Ever since we were little, we were taught by our parents that stealing is wrong. And it definitely is... however, for some thrillseekers, there's just something so exhilarating taking something that isn't yours or not having to pay for it. It goes against good morals, but some might say the adrenaline rush that comes from the act is worth the risky consequences. Here are some of the most outrageous things people have successfully stolen:
#1 Public Property
My friend stole a set of eight chairs from the food court of a shopping mall. He's also nicked a whole set of letters screwed into the brick wall of an apartment building and a bunch of street signs with his and all his friends' names. He used them to decorate his man cave. It was just off lunch rush. He casually walked out the door with individual chairs.
He then stashed them in a hidden chair cache for collection later. He ended up walking them home two at a time after the mall closed. He's amazing at things like that. The metal lettering was the best though. He and three friends drove right up to the gate of an apartment complex. Three of them jumped out while the fourth sat in the driver's seat. 15 seconds later, they had unscrewed the 10 letters and were back in the car speeding off.
#2 The Raccoon Statue
My sister stole a raccoon statue from out front of some hotel in Arizona, and I swear the thing must be made out of marble or something. This two-foot statue must have weighed 150 pounds. I have no idea how a couple of tipsy college girls got it into the back of a Dodge Durango in a few seconds. She now keeps it in her apartment and it always makes for a good story.
#3 The Hamburglar
16 hamburgers from my last school's cafeteria. It was set up so you could walk in, grab a tray, get all your food and then check out at the end. It was basically a game of "hide as many freaking burgers anywhere you can." Well, one day my friend got caught. You know what the school did? They called down the police. That was an overreaction if I've ever seen one. It didn't stop my smugglin' though.
#4 Milk Monitor
My school replaced our milk cartons with reusable cups and spigots. The cups held less than the cartons and half the time there wouldn't be any cups left or the spigots ran empty and no one refilled them. One day I was thirsty after PE and filled mine, took a sip, then topped it off. The school cop saw it on the security cameras and had some "milk monitor" jerk come get me. They made me pay for an entire extra lunch and took my glass of milk. That was not cool.
#5 The Cello Thief
Only a few of my closet friends know this story. About 10 years ago, I was walking by my old middle school and noticed people were going in and out of the basement doors on A Saturday. I went inside and wandered around a bit. The band room was right next to the locker rooms, and there was a single screw holding the window in place.
Basically, they leave it unlocked for teams to use the bathrooms when they practice. Fast forward a year—I was recording my first album ever. We wanted trumpets and a cello. I knew how to get a cello. Late one night, I parked my car down the street and walked to the school. I covered my face and opened the door using my t-shirts so there were no prints.
I unscrewed the screw and opened the window to the band room. Then I stuck my arm in and opened the door from the inside. There must've been about 10 cellos, four upright basses, a slew of drum equipment and God knows what else, but I was smart and not greedy. I decided to stick to just the cello.
I put the window back in place and sprinted across the football field to a wooded area by the road. I dropped the cello in the bushes, ditched the screwdriver and walked back to my car. Once I got to my car, I saw that no alarms had gone off, nor had any police shown up. I drove up to the wooded area, threw the cello in my car, and drove off.
We taught ourselves the cello parts for the album. When school started the next fall, they would be short a cello with no signs of a break-in. I'm sure they thought someone miscounted the previous year. I suppose I'm a jerk for stealing it but I did a bunch of stuff like that. In the past eight or so years, I've really gone out of my way to repay the karma. (Shortly after stealing the cello, I had $1,400 worth of musical equipment stolen from my car).
#6 The Most Interesting Man
On the 5th of May, my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant and stole a life-size cutout of "The Most Interesting Man." The reason for doing this was that the service was horrible and we were bored. The great thing is that other people helped steal it. I know the fact that it was a collaborative effort doesn't justify the act, but it was nice to know people knew why we were stealing it.
#7 Smart Car Antics
Not really stealing, but close enough, I'd say. Me and seven friends lifted a Smart Car at the local university and moved it halfway across campus. We got odd looks, but there were no attempts to stop us. We left the owner directions to where we moved it near the original parking spot. I'm pretty sure the owner was totally confused when he read the letter.
#8 The Thrill Of It
Not very outrageous but I've stolen so many pens, pencils and other objects easy to take out of cardboard casing and put in my pocket, I've lost count. I don't dare actually steal something in a case but it's so much fun to take stuff when you know you shouldn't. I have so many classmates who have no idea that their missing pens and pencils went into my pencil case.
