A property crime is an event where somebody unlawfully takes or destroys items or buildings that do not belong to them. Property crimes are one of the two major categories of crime, with the other being violent crimes. Property crimes usually carry less harsh penalties than violent crimes, but punishments can be severe if a high monetary value of goods was stolen. Here are three common types of property crimes.

1. Burglary

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a building, often committed with the intent of stealing items in the building. Homes can be burglarized if windows are left open or doors are left unlocked, which is why a majority of burglaries happen during the day and during the warmer months of the year. Burglars also target houses where they believe the residents are gone for the day at work or on vacation, as these criminals are after property with no intent to harm anyone. However, if a resident is at home during a burglary and the thief is not expecting it, the scene can quickly turn violent. If this happens, the burglar can be arrested and may have to post bail bonds York County PA before they are released from jail.

2. Arson

Arson is the act of setting a building or other property on fire deliberately. Criminals often do this out of revenge, criminal mischief, or with the intention of hurting people inside a building. Because of the damage to property and life that arson can cause, arson is usually considered to be a felony, and punishments for this crime are often very severe. Penalties are more severe if it is proven that the arsonist knew that a building had occupants before setting the fire.

3. Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor vehicle theft involves attempting to steal or stealing a motor vehicle that does not belong to a person. Punishments are usually harsh because of the high monetary value that many motor vehicles have. There are around a quarter-million vehicles reported stolen in the United States each year on average. Carjacking is one method that thieves use to steal cars, and comes with even more severe punishments because this is also considered to be a form of assault.

Unfortunately, many people will become victims of one or more of these types of property crimes at some point in their lifetime. Make sure to take steps to help prevent thieves from gaining access to your personal property.