Why Do People Steal?

Why do people steal? People steal for a number of reasons, many of which may be a bit complicated to understand. Stealing can occur when people are in a situation that they cannot control, or in which they feel that they have no other option. For example, a man who has just lost his job, who gets turned down for charity or government support, is currently homeless, has to feed four hungry little children, and has a sick wife. There are also others who steal to get attention or because they find excitement in stealing and like the thrill of the act.

Usually, when people steal, there are triggers. In most cases, the act of stealing becomes an act of survival. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. When a person experiences a number of disasters, such as losing every source of income and having piles of bills to pay while also facing threats of eviction from your house, then some people will break and go for the last resort. A lot of us would say that we would never stoop as low as to steal but some people just are not as strong as others. The wrong combination of bad incidents and a fragile personality can definitely trigger a pathological response, such as stealing.

Whatever answer is provided for the question of “Why do people steal?” the general idea is that those who steal are in need of help from those of us who do not. However, the issues of trust still need to be addressed. So, we ask “How can we help someone who engages in stealing when we do not entirely trust the other person?” To be able to help someone, there has to be a semblance of trust for us to help someone we know is stealing.

The key to helping people who steal is by understanding them. How do we understand them? We listen to the answers they provide on the question about “Why do people steal?” When we listen to their stories, we will find out the cause that pushed the person to steal in the first place. Once we find out why they steal, then we can begin the helping process. Still, the person who steals will only be helped if he accepts the help and is ready for it.

The best way to deal with the problem of stealing is to address the root causes, which may either be for survival, attention-seeking desires, or the presence of a psychological disorder. Working on these issues first will help put an end to our queries on “Why do people steal?”

Posted at July 8th, 2011.

4 Responses to “Why Do People Steal?”

  1. Bonnie Love says:

    I have asked this question because i know of a young man , just turned 18 . who is in jail for an offense he commited when he was still 17 . but he was the ringleader of a stealing scam , and i see no reason for it what so ever …he didnt “need” the money, he gets more than his share of attention. He knows all he had to do was ask his father hey dad can you? and his dad would have broke his back to get this now man anything he wanted . is this a case of rebeling for independance but he cant get independance because he flat out is not independant ? this kid can orchestrate a theiving ring but he cant do anything in the way of truly taking care of himself. i see this as a case pure and simple as the father underneath the guise of LOVE , always doing for his son , and in effect making him inefectual…this father says he would take care of his son forever if the young man wanted it. {and saying it as he loves him so much or too much}So it is almost as if this man has perposely ruined this sons life he has robbed from him what it takes to be a happy human . someone who can sucessfully make it honestly on his own. am i being to harsh on a loving father or have i uncoverd a case of true hatred? I say htred because the father was severely abusued. and he claims innocence on his sons wrong doings because he has done everything for him unlike his own parents . my own adding is , this father yes was abused badly , but he is totaly self sufficeint and has proved to be a champion , of bad curcumstances and has come out ..shinging like a star , the dead star in his life , or grief in his has is his son , who is sadly a total loser . i truly dont know if he is a bad seed or if this is his fathers fault.

  2. Bonnie Love says:

    I just now reread please forgive all of my mistakes , a typer i am not . thank you in advance for any and all replys.

  3. Debra says:

    I’m a very generous, giving person. I have come to the realization, that in spite of this FLAW, everyone that I have ever bestowed with gifts, food, etc. has found it necessary to steal from me, nonetheless. Most recently a so-called “friend” that I have repeatedly treated to lunch and shopping excursions, always with me footing the bill for the meals and paying for gas, saw fit to steal a $5 bag of groceries from me. Had I not gotten a $300 traffic ticket that day, when the greedy slob distracted me while driving and kept insisting a man on a motorcycle “wasn’t a cop,” or saw her WASTE over $200 on junky, tacky knick-knacks for her home and yard, I wouldn’t be so disturbed. I saw with my own 2 eyes her reaction when she noticed that she had grabbed one of my bags mistakenly–she KNEW it wasn’t hers, but took it anyway. All I can say at this point, is that moving forward, I am going to become more greedy, self-absorbed and spend whatever extra money I have on myself, my relatives, my pets, my house and my car. I will fight the urge to give, unless it is anonymously to charities or those sorely in need.

  4. Brandy says:

    I don’t understand why people steal. I have family members who get everything they want but when they see my certain clothes, or things, my older kids have, they somehow eventually end up with it. Despite my name being in the clothes they still get stolen. Name on tags ripped out. As if I don’t recognize the oil stain my son got on gray Carhartt sweatshirt that a family member now claims as their own. Hello, I know my stains that I worked diligently on to get mostly out and the name tags ripped out. It’s very sad that ones that have the most seem to be jealous of others resort to thievery! Very pathetic. I wish people wouldn’t steal. It’s against God and it’s a Ten Commandent. Thou Shall Not Steal. We all have sins but come on let’s not Steal. People work hard to get what they buy.

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