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What is Burglary?

What is Burglary?


Burglary is defined as unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence. This crime usually, but not always, involves theft. The illegal entry may be by force, such as breaking a window or slashing a screen, or may be without force by entering through an unlocked door or an open window. As long as the person entering has no legal right to be present in the structure a burglary has occurred. Furthermore, the structure need not be the house itself for a burglary to take place; illegal entry of a garage, shed, or any other structure on the premises also constitutes household burglary. If breaking and entering occurs in a hotel or vacation residence, it is still classified as a burglary for the household whose member or members were staying there at the time the entry occurred.

There are four types of burglary:

Completed burglary – A form of burglary in which a person who has no legal right to be present in the structure successfully gains entry to a residence, by use of force, or without force.
Forcible entry – A form of completed burglary in which force is used to gain entry to a residence. Some examples include breaking a window or slashing a screen.
Unlawful entry without force – A form of completed burglary committed by someone having no legal right to be on the premises, even though no force is used.
Attempted forcible entry – A form of burglary in which force is used in an attempt to gain entry.


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