While commonly used interchangeably, theft, burglary, and robbery are actually completely separate crimes under Illinois law. To understand and appreciate the subtle differences between these criminal offenses, the following sections will explore relevant laws and penalties under Illinois state law.
Illinois laws against and penalties for theft crimes appear under 720 ILCS 5/16-1. A person commits theft under this section if they obtain control over another person’s property:
- Without authorization; Using deception; Employing threats; Knowing, or having a reason to know, that the property was stolen or likely stolen; or That is in the custody of law enforcement or a similar agency.
The penalty for this offense changes based on the type of theft in question. For example, theft of items worth less than $500 that occurs:
- From the Person — Results in Class A misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by a maximum of 364 days