English Vocabulary Exercises for A2 – Crimes and criminals

1. Complete the table with the correct words.



1) _______

drug dealer


2) _______

3) _______



4) _______

5) _______



6) _______

plural: 7) _______

Show answers

1) drug-dealing   2) murderer   3) robbery   4) shoplifter

5) smuggling   6) thief   7) thieves

2. Label the pictures with the name of the crime and the type of criminal.


1) b____________ ________


2) v____________ ________


3) a____________ ________


4) m____________ ________

Show answers

1) burglary, burglar   2) vandalism, vandal

3) arson, arsonist   4) mugging, mugger

3. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs below.

break      deal      kill      mug      rob      set

smuggle      steal      vandalise

1) Arsonists __________ fire to a shop in the town centre last night.

2) Two teenagers __________ into a house in Kings Road and stole a TV.

3) There’s a man who __________ drugs on the street near our house.

4) Police arrested two men who tried to __________ a million cigarettes into the country.

5) An armed robber shot and __________ a security guard at a bank last Saturday.

6) Three men tried to __________ a bank, but customers chased them away.

7) sister __________ some make-up from a cosmetics store when she was fifteen.

8) Last night two boys __________ a drinks machine near the park. The drinks machine is now out of order.

9) Two men __________ uncle in the street and took his phone and wallet. Luckily, they didn’t hurt him.

Show answers

1) set   2) broke   3) deals   4) smuggle  5) killed

6) rob   7) stole   8) vandalised   9) mugged

4. Listen to two crime reports. What are the crimes?

1) _________

2) _________

Show answers

1) arson   2) smuggling


1) A fire broke out in a department store in the town centre shortly after midnight. Police have launched an investigation and suspect that somebody started the fire deliberately. Witnesses saw two men running from the store. The police are studying CCTV footage of the area. They hope to identify the culprits and have appealed for more witnesses to contact them.

2) Police have discovered large quantities of cigarettes and alcohol in a garage in Brighton. They were patrolling the area and became suspicious when they saw men carrying a large number of boxes into the garage. The police are interviewing two suspects who they believe brought the goods from Spain and were planning to sell them illegally in pubs and bars. They have also searched a house nearby and made another arrest.

5. Complete the verb + noun collocations in the sentences using the nouns below.

the area      arrest      CCTV footage      the culprits      a house

an investigation     suspects      witnesses

1)  a Police have launched ________.

b The police are studying ________. of the area.

     c  They hope to identify ________. and have appealed for more ________. to contact them.

2   d They were patrolling ________. and became suspicious.

     e  The police are interviewing two ________.

     f  They have also searched ________. nearby and made another.

Show answers

a an investigation   b CCTV footage

c the culprits, witnesses   d the area  e suspects

f a house, arrest


1) Police have launched an investigation. The police are studying CCTV footage of the area. They hope to identify the culprits and have appealed for more witnesses to contact them.

2) They were patrolling the area and became suspicious. The police are interviewing two suspects. They have also searched a house nearby and made another arrest.

Extra exercises

1. Complete the news summaries with the words below.

arson      arsonist      burglars      burgled      looters      looting

mugger      muggings      shoplifters      shoplifting

1) Someone set fire to an empty building early this morning. Police said it was ____________ and that they haven’t caught the ____________ yet.

2) Someone attacked a woman and stole her handbag. She did not see the face of the ________ There have been a lot of similar ____________ in the area.

3) _________ broke into five shops last night. They took money and goods. Someone had ____________ two of the shops before.

4) After a flood caused damage, ____________ took food and tools from several buildings. All of the suspects had received fines for ____________ before.

5) Often young people’s friends encourage them to steal from shops. It seems like a game, but ____________ is a crime, and ____________ can receive large fines.

Show answers

1) arson, arsonist

2) mugger, muggings

3) Burglars, burgled

4) looters, looting

5) shoplifting, shoplifters

2. Complete the sentences with the words below.

arrest      CCTV footage      culprit      investigation

patrol      searched      suspect      witnesses

1) As soon as a neighbour reported the murder, the police launched an ____________

2) The police ____________ the house for clues.

3) Two detectives have arrested a ____________, a man who has committed many crimes before.

4) The police can’t make an ____________ until they have more evidence.

5) The police chief was on the news appealing for ____________

6) There are cameras in the area so the police have ____________ to study.

7) A witness came forward and identified the ____________ from a photograph.

8) Several guards ____________ the area around the palace day and night to check that everything is secure.

Show answers

1) investigation   2) searched   3) suspect   4 arrest

5) witnesses   6) CCTV footage   7) culprit   8 patrol

3. Match the two parts of the compound nouns.

1) a murder ____________

2) a ____________ ticket

3) _________ gum

4) finger ____________

5) _________ records

6) an open-top ____________

7) a telephone ____________

8) a ____________ code

a car

b chewing

c secret

d dental

e investigation

f number

g train

h prints

Show answers

1) e   2) g   3) b   4) h   5) d   6) a   7) f   8) c