In both robbery and larceny charges, criminals intend to permanently deprive the victim of their personal property. During a robbery, the victim comes face to face with the perpetrator of the crime. In a robbery, the intent of the criminal is clear. They intend to permanently deprive the rightful owner or property from retaining possession of that property.
In a larceny charge, many of the facts of the crime remain the same. The intent of an individual facing a larceny charge was also to permanently deprive a person from possession of their property. However, larceny charges are often less serious than robbery charges because in larceny, the victim is usually not confronted by the thief.
In robbery cases, the victim often complies with the demands of the perpetrator due to threats, intimidation, or actual acts of violence. In either case, the intent is the same. Both types of criminals hope to obtain property that they know does not belong to them, while permanently depriving the victim of that property.
The intent to permanently deprive a victim of property does not mean that the criminal must keep possession of that property permanently. It simply means that the rightful owner of the property will be permanently deprived of that property.
For example, a person may accidentally walk away with the incorrect luggage at a carousel. When they get home and open the bag, they notice they have taken the wrong one home with them. However, upon inspection, they find that the goods inside the bag are quite pleasing to them or have some significant monetary value.
If the person decides not to return the luggage to the rightful owner, they could face a larceny charge because they have no plans of returning that property to the rightful owner. If, under the same circumstances, the person returns the bag to the rightful owner, no crime has been committed. Yet, if an individual was leaving an airport and a perpetrator cornered and threatened them in to turning over their bag, the crime would be robbery, a more serious degree of theft.
In many types of property crimes, the intent is very similar. The perpetrator of a property crime often has the intent of taking the property of someone else without ever intending to return that property to the rightful owner. However, the means of achieving the theft can vary greatly among crimes.
There are, in fact, many ways that criminals achieve theft. In some cases, there is violence and in others the victim never even sees the criminal. In addition, some victims are not even immediately aware that a crime has taken place. Yet, all of the crimes are similar in that the victim permanently loses possession of property that rightfully belongs to them.