The following situations are similar (all involve the theft of Makoto’s laptop computer), yet they represent three different crimes. Identify the three crimes, noting the differences among them.
1 While passing Makoto’s house one night, Sarah sees a laptop computer left unattended on Makoto’s porch. Sarah takes the computer, carries it home, and tells everyone she owns it.
2 While passing Makoto’s house one night, Sarah sees Makoto outside with a laptop computer. Holding Makoto at gunpoint, Sarah forces him to give up the computer. Then Sarah runs away with it.
3 While passing Makoto’s house one night, Sarah sees a laptop computer on a desk near a window. Sarah breaks the lock on the front door, enters, and leaves with the computer.
1.In the first example Sarah has committed larceny by taking personal property that belongs to another person with the intent of claiming the property as her own. 2.In the second example Sarah has committed robbery by taken anothers property by force. 3.In this final example Sarah has committed burglary while breaking and entering.
Noting the basic differences regarding the crimes: In the first example of Larceny, which involves no force or threat to human life it would be considered the least severe penalty of the three. Burglary, because it would involve breaking and entering is not considered to be as severe as robbery, however more severe than larceny. Robbery is considered to be the most severe penalty of the three, mainly because in this situation force is used.
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