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> Would you still feel safe if a burglar broke into your house and left a note saying they didn't take anything?

That doesn't make it okay, but it certainly should result in a much lesser sentence than if the perpetrator had damaged or stolen property.

No. The serious crime is breaking in. Usually when someone's house is broken into they don't care about the stuff at all. They care that their personal space and sense of security has been violated. Also the criminal doesn't know what they'll find when they get in in but they are setting up a situation that can escalate quickly. Kids home alone? Someone with a shotgun? The very act of breaking in means they are ready to commit violence. If someone breaks into our house and sleeps there all weekend while we are on vacation, but doesn't take anything, does that deserve a lesser sentence than if they took a $100 TV? Not in my opinion.

"The very act of breaking in means they are ready to commit violence."

You really believe this? What makes you think you speak for people in general, or know the mind of the average burglar?

And how far does your equivalence view stretch, if someone trespasses and uses your pool is that the same as taking your outdoor furniture? Why not?

Well that's an opinion, but not how the law actually works, where misdemeanor/felony levels and minimum sentencing are based in dollar value stolen.

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