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Five Common Types of Property Crime You Should Know

Five Common Types of Property Crime You Should Know

Property crime happens every day, all around us. Fortunately, according to the FBI, in 2018 compared to 2017 “burglaries were down 12.7 percent [and] larceny-thefts decreased 6.3 percent.” The consequences of such crimes vary depending on circumstance and type.

Before we get into the consequences, however, it’s important to understand what exactly property crimes are. A property crime refers to a category of crimes that involve the destruction or theft of another person’s property, such as graffiti, littering, or robbery. Learn more about the common types of property crime below.

Five Common Types of Property Crime


Arson is the intentional burning of almost any type of structure, building, or forest land. It’s considered even more serious if the act causes any bodily injury. No matter what, arson is one of the most serious property crimes.

  • Arson in the second degree is a Class C felony and which involves starting a fire or explosion, intentionally damaging any building that does not have proper protection.
  • Arson in the first degree is a Class A felony and involves as starting a fire that intentionally damages the protected property of another, or in doing so injures another person.


The definition of theft is known as the act of intentionally depriving someone of his or her property. Some states use the term larceny, instead. The different kinds of theft are as follows: taking, obtaining, or withholding property from an owner; committing extortion by compelling another person to deliver property; committing theft by deception; and finally, committing theft by receiving.

  • A person who commits theft in the third degree receives a Class C misdemeanor conviction. The act is theft by means other than extortion and for a value of less than $100.
  • Theft in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor and is when the total value of the theft is between $100 and $1,000.
  • A person who commits theft in the first degree has performed a Class C misdemeanor. Learn more about what makes the act first degree here.


Vandalism occurs when someone defaces, degrades, or destroys another person’s property without their permission. This often includes graffiti, slashing tires, and breaking windows. Graffiti means drawing, painting, pasting, etc. any words, designs, or figures to the surface of a property.

  • Unlawfully applying graffiti is a Class A violation. When charged as such, the individual will receive fines as well as up to 100 hours of community service.


Burglary is the unlawful entry into a home or closed structure, either by force or coercion. A person executes forced entry with the intent to steal property or commit another crime. This is different than criminal trespass, which is where someone enters or remains in a dwelling unlawfully but does not steal anything.

  • Burglary in the second degree is when an individual enters or remains unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime—this is a Class C felony.
  • Burglary in the first degree is when someone is unlawfully in a building and arms themselves with a tool, theft device, or a deadly weapon.


A person commits robbery by using force—or the threat of force—to take money or property from another person. An example of such is pointing a gun at a bank teller or cashier and demanding money.

  • Robbery in the third degree is a Class C felony. This is when someone either attempts to commit theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle.
  • Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony—committing the crime of a robbery armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon or with the aid of an accomplice.
  • Finally, robbery in the first degree is a Class A felony. This is when said person has a deadly weapon, attempts or uses a dangerous weapon, or causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another.

If you receive a property crime charge, get in touch with Jared Justice, a Lake Oswego criminal defense attorney. He can help you with your case and lessen your charges—reach out to him now.

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