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5 common types of property crime

Property crime is common in the United States. According to the FBI, there were approximately nine million property crime offenses in the country. This high number is partially due to the fact that there are numerous types of offenses that fall under the umbrella of property crime.

Property crimes range from low-level offenses to serious felonies. Here are some of the most common examples of crimes against property.

1. Shoplifting

When someone steals or conceals merchandise from a store, this is shoplifting. This usually happens when someone hides a piece of merchandise in a bag or pocket and walks out of the store. A thief may shoplift at almost any retail establishment, including grocery, department and clothing stores. 

2. Robbery

A person commits robbery when he or she uses violence or the threat of violence to take property or money from someone. Robberies happen at a variety of different places, including banks and convenience stores. A robber may point a gun at a cashier or bank teller and demand money. 

3. Burglary

Burglary occurs when someone unlawfully enters a home through coercion or force and steals property. 

4. Vandalism

The crime of vandalism happens when an individual defaces or destroys property without permission. Examples of vandalism include graffiti, breaking windows, throwing eggs and slashing tires. Other terms for vandalism include criminal damage, malicious mischief and malicious trespass.

5. Arson

One of the most serious types of property crimes is arson. A person commits arson when he or she burns any land or structure. Charges may be more serious if the intent was to defraud investors or injure someone. 

Some property crimes require there to be a victim while others only require taking or damaging property. Due to the wide variety of these crimes, it is important to understand each one. Most of these crimes have degrees depending on various factors, such as whether arms were used or the value of things stolen.

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