could brandish a weapon showing force. A robbery charge must also show proof of something stolen as opposed to just an attempt at theft.
Burglary in the district
Burglary numbers in Washington D.C. reached 998 according to police department data. Numbers for 2022 so far show a decrease in burglaries with about 100 fewer charges through October.
Burglary falls under the general category of a property crime. The term means unlawful entry into a structure such as a home or a business. A theft does not have to occur for the police to level a charge of burglary, they just have to show intent to commit a crime.
Due to its violent nature, a robbery often comes with more serious penalties. Both offenses require a strong criminal defense to limit fines and jail time.