Property crimes do not involve the use of force against a victim or the threat thereof. However, they do involve destroying and/or stealing someone else’s property. Although people of all ages can commit property crimes, there is a strong association between them and juveniles.
Despite this association, recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations suggest that juveniles in the United States are actually committing fewer property crimes now than they did in the recent past. Analysis of data collected between 2009 and 2018 showed a 72.8% decrease among juvenile females. For juvenile males, the decrease was slightly more modest but still significant at 65.3%.
Nevertheless, juveniles still commit nonviolent offenses for which they may face criminal charges. Here are a few common examples.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, larceny involves taking another person’s property unlawfully, not through deceit or by forceful means but with the use of stealth. It includes theft of property from automobiles, although theft of a motor vehicle itself is a different offense. It also includes shoplifting and pickpocketing, as well as purse snatching if it does not involve the use of force.
Trespassing involves unlawful entry onto a property. The entry may be forcible, but the intent need not be to commit another crime. The property entered can be a structure such as a shed or a garage as well as a permanent or temporary residence.
Some juveniles may not understand what is wrong about trespassing if it involves no other crime and no one gets physically hurt as a result. However, it represents a violation of the rights of a property owner and may cause psychological or emotional harm.