#9 Free Transportation
A few friends and I were tipsy and we didn't know how we were going to get back to my place. We ended up walking home. A couple of houses down, we saw someone had left out their golf cart, so we ran and jumped on it. Lo and behold, the keys were in it, so we started driving it home. Well, I live on the Intracoastal Waterway, so rather than driving the whole way, we saw an open-air garage that had a couple of kayaks and a canoe hanging up.
We decided to just wreck the golf cart into the water and take off on one of the kayaks and the canoe. We rowed for about two miles up the ICWW; then, about a quarter-mile from my house, we changed ashore and dragged them deep into the woods. We never said or heard anything about it to this day. They may still even be in the woods but my parent's house; we never checked.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
#10 The Fancy Calculator
Stealing is bad! I have never stolen anything. However, one of my friends once managed to steal a whole TI-84 from a math class. I was impressed and she was really happy she finally had a nice calculator since she was in a lot of advanced math courses. She custom decorated it so you couldn't tell it even came from the math class. We're Asian, can you tell?
#11 An Easy Steal
One time, my friend and I were lost in a residential area. We ended up pulling up in someone's driveway so we could make a U-turn. When we pulled up, we saw that the car parked in the driveway had its trunk open and there were two six-packs inside. The lights were out in the house and there was no one in the yard, so it didn't take long for us to consider it. We took a few seconds to think things over, then my friend got out and grabbed the drinks. As soon as he got back in, I zoomed off.
#12 Third Grade Schemes
When I was in I believe third grade, I used to break into the teacher's storage closet because that's where she hid her Fruit Roll-ups. She had stockpiles of them! So at the end of the day, before we headed outside to the bus lines, I'd raid her closet and load up my backpack with them for the bus ride home!
Things got real when kids would always ask me for one on the bus but I still wanted them. So I started gathering more at the end of the day and started selling them for 50 cents each. I was hustlin' hard. But it wasn't long until the teacher went to grab some Fruit Roll-ups for the class and noticed some other kid had been emptying the boxes over the past few weeks. Never did we ever get any more candy or chocolate milk, but never did I ever get caught.
#13 Rent Payment
I knew this guy who worked at Linens N Things and he stole a Dyson vacuum. He told me he put it on the bottom part of a shopping cart and wore magnets in his shoes to mess with the sensor. I'm not sure of the accuracy of that claim, but either way, he stole the vacuum. He gave it to a buddy of ours as a rent payment. I'm not sure how he made it out without getting caught on the cameras.
#14 Important Signage
When I was in high school, my boyfriend at the time and I were walking back to my place and saw a sign whose pole had come loose. Well, it was just loose enough for us to pick up and carry home with us, and we did. After a few days my stepdad came over (he and mom had divorced by then but they were still dating on and off) with some clippers and we took the sign off the pole. I think we stashed the pole out by the dumpster.
#15 Up For A Challenge
Back in high school, I was the guy who could "acquire" pretty much anything, which not many people knew thankfully, but those who did would sometimes give me small bills to steal odd objects (all the staplers in the room, etc). On one occasion, I was collecting pencil sharpeners. Not the ones that plug into the walls or the ones that sit around. I stole the ones that were actually attached to the wall. I got a good number before the school put up flyers saying whoever gets caught would be fined or something like that. That was a good year.
#16 The Coolest Item
A friend of mine was tipsy walking home one night, and the quickest way to get home was to cut across this golf course. It was one of those courses with a special flag for the first hole. My friend grabbed it and just walked the rest of the way home with it. It is the coolest item he now owns in my opinion, even if it can't stand up or be brought outside.
#17 An Easy Profit
I worked at a movie store for a year or so. On my last day, I found the code to type into the computer to find all the 3D glasses deposits on customer's accounts that no one had ever come back to claim. Each deposit was $10, there were tons of accounts that hadn't been used in several months. I went into each account and returned the deposits, then pocketed the money from the cash register. No regrets.
#18 All About Ernie
Not me, but my brother. A wet floor sign from a movie theatre. It ended up at my house, We put sunglasses and a sombrero on it and named him Ernie. My best friend now works at that theatre, and apparently they do a count on odd things, and one of her coworkers told her they were missing a wet floor sign. They could never figure out it was my brother who stole it.
#19 Just Like Judo
I was filming a parody western in high school. I went to the store for some cheap toy guns. Freaking plastic Winchesters cost like 25 bucks. No way I was paying for that. I shoved two down my pant legs and pocketed a couple of pistols. I waited for another male to exit the store at the same time I did, so when the alarm triggered I just waddled away without a backward glance and, predictably, all the attention fell on this poor kid. He was stopped and had to show receipts for merchandise and that. It's like judo: using the system's weight against itself.
#20 Ashamed Or Proud?
