ESL Crime Expressions

English Vocabulary for Crime

Burglarize
Listen to the phrase »

To force your way into a home or a business to steal items.

“He was so desparete that he burglarized a local gas station that was closed.

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Breaking and entering
Listen to the phrase »

To enter a home or establishment without permission wih the intent to steal.

“They are probably going to be charged with breaking and entering.”

Trespass
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To unlawfully enter a property

“If you trespass on his property you will most likely get shot.”

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Disorderly conduct
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A charge given by law enforcement officers for people who act in a way that may injur another person.

“John was screaming and shouting at the waiter until the police arrived and charged him with disorderly conduct.”

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Jaywalk
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Crossing a street where it is illegal to do so

“Two of my friends got a ticket for jaywalking last night. The rest of us got away from the cop.”

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Shoplifting
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The theft of goods from a store or establishment that sells something

“They arrested Sam for shoplifting at the drug store. He put a can of soda in his pocket and tried to flee.”

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To get pinched
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To get caught and arrested for a crime

“My cousin finally got pinched for shoplifting. He deserved it.”

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Crime spree
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Several crimes that happen in a row

“The two drug addicts went on a crime spree that lasted four days. They robbed every convenient store in town before getting caught.”

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A rash of burglaries
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The occurrence of several burglaries in a certain area at similar times

“There was a rash of burglaries in the area last week. Some blame it on the bad economy.”

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Crime infested neighborhood
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A neighborhood that suffers from consistant crimes ranging from robberies to the sale of illegal drugs. These are usually areas with a lot of poverty.

“Don’t even think about jogging on Cypress street. It goes through some crime infested neighborhoods that scare even the cops that work there.”

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Neighborhood watch
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A group that exists in some neighborhoods that is formes to fight crime.

“We are hoping that the newly formed neighborhood watch will reduce some of the crime we have been seeing the last few years.”

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To be above the law
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To not be subject to laws that apply to the rest of the community

“Don’t think that you are above the law. They will eventually catch you for selling drugs in our neighborhood.”

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Carjacking
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The crime of stealing a car that is running and has a driver in it. This is usually done at gunpoint.

“There have been a few cases of carjacking in the downtown area this month.”

  • Conversation Activity for Crime Vocabulary
  • Script for Crime Conversation Activity
  • Listening Activity for Crime Vocabulary
  • English Crime Vocabulary Reading Exercise
  • Exercise for Crime Terms II
  • Crime Vocabulary Matching