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7 Reasons Why People Steal

Toyin Omoniyi
Posted on December 9, 2015;

My niece has been telling everyone who cares to listen that she is going to eat special chicken this Christmas and that her mom will buy her a beautiful Christmas dress. She has no idea where the money will come from and frankly, she doesn’t care. All she wants for Christmas is her chicken and her Christmas dress.

So, it is very understandable when parents sometimes go the extra mile to make their children comfortable and happy.

But when parents begin to amass so much wealth to the detriment of others that even their hundredth generation cannot spend it all, then that begins to border on insanity.

Otherwise, how else would you explain a person who steals billions of dollars? What exactly is he supposed to use all that loot for? What is the motive behind the theft? Is it to cater for his children and grandchildren? Does he have so little faith in his kids that he doesn’t think they can do anything productive with their lives to make their own money?

Some people find it easier to steal from a faceless, large organization or from the government than from an individual. Others think it is ok to steal from someone who has a lot because he is unlikely to miss the stolen item.

People steal for different reasons:

1.       Greed – they are never satisfied with what they have; they always want more and when they cannot afford it, they resort to stealing.

2.      Hatred – there are those who find joy in making other people miserable. They steal things just to annoy the other person or leave them in a dejected state.

3.      Ignorance – they take something that doesn’t belong to them, absentmindedly.

4.      Necessity – there are those who have no idea where their next meal will come from. They sometimes have to steal just to be able to feed their children.

5.      The high – some people get off on the thrill of stealing and not getting caught. They try it the first time, it feels good and there is no consequence so they go ahead to do it again till they get caught or get bored.

6.      Kleptomania – they can’t help themselves. Usually, they do not even need the item they are stealing. They could be financially buoyant to pay for the item but they would rather steal it. It’s a condition quite a number of people are suffering from.

7.      Just because – they find it easier to steal from others than to work hard and earn their own money.

Whatever the reason is, I think we all agree that morally, it is wrong to take something that does not belong to you. It is even part of the Ten Commandments - Thou shall not steal.

Also, in Nigeria, it is a crime to steal. It does not matter whether it is stolen from an individual or the government, stealing is a crime. A person who steals something is depriving the original owner of his/her valued possession.

In some countries, a person who is convicted of stealing or who embezzles money is automatically deprived of holding any political office, at least for a specified period. Imagine if this were the case in Nigeria. How many politicians would we have left?

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