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17 Reasons Why People Steal?




Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Joshua Isibor

Stealing is an act of taking another person’s belongings illegally or without their permission. It’s an illegal act because you are taking what is not yours, without seeking the owner’s approval.

Stealing can also be psychological, which is termed kleptomania known as a psychological disorder that causes an obsession with stealing without material needs. Stealing has been addressed in different forms, which has made people communicate it.

Some call it being smart while others would say you are just taking your own share. Stealing occurs in every sector, be it in church, school, offices, etc. A lot of people steal but in different forms. Some are into picking pockets (local stealing), robbers, official thieves, etc. Whatever category it falls under it’s still stealing.

Now, you may be wondering why people would choose to steal when they can actually work with their hands and make money with dignity.

For every action, there must be a reason whether it’s intentional or not. People who steal have their reasons for stealing, though their reasons might not be justified but, it’s still their reason.

So if you want to discover the reason behind this treacherous act of stealing, just roll with me while I reveal this hidden secret you have been itching to uncover.

16 Reasons People Steal

1. It is Thrilling

Stealing brings excitement for some people. The thought of taking something they didn’t labour for makes them feel good. The fact that they are smart enough to perform such an act without being caught is Thrilling. They have this sense of achievement, satisfaction and joy when they steal. To them, it’s a great deal to steal successfully.

2. Mental illness.

Mental disorders can render an individual mentally and emotionally unstable. It alters one’s sense of reasoning; you don’t think in the normal way you are supposed to.

The individual acts on impulse, even though they might not really need it. This happens to be a kleptomaniac act because the thief steals without having the need for the item. Most times, because of their condition, they fall into depression.

3. Peer Pressure.

The most influential people are your peers. They can influence you negatively or positively. Some people start stealing because their friends bragged about it, and they feel it is worth doing.

They felt intimidated by their friends, so in order to feel among they decided to join them. As they would say, if you can’t change them, you join them. Youthful exorbitance can make some youth fall into the temptation of stealing. There is this feeling that if they don’t join them, they will be mocked or be called a goober.

4. Anger.

Anger can stimulate the thought of stealing from someone. Perhaps they had issues with a colleague or a friend, and they stole from them as a way of getting back at them.

Some people steal from their bosses because of the harsh treatment they receive, such as little pay or no salary. Through stealing, people seek revenge and payback for what their bosses have done to them in the past.

5. To Support an Addiction.

Addiction also leads to stealing. Drinking, smoking, snuffing, abusing drugs and other addictive acts trigger a sensation of stealing. This causes an individual to leave above their strength. Their lifestyle introduces them to theft, so they can meet up and continue.

6. Necessity.

One might be prompted to steal because of their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothes, etc. When one is poor, there’s this temptation to steal so one can foot the bills.

7. Greed.

Greed is one of the core reasons people steal. When you are not satisfied with what you have, you crave your neighbours’ properties. People just want to covet and obtain what they never worked for. Sometimes, people still support a particular lifestyle. A high level of greed can even lead one to dupe someone.

8. Mindless behavior.

Some have this mentality that if something gets missing and they find it, then it automatically becomes theirs. They call it “The finders mentality”. There is this belief, too, that what is lost and found is no longer useful to the owner.

9. Accident.

It could be that an item was stolen by accident. You never meant to steal it, but you accidentally found yourself with someone else’s property. For instance, someone might go to the grocery store to buy things, pick up a fruit tray, and forget to pay while making payments for other items.

It was probably because he/she forgot to sample all the goods on the cashier’s desk due to distraction. In this case, there was no real intention to steal, but it was an unplanned mistake.

10. It’s Easy

People commit crimes most of the time because they have easy access to it. This implies that they might not be thieves, but when the opportunity comes, they utilize it for their own benefit. Once there is an opportunity, they tend to steal since no one is watching.

11. The package Might Be Valuable.

If the package is valuable, it becomes a reason to steal, as the item is enticing and it pushes one to take it.

12. They Can Sell the package

When the stolen item is not useful to them they can auction it for sale and make a huge profit. It’s easier to sell a stolen item at a cheaper price since is not theirs.

These items are usually taken to the market or any place where there won’t be too much questioning. If the item is new they will get a better price for it.

ALSO, READ How To Make Someone Happy Today (12 Best Step To Take)

13. Mixture of emotions.

Sometimes, after stealing, you might have mixed feelings of excitement and remorse for stealing someone’s item. Even with these emotions, the urge to steal doesn’t go away. It still remains.

For those with kleptomania, they steal on impulse without having the intention to do so. But if it’s a criminal theft, it is usually an organized form of stealing, which may involve some people helping facilitate the process. Sometimes, after stealing, you might not use the item yourself. You either sell it or store it for later use.

14. Addictive disorders.

addiction ps

Theft can make the brain release a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which gives a pleasure sensation. Dopamine can cause a sensation that can push you to steal, thinking it’s a pleasurable act. It becomes a psychological feeling that forces you to steal often.

You become addicted to stealing, to the point that if you don’t steal, you feel a void in you. So when you continue to enjoy the sensation of stealing, it fills the void, and you find it difficult to stop. It eventually becomes a habit.

15. Problems with serotonin.

A hormone called serotonin, which is responsible for regulating emotions and moods, might cause one to act on impulse when its level is low and the brain has a lower supply of it.

16. Family history

If there is a family history of kleptomania from a parent or sibling, it can increase the risk of theft.

17. Mental illness like bipolar disorder, which causes mental instability, could cause an Individual to steal.


Stealing is never a good thing and not an act one should be proud of. No matter the reason, it is never justified. The earlier you discover the reason, the better and faster you recover from it. You wouldn’t want to be ridiculed for committing an abominable and illegal act.

ALSO, READ Where can I find happiness? (18 Ways)


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