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Theft, robbery, and mugging: what are the differences

What is meant by theft, theft, and robbery? What differences are there and how can you defend yourself at home and away?

Often we hear of the theft, the robbery, or theft as if they were synonyms. Each of these terms refers to a specific crime. Let’s see together what the penal code establishes, how you can defend yourself and how to avoid becoming its victims.

Theft, robbery, and robbery: the definitions of the Criminal Code

Theft, theft, and robbery are three different crimes, defined respectively by articles 624, 624 bis, and 628 of the criminal code. Theft is the least serious of the three offenses, while robbery is the most severely punished.

In all three cases, there is talk of a crime against property, and actions are taken to steal and take possession of an asset owned by others.


We speak of theft when we take possession of movable property of others to make a profit. According to Article 624 of the Criminal Code, the offense is punished with minimum imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years and with a fine ranging from 154 to 516 euros.

Unless there are aggravating circumstances, to punish those who have committed a theft, the victim must submit a complaint to the judicial authorities.

Unlike what happens in the case of theft or robbery, theft involves the theft of the victim’s assets without violence. For example, there is a theft when someone manages to force the car’s lock and steal it or when goods are stolen in a shop.


Theft is a more serious crime than theft. There is robbery when the theft is accompanied by violence against the thing, violence necessary to be able to take possession of the good.

According to article 624 bis of the penal code, he commits a robbery

whoever takes possession of someone else’s movable property, stealing it from whoever holds it, to profit from it for himself or others, snatching it from the person’s hand or back.

Theft is punished with imprisonment from 3 to 6 years and with a fine of between 927 and 1,500 euros. The same penalty is provided for those who commit theft by entering a private home.


Robbery is the most serious of the three crimes we are talking about. In addition to the theft of someone else’s property, whoever commits this crime practices violence against the victim. An example is a theft made under the threat of weapons.

It is defined by article 628 of the criminal code:

Anyone who, to obtain an unjust profit for oneself or others, through violence to the person or threat, takes possession of the movable property of others, taking it away from the holder, is punished with imprisonment from three to ten years and with a fine of 516 euro to 2,065 euro.

To avoid being victims of theft, mugging, or robbery, you can take various precautions, at home and outside.

Protecting the windows of the house with railings, installing an armored door, and having a safe to store money and valuables are quite common solutions to deter thieves. Even installing an alarm or video surveillance system increases the protection of the home and reduces the risk of theft.

Regardless of the security systems adopted, it is always better not to keep objects of great value at home. Better to transfer them to a safety deposit box and keep only cash for current expenses and everyday jewelry at home.

But how can you protect yourself when you are away from home? Also in this case the recommendation is to carry little cash, not to keep the wallet in your pocket, and to always keep the bag close to the body. Walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction and with the bag on the outside of the street is another simple way to avoid snatching.

When withdrawing cash at an ATM, it is a good idea to look around and check for suspicious people. In crowded places or on public transport, always keep the bag close to the body by shielding with your arm, and do not leave your wallet or valuables in a back pocket or backpack behind your back.

In the car, the advice is not to leave the bag on the dashboard or the seat with the window open. It is not uncommon for thieves to come into action right on the street or at the traffic lights, taking the bag resting on the seat.

If you are a victim of a mugging and the thief tears the bag off your shoulder or arm, it is always advisable not to put up too much resistance, to avoid falling and also suffering physical damage.

What to do if you suffer a theft, a mugging, or a robbery

The first thing to do when you suffer a theft, a mugging, or a robbery is to file a report with the Carabinieri or the Police, explaining what happened and declaring which goods were stolen. If identity documents or bank documents were also stolen in the theft, you will need to request a copy.

Have you thought about taking out insurance?

Adopting behaviors that prevent thefts, muggings and robberies is always the right thing to do. But not always following all the recommendations is enough to be safe.

Thinking of insurance blog articles against theftmuggings, and robberies is a good idea, especially if you live in a big city or a place with a high crime rate or if you are elderly and therefore more at risk.

On the market you will find various solutions that will allow you to obtain a refund or compensation following a theft of your assets, at home or away, also providing you with assistance to complete all the paperwork.

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