Robber or Thief (n.)= the person
- The robbers ran away from the police.
- The thief took my laptop and cell phone.
- “Give me all your money!” the robber said.
- The thieves were tall, white men who looked about 22 years old. One had brown hair and the other was blonde.
Robbery (n.) = the event
- Police are investigating the robbery of the Main Street Bank.
- The robbery occurred at 4:30 PM.
- Three employees were injured during the armed robbery.
(an “armed robbery” means there were weapons – guns or knives)
Theft (n.) = the event or the crime (in the justice system)
- He was sentenced to eight years in prison for the theft of a motorcycle.
- We immediately reported the theft to the police.
- Ken was accused of identity theft.
Rob (v.) = the action
Often used in the past as robbed:
- Donald robbed a total of five supermarkets before being caught by the police.
- My favorite pizza shop was robbed last month. Luckily, no one was hurt.
- I was robbed at gunpoint while walking home from work.
Steal / Stolen (v.) = the action of taking something specific
Steal is always used together with an object – the object that was taken.
- The thief stole a gold necklace from the woman’s bedroom.
- Wendy’s wallet was stolen on the subway.
- Jim was caught stealing money from his own company.
- Rachel tried to steal Carla’s boyfriend.