Trial Lawyers With Over 50 Years Of Combined Experience

Charged With Theft? Let Our Attorneys Defend Your Rights.

There is often confusion surrounding the crimes of larceny, burglary and robbery. The terms mean different things in different jurisdictions across the country. Understanding what these terms mean in the state of New York is important if you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime.

The penalties for larceny, burglary, and robbery in New York are serious, and can include jail time and serious fines. If you or a family member has been arrested on criminal charges in Albany County or Rensselaer County or anywhere in the Capital District, talk to our experienced theft defense lawyers in Troy about your rights and how we can fight these criminal charges.

Call Frost & Kavanaugh at 518-629-0230 today to get started.

What Is the Difference Between Burglary And Larceny?

In New York, “larceny,” a blanket term for theft, involves taking another person’s money, property, or intellectual property with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of its possession. Burglary on the other hand, involves someone entering, or remaining in, a building with the intention to commit a crime.

Types Of Larceny

In the state of New York, “larceny” is a blanket term that covers a variety of different types of theft.

Under New York penal law § 155.05, larceny includes the common law crimes of:

  • Theft
  • Theft by trick
  • Embezzlement
  • Theft by false pretenses


Most of us think of burglary as a prowler breaking into a home at night to steal belongings out of the home. However, there are two ways to commit a burglary:

  • Entering a building without the owner’s consent with the intent to commit a crime inside
  • Remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime inside

Burglary does not have to involve theft. The “crime inside” could be any crime like assault, rape, or criminal contempt (violating an order of protection).

Burglary Charges For Shoplifting

There is a new trend in major retail stores to target shoplifting. When someone is arrested for shoplifting, the store gives that person a “cease and desist” letter, telling them they are no longer welcome at the store, even though the store is open to the public.

If that person goes back another time and shoplifts again, they can now be arrested for burglary because they did not have permission to be in the store because of the “cease and desist” letter and intended to commit a crime (shoplifting) when they went in the second time.


To have a robbery, you must first have a larceny plus an element of force or threat of force. The defendant who is accused of stealing must use either force or threat of force to accomplish the taking or keeping of property, or to get the other person to hand over the property.

Let Us Fight Your Theft Crime Charges

At Frost & Kavanaugh, we understand what is at stake for you and your family when facing theft charges. Our experienced theft defense attorneys understand New York’s complicated criminal laws and how to fight to get a favorable resolution for our clients. If you have been arrested for theft, burglary or robbery, contact Frost & Kavanaugh as soon as possible. We know that arrests for these types of crimes don’t happen just during business hours. That’s why you can always reach our attorneys around the clock, day or night.

Call us at 518-629-0230 to request a consultation with our lawyers.