Why do people steal money

The magazine - No. 32

Why did you steal other people?

Often out of financial difficulties. I was in the home and there the educators cut my pocket money. I also lived on the streets for a while. Then there was no more money and I had to get something. Or I needed individual parts for my scooter. But sometimes also for fun.

Why were you caught?

No idea. Probably 31s **.

What sentence were you then sentenced to?

To two years and ten months. Halfway through that time, I was released on parole.

Is that a just punishment?

In retrospect, I think hard enough. I learned from it that that would not have happened without a penalty. However, it's unfair: there are rapists who get lower sentences than me.

And how do you explain the severity of the punishment?

The judge was strict. But it also came about because I didn't steal the things all at once, but gradually. I committed the first crime when I was 14 and then it continued like this.

Did you have to overcome your thefts? After all, you took something straight away from people.

The first time already. But the second, third time and after that there was adrenaline that spurred me on.

Have you ever been robbed yourself?

No, I wouldn't let that happen either.

So did your victims let it happen?

Not that one. But if someone tried to steal something from me, it would have consequences. It's always bad when you steal something.

Didn't you feel sorry for the people you stole from? The older woman from whom you stole the handbag might then be in dire straits of money herself.

Actually not at all. My ulterior motive was that I need money.

Do you own a