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Stealing - 'borrowing' without permission

steal; stealing; stolen; theft; larceny; laws; legal; copyright;


What is stealing?

lost property officeStealing is taking something that doesn't belong to you.

  • It may be keeping something that you have found without trying to find who owns it.
  • It may be copying heaps of stuff from a book or from the internet, and pretending that it is your own work in the project that you are doing.
    • Did you know that there are copyright laws to protect people's published work, whatever it is?
  • It may be taking something from home without permission from mum or dad or whoever owns it.
  • It may be copying a CD or DVD so that you don't have to buy a new one.
  • It may be taking something from a friend or your school and keeping it.
  • It may be deliberately taking something from a store and not paying for it.

Why people steal

People steal for lots of different reasons.

  • thiefThey want something and can't afford to pay for it.
  • They think no-one will notice that it's missing.
  • They think that someone has heaps of stuff, so it's OK to take something from them.
  • They feel angry about something.
  • Very young kids do not understand about stealing. They have to learn that it is not okay to take what they want.
  • They may have a conduct disorder.

Sometimes people steal because they want…

  • to impress their friends
  • to be part of a group
  • to get attention from friends, family or the teacher
  • to feel excited
  • to get back at someone.

How it feels to have something stolen

It doesn't matter whether it is a big or a small thing that is stolen – kids and adults are upset when it happens.

What if you have been very careful about naming and looking after all your pencils, pens, rulers, etc. and you find that someone has taken some of them.
How would you feel?

stealingWhat if you had just saved up enough for a new bike and someone stole it?
How would you feel?

What if you have a really great idea in class, and someone else tells everyone about it as if it were their idea?
How would you feel?

What if someone broke into your house and took lots of things from your family?
How would you feel?

What if you woke up one morning and had to be late for school because someone had stolen your family's car?
How would you feel?

What if you're the person stealing?

Stealing can have lots of effects on the person who is doing the stealing.

  • You may feel ashamed and upset.
  • You may feel afraid in case you are found out. This feeling can last for years, and even if you're not found out, you will know that you have stolen something.
  • You may have to hide what you've stolen in case someone finds out – so it's no use to you anyway.
  • You may get into trouble with other kids, parents, teachers or even the Police.
  • People may not trust you in future.
  • stealingYou could lose friends.
  • Friends' parents may think you are a bad influence on their kids, and you won't be invited to their houses.
  • You may be banned from a store if the owners think you are stealing.
  • Being caught can be very embarrassing.
  • You may feel nervous about doing the stealing, but even afterwards, you will never be sure that you have got away with it, so you still feel nervous.
  • Feeling nervous and upset can make you feel very unhappy.

How to help your friend

If your friend is stealing or trying to get you to steal, there are things you can do.

  • Tell the friend that stealing is wrong. He may get upset with you, but you need to let him know how you feel.
  • Tell one of your trusted adults. This is not dobbing, this is trying to help your friend stay out of trouble and learn what is right.
  • Don't hang around with someone who steals, because you could end up in trouble too.
  • Make sure that you and your friend hang out with positive people.
  • Don't ever join in with stealing. It's not cool. It's stupid. Just look at the people who spend most of their lives in jail because they steal from others. Is that where you want to spend your life?

What kids say

"Once I let a girl borrow my new doll for a while. When I came back it was gone. We found it at the bottom of her bag. I never trusted her again." – Ashleigh

stealing"Six years ago my dad's bow and arrow was stolen. There was a big hole in our roller door. We had to get an automatic roller door." – James

"Once when my dad was mowing a lawn someone stole his wallet, mobile phone and credit card." – Luke

"Stealing is not right. It hurts people's feelings too, especially when it was something special from your family. – Tegan

"Some thieves broke in to my grandma's house and stole two DVD players." – Elizabeth

tealing other people's ideas is wrong.
Taking other people's stuff.
Everyone who steals should be punished.
Anyone who steals loses friends.
Lying about taking things is bad.

Stealing is wrong, stealing is bad,
Stealing is something that makes me mad.
Stealing a present, a book,
Or someone's bag hook.
Stealing is bad and we all know it.
But people in jail might not show it.

Dr Kim says:

"If you are old enough to read this topic then you know that stealing is not okay.

If people didn't steal from others, then what a different place the world would be. Prices in shops would be cheaper, the price that mum and dad have to pay to insure their cars and houses would be a lot less, and we would not need to be locked into our houses at night, or feel worried that someone might take something that is precious to us. Jails would not have so many prisoners and…

The list goes on! I think you could probably think of lots more things to put on that list.

People like Ned Kelly, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, even Robin Hood may seem like heroes, thanks to movies and stories about them, but what about all the people who lost their lives or their property or their money because of them? I bet they didn't think they were heroes!"

If you have been caught stealing then you may have to talk to the store manager, store detective or police officer.

Give your name, address and age. You can be charged with a criminal offence from the age of 10. Check out this site to find out what the laws are in your state Lawstuff 

Be polite.

You should have a parent, caregiver or some other independent adult with you before being questioned.

stealing Stealing

He stole from everyone
Even from a friend.
Then his stealing days
Came to a sudden end.
Locked away in a prison cell.
Jail stole away his life as well.



what stealing is

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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