Hooded Person Graffiti Tagging a Wall

Exploring the Most Common Types of Property Crime

Property crime happens much more than we think, and in some areas, even every day. There are many different types of property crimes, but the term itself refers to a grouping of crimes involving the destruction or theft of another individual’s property. Read on to learn more about the most common types of property crime and the repercussions one can face if charged with property crime in Minnesota.

Arson

When an individual burns any land or structure intentionally, it is considered arson. In Minnesota, there are five types of arson offenses:

  • Arson in the first degree. (MN Stat § 609.561)
    • Dwelling. A building used as a dwelling is intentionally destroyed or damaged with fire or explosives. Individuals who commit arson in the first degree can expect imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines up to $20,000, or both.
    • Other buildings. A building that is not used as a dwelling is intentionally destroyed or damaged with fire or explosives. Individuals who commit arson in the first degree can expect imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines up to $35,000, or both.
    • Flammable material. A building that is not used as a dwelling is intentionally destroyed or damaged with fire or explosives. Combustible materials are utilized to start or accelerate the fire. Individuals who commit arson in the first degree can expect imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines up to $20,000, or both.
  • Arson in the second degree. A building valued at more than $1,000 and not covered by section 609.561 is intentionally destroyed or damaged with fire or explosives. Individuals who commit arson in the second degree can expect imprisonment of up to 10 years, fines up to $20,000, or both. (MN Stat § 609.562)
  • Arson in the third degree. A building valued at more than $300 but less than $1,000 is intentionally destroyed or damaged with fire or explosives. Individuals who commit arson in the third degree can expect imprisonment of up to 5 years, fines up to $10,000, or both. (MN Stat § 609.563)
  • Arson in the fourth degree. A multiple-unit residential building or public building is intentionally set on fire or burned with fire or explosives, and arson in the first, second, or third degree was not committed. Individuals who commit arson in the fourth degree are guilty of a gross misdemeanor, and can expect imprisonment of up to 1 year, fines up to $3,000, or both. (MN Stat § 609.5631)
  • Arson in the fifth degree. Real or personal property of value is intentionally set on fire or burned with fire or explosives. Individuals who commit arson in the fifth degree are guilty of a misdemeanor, and can expect jail time of up to 90 days, fines up to $1,000, or both. (MN Stat § 609.5632)

Theft

Under Minnesota law, theft is a generalized term that covers a variety of specific crimes. According to MN Stat § 609.52, you have committed theft if you:

  • Intentionally, and without approval, take, use, transfer, conceal, or retain possession of movable property of someone without consent and with intent to strip the individual permanently of the property
  • With or without having legal interest in movable property, intentionally and without permission, takes the property out of the possession of a pledgee or other person having a superior right of possession, with intent to strip the individual permanently of possession of that property
  • Glean services through false representation
  • By swindling, whether by artifice, trick, device, or by other means, gleans property or services from another individual
  • Discover property and fail to make a reasonable effort to find the owner and offer or return the item to its owner
  • Intentionally modifies any article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, to the actor’s own use or another person and makes a copy of an article describing a trade secret and modifies it to the actors own use
  • Cable or other telecommunication services are stolen
  • Uses corporate property for a purpose other than business

Individuals who commit theft learn of their punishments based on the dollar value of the property and services taken. In Minnesota, the penalties vary for property valued under $500 up to more than $35,000.

Vandalism

When an individual defaces or destroys property without permission, it is considered robbery. Under Minnesota law (MN Stat § 609.595), the following points define vandalism offenses:

  • Property was damaged intentionally and created a risk of bodily harm
  • A public safety vehicle was knowingly damaged and resulted in disruption of public safety service
  • Property belonging to a common carrier was damaged intentionally
  • Damaged property was devalued by more than $500, and the individual has been convicted of vandalism in the previous three years
  • Damaged property was devalued by more than $1000 in repairs and replacements

Individuals who commit vandalism learn of their punishments based on intent and the severity of the damage. In Minnesota, the penalties vary for each charge to include imprisonment and fines.

Graffiti

Paint, dye, or a utensil to scratch or etch has been used to place unauthorized markings on real or personal property like fences, buildings, transportation structures, and more. Damages of up to three times the cost of property restoration can be recovered from the individual who placed the markings or the parent if a minor is involved. (MN Stat § 617.90)

Burglary

When someone unlawfully enters a home or building through coercion or force and steals property, it is considered burglary (MN Stat § 609.582). In Minnesota, there are four types of burglary offenses:

  • Burglary in the first degree. An individual enters a building (dwelling, dangerous weapon in possession, assault, etc.) without consent and intends to or commits a crime while in the building directly or as an accomplice. Individuals who commit burglary in the first degree can expect imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines up to $35,000, or both.
  • Burglary in the second degree. An individual enters a building (dwelling, forceful entry into a bank or pharmacy, tool used to gain access, etc.) without consent and intends to or commits a crime while in the building directly or as an accomplice. Individuals who commit burglary in the second degree can expect imprisonment of up to 10 years, fines up to $20,000, or both.
  • Burglary in the third degree. A figure enters a building without consent and intends to or commits stealing, a felony, or gross misdemeanor. Individuals who commit burglary in the third degree can expect imprisonment of up to 5 years, fines up to $10,000, or both.
  • Burglary in the fourth degree. A figure enters a building without consent and intends to or commits a misdemeanor other than to steal. Individuals who commit burglary in the fourth degree can expect imprisonment of up to 1 year, fines up to $3,000, or both.

Robbery

When an individual uses violence or the threat of violence to take property or money from another, it is considered robbery. In Minnesota, there are two types of robbery offenses:

  • Simple robbery. An individual takes personal property either from or in the presence of another using or threatening imminent force to overcome resistance. Individuals who commit simple robbery can expect imprisonment of up to 10 years, fines up to $20,000, or both. (MN Stat 609.24)
  • Aggravated robbery (MN Stat § 609.245)
    • First degree. An individual is armed with a dangerous weapon or article while committing a robbery to threaten or inflict bodily harm upon another. Individuals who commit aggravated robbery in the first degree can expect imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines up to $35,000, or both.
    • Second degree. An individual implies by either word or act while committing a robbery that a dangerous weapon is in possession. Individuals who commit aggravated robbery in the second degree can expect imprisonment of up to 15 years, fines up to $30,000, or both.

Contact an Experienced Minneapolis Property Crime Attorney

Are you facing a property crime charge? If so, having an experienced property crime attorney on your side is beneficial as these figures will help you deal with and navigate the legal complexities. There are numerous types of property crime in Minnesota, and depending on the severity of the crime, the repercussions can drastically impact your life. Because of this, Lauren Campoli is here for you. To see how Lauren Campoli can help you, call the Law Office of Lauren Campoli at (612)-810-0060 or complete our online form now to discuss the next steps.