While theft may seem like a clear-cut word used to describe the act of stealing, the law isn’t always that simple. In fact, Texas and even federal law categorize different types of theft depending on the unique circumstances of the case. These fall into the categories of larceny, robbery, and embezzlement.
Larceny is a term that is used to describe the basic act of stealing personal property. This is the default term that many use to describe a case when a theft occurs without the victim’s knowledge. Simple larceny happens when a perpetrator steals another person’s property without their consent. When the property has a value above the maximum amount set for simple larceny, it’s considered grand larceny. Each state has its own set maximum for simple larceny.
Categorized under the broad term of larceny, robbery happens when a person uses intimidation or violence to steal. For example, a perpetrator uses a weapon pointed at a lady to get her to hand over her purse. Because the perpetrator used the intimidation of a weapon to steal, it’s considered robbery.
In some cases of theft, a person may steal property after it rightfully enters their possession. Since the person was legally entrusted with the property, this doesn’t fall into the larceny category. Rather, it’s referred to as embezzlement. A great example of this would be a bank teller who steals a client’s deposit money. The client entrusted the bank teller with their deposit funds as they handed them over. However, instead of turning over the deposit funds to the bank, the teller pocketed the money.
As you can see, many different circumstances surround theft. For this reason, the law is broken down into various theft categories to help classify the specific circumstances of an individual case.