Property offences are offences characterised by taking something from another person or entity without permission. These offences can range from minor shoplifting offences to large-scale sophisticated frauds against corporations.
Common property offences which are regularly encountered by the Courts include:
- Handling stolen goods, where a person possesses items which they know to be stolen;
- Burglary, where a person enters into a building without authority intending to steal, assault or damage or destroy property;
- Aggravated burglary, where a burglary is committed whilst the offender is armed with a weapon or whilst they believe that someone is or is probably present in the building;
- Robbery, where a person uses force in order to steal something;
- Armed robbery, where a robbery is committed whilst armed with an offensive weapon; and
- Obtaining property by deception, where fraud is used to obtain things (e.g. money or goods) by the offender.
A range of newer property offences have now been introduced as a response to the public outcry over gang-related activity, particularly among young people. These newer property offences included:
- Home invasion and aggravated home invasion; and
- Carjacking and aggravated carjacking.
Other more obscure property-related offences include extortion, blackmail, and arson (criminal damage by fire).