An old friend of mine and I once walked into an Old Navy in the city and tried on a bunch of clothes. We ended up wearing two bikinis each UNDER our clothes, with a few other random articles of clothing and then proceeding to pay for something small... We walked right out of the store. Looking back, I don't know whether to be ashamed or proud.
#21 Sentimental Value
My friend and I were on a choir trip and after our performance, we were at one of the amusement parks roaming the gift shops and stores freely. My friend successfully stole over $400 worth of cheap keychains, bracelets, earrings, etc., including a $50 ring for myself which was not so cheap. I still wear it to this day; it has sentimental value!
#22 Liquid Courage
My friends and I would steal couches from my university. There was one that was just sitting in the walkway, so we took that and a foosball table. We had the coolest common room ever, then we got in trouble and had to return it. We also stole one from outside the LGBT group office... That one we felt bad about and returned the next day. It's also way easier taking a couch with four tipsy people than returning it sober the next morning.
#23 A Two-Edged Sword
I walked into Walmart with a fake coupon and walked out with an Xbox 360 Kinect. Where I work, we now have signs saying we will not accept those coupons. Companies like CoCa-Cola want to be paid by us for all of the fake coupons we've accepted. As of right now, I would deny anybody using them because my job would be at risk, as we have to put all coupons in our drawer and they have already given out warnings to people... Otherwise, I wouldn't care as it's sort of a dream of mine to see the company burn to the ground.
#24 My First Starter Deck
I remember when I was smaller, the first thing that I've stolen was a Yu-Gi-Oh Deck. Since I was a kid, it wasn't that suspicious if I was hiding in the clothing racks, so that was where I did my deed. I took everything apart, and just put the cards in my pocket, and oh my goodness.. was I scared that I might get caught by the sensors. The moment that I left the building was the best feeling ever.
#25 Modern Day Robin Hood
Books. I would find out what books I thought the library needed that they didn't already have (as an example "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan) and steal them only to donate them to the library. I've never told anyone this, but my secret is safe with the internet. I've never stolen items for any kind of personal gain.
#26 It's Mine Now
A holographic Nine-Tails from a second cousin. His parents owned a hotel and he was a spoiled, rotten little kid. We attended his birthday at the hotel and he harassed all the girls acting as a general brat. There was a jumping castle, petting zoo, all kinds of elaborate stuff. Dinner was catered. He boasted that his parents gave him a $25 allowance a week just to "keep out of trouble." When he was showing his five folders full of Pokemon cards in his bedroom, I took the Nine-Tails. He never noticed because he didn't appreciate anything that he owned.
#27 The Shoe Tactic
Two of my friends used to steal Pokemon cards all the time from a kid that lived down the street. While Friend A would look at the cards with the owner, Friend B would go off to the side and put tape on the bottom of his shoes. Friend A would then "accidentally" spill the cards while Friend B would step on the two most desired cards to pick them up with the tape on his shoes. They would then all pick up the cards and clean them up. The paranoid owner would make sure no one was standing on cards by making them walk around, and empty pockets and whatnot, but he never actually checked the bottoms of their shoes.
#28 Pikachu For Charizard?
My friend and I did something much less elaborate. One would go through somebody's common cards and make some ridiculous offer like a shiny Charizard for a Pikachu and while the kid was occupied trying to secure the deal, the other person in our scam would quickly put some of the rarer cards in their pocket. At the last second, the Pikachu-for-Charizard card deal would fall through and we would run away with our loot.
#29 Medical Klepto
I turn into a kleptomaniac at the doctor's office. If they leave me in the little room too long, I'll pocket anything I can get my hands on (pens, tongue depressors, band-aids, whatever). Once, I stole around ten plastic, sterile speculums. I don't even know why I do it, I just have this urge to take things from the office whenever I can.
#30 My Nosy Sister
My sister thought that the things she brought back were neat, and once she looked in the shelving at a hospital, (I figured it was all single-use disposable stuff anyway) while I had a broken ankle. The nurse was stern with me for poking around because she was worried I'd break something or hurt myself. I was certain at the time though that she figured me out and just didn't want to go through the hassle of punishing me.
#31 Card Dealer
When I was 13 years old, I sold some baseball and basketball cards to a local dealer. In total, I believe I received somewhere in the ballpark of $35 for about 15 to 20 different cards. These were cards which I thought could fetch a lot, but I figured the guy must know what he's talking about when he gave me his offer.
When I came back a few days later, I found a bunch of cards I gave him marked for $25 to $45 apiece. I felt so ripped off I decided I would steal cards from him. I would sit in there and ask to view his latest issue of Becket so I could assess the value of the cards he had in display folders. I simply started by stealing the most expensive ones and working my way down. I believe in all I stole $150 to 250 in baseball cards, but I don't know if that was the true market value of the cards.
