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Information » Law & Rights » Crime » Theft Robbery and Shoplifting

Theft Robbery and Shoplifting

Theft and Robbery

  • Theft is taking something that you know doesn’t belong to you
  • It covers everything from shoplifting and stealing cars to picking up and keeping items that people leave around such as bags and mobile phones
  • It is a crime to keep or sell something that has been stolen. This is called handling stolen goods
  • When force is used to steal this is robbery and it is a more serious crime than theft and will normally be tried in a Crown Court
  • For both theft and robbery just acting as a lookout or being part of a group that carries out the crime will be enough to get you prosecuted, even if you didn’t actually do the stealing


  • Taking something from a shop without paying for it is shoplifting
  • Shops around the U.K. lose millions through shoplifting and are wising up
  • Store security cameras and under cover security guards are everywhere and if you are caught, there are serious implications
  • Shopkeepers say that the total cost of youth shoplifting is £190,000,000 a year
  • For some people shoplifting is a like an addiction or a compulsive disorder

If you feel you have to shoplift, get help before it spirals out of control and you have a criminal record which will amongst other things damage your work prospects.

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