Never really stole after that.
#32 A Horrible Poker Face
When I was a kid, I once stole these stupid little plastic clip things. Like little clothespins. Three of them. No real reason for it, I was just determined to steal something. When I successfully got out of the store, I was so freaked out and overcome with guilt that I had to then almost immediately sneak them back into the store. In retrospect, I think the storekeeper likely saw the whole thing and laughed his ass off once I was out of there. I have a horrible poker face, even as an adult.
#33 Grand Theft Auto
I once stole a car. I drove it about 100 kilometers until I was close to home. I locked the car up, hid the keys nearby, then rang the police to tell them I stole a car, where it was and where the keys where. I assured the lady on the phone I would wait at the phone booth, but obviously bailed as soon as I got off the phone. I kind of felt bad for stealing the car, but that'll learn the owner for leaving it unlocked with the keys in the ignition.
#34 Bus Stop Antics
We stole a bus stop. Not all at once, but in bits on various tipsy nights. And not all from the same place either. It started when one of our friends kicked the bus stop sign and it just totally came out of its hole. So we took it home—someone javelined it into the back yard and it stuck upright. Later on, two of the guys were wrestling at a different bus stop and one hit the clear plastic panel and popped it out. So we took it home. It continued like this in bits and pieces until we finally took about 10 people out with the sole intent of getting the roof. We had an entire bus stop set up in our backyard and we used to go out there and sit at the bus stop and drink. When those guys moved out we just left the whole thing there in the backyard. Never heard a word about it from anyone.
#35 "Free" Tent
I stole a tent from a sporting goods store. I didn't walk in intending to steal, I wanted to buy it. The store had an outside area with two parts. A fenced-in area with an eight-foot-tall fence where they had kayaks, and next to that a cage with a roof where they had tents. I saw a tent I wanted. I'm very tall. All of the tents had an info sheet with dimensions, except not this one.
I went back into the store, found an employee and asked them for help. I waited a long time while they went to the office to look for a fact sheet for this tent. Eventually, they returned with a fact sheet for a different tent. When I pointed out the error they went back to the office. So here I was in this cage with a tent. I took the box, walked out of the cage with the tents, passed the automatic sliding doors, and tossed the tent over the fence.
I then walked up to the front, told the guy looking for the fact sheet to "forget it," and left. I even walked back in a minute later so I wouldn't seem suspicious. I got in my car, drove to the side of the store, got the tent, and drove away. To make things more interesting, I didn't just go camping, I lived in that tent for the next year, but that is a different story.
#36 On My Conscience
I once took an extra granola bar in elementary school. The teacher told us to only take one. Of 25 or so kids, my crush at the time noticed and asked me why I took another. I told her I was hungry,, then as she walked away I proceeded to feel incredibly bad. I'm pretty sure I ended up eating it anyway, but I felt terrible and I still feel bad about it today.
#37 In And Out
I bought one of the PS3 memory card adapters at Walmart once. I got to the car, opened the box, and found out it was empty. Someone had stolen it and left the box. I didn't want to waste 20 minutes cursing at a Walmart employee and asking for a manager at Customer Service, so I took my receipt and the empty box, strolled back to electronics, grabbed a new one and walked right out.
#38 My Revenge
My last job, I was the sole IT person and I walked away with a few laptops. It was basically my way of getting back at the company for how poorly I was treated, bad pay, etc. The place is literally hemorrhaging money and their asset management was dirt poor. I walked out the door with a laptop in plain view, never bring it back and no one had any idea.
Most of them I sold on eBay to fund my lack of severance pay when I was laid off. I still have one laptop that was actually going to the trash but I fixed it up and still use it today. I took a few keyboards, memory cards, and WiFi cards as well. Maybe I'm a jerk but that company was just as bad, if not worse than me. They had a camera and projector I wanted but that was just a bit too much... and obvious.
#39 The Overwhelming Guilt
There was once a going-out-of-business sale at a big box retailer in our town when I was seven or eight. I convinced my mom to buy this backpack and I found a really cool Goosebumps pencil somewhere along the way. I just put it in the backpack. The backpack was purchased, and the pencil was scored. All was right in the world. Except for the overwhelming feeling of guilt I had. I also stupidly exclaimed, "Why, look! A Goosebumps pencil in this backpack! Neat!" Mom saw right through me I suppose, but just didn't bother I guess. She certainly knew what I did, and the guilt was pretty horrible.
#40 All For A Red Bull
A few months ago I went into a gas station convenience store to get a Red Bull. Right after pulling it out of the soda fridge, I suddenly decided not to steal it anymore, but I realized I left my wallet in the car. I then went back to the fridge to return the Red Bull so that I could go grab my wallet. When I tried to shove the Red Bull back into the spring-loaded soda rack, the Red Bull exploded, covering my face and shirt with Red Bull. The clerk was busy with some other guy and, due to my embarrassment, I put the almost empty Red Bull can into the trash and left. I'm not sure if that is considered stealing, but somewhere out there is a hilarious security camera video of the events.
#41 Teaching A Lesson
When I was in eighth grade, my school had a book fair. They had a bunch of books for sale. I really wanted to get the 1997 Guinness Book of World Records, but I couldn't afford it so I decided to steal it. I stole the book and got away with it... or at least I thought I did. The next day at school during leadership class, I saw a note on my desk saying: " I know what you did. Books must be very expensive nowadays." Someone had seen me.
I didn't know who it was. I thought I had been sneaky. The following day, during P.E. I got a similar note in my locker. For about two weeks after my thievery, I received several notes saying stuff like: " We're always watching you," or " I can see you from the grave." Long story short, I figured out who it was. It was some kid in my leadership. He had seen me steal the book and decided to teach me a lesson. The only lesson I learned is that Asian people really do move like Ninjas. I could have sworn I was the only one in that room.
#42 A Close Call
A few years back during the Y2K chaos, my friends Samir, Michael and I decided to put a virus in our company's credit system that would essentially take all of the incoming transactions and round the fractions of pennies down instead of up. It would then deposit the remainder in an account that we've created. It kind of backfired after Michael screwed up some mundane decimal detail and the account grew rapidly over a couple of days.We ended up nearly getting caught until this guy Milton burned the office down and saved our butts.
#43 A Heavy Challenge
I stole a 20-lb weighted training vest from Walmart. I had to take it where there were no cameras, open the box, put each 1-lb sandbag in each of the pockets, put it on, put my coat over it, then walk out. Bonus: I also bought cat food and rang out through the self-checkout. The prep for this was like five minutes and it's kind of funny in retrospect.
#44 Never Caught
I've stolen a $400 desktop PC from a well-known high-street retail store that I worked in. I don't how the anomaly of the stock levels came about, but once I spotted it I started plotting my devious plan... the only thing to worry about was actually getting it out of the store. Also, countless "refunds" and exchanges on electrical goods, blank CDs/DVDs, memory sticks... I still find it ridiculous how I was never caught in my time there.
#45 Customer Service Hack
A friend of mine walked into a Walmart, picked up a car stereo system off the rack, carried it to the customer service desk, and said he wanted to return it but had forgotten his receipt. No one asked questions and gave him store credit for a stereo he never actually bought. I'm not sure if that will work nowadays, but it certainly did for him.
#46 Free Discount
I bought new headlights and wiper blades for my car at Auto Zone. I went to check out and the total rang up at $20. I noticed it was wrong and waited for the cashier to say something but he never did. I expected to pay $60 but walked out only paying $20. The real kicker is I had people behind me and the cashier was the store manager. How he managed to miss scanning the headlights is beyond me.
#47 The Thrilling Times
Geforce FX5200 PCI, Sound Blaster Live 5.1, a webcam, a box of gum, and an iPod Shuffle. Computer parts were in the early 2000s. I was 14. The gum was in 6th grade. The iPod Shuffle? I borrowed it from my boss and never gave it back. Everything is going according to plan... My stealing days are long behind me, but man those were the thrilling times.
#48 A Challenge With Rewards
When I was in high school, anything in retail stores was game. I stole tons of A&F cologne. Not the huge ones, those tiny 20 dollar bottles (I eventually had so much stock I just gave them away). I stole shirts and bracelets from H&M and some other stores. The thing is, when I was stealing, I never saw it as a bad thing, more like a challenge with rewards.
#49 The Wrong Side Of The Law
I have friends that are on the criminal side of the law. They are young and reckless. They steal a lot of stuff from retail stores. One time, I was with one of them at an H&M. I walked out with him to find that he had stolen two shirts. I told him not to do that stuff around me because I didn't want to get caught up in it. It's actually surprising how ridiculously easy it is to steal clothes.
#50 Broke College Students
In college, my roommates and I would go to Applebee's for half-price apps after work before returning to our mess of an apartment. We would steal something every night. Utensils, plates, cups... It was mostly because we were broke. Looking back on it now, I realize how dumb we were and how inexpensive it would have been to buy what we needed. Although the steak knives from outback were pretty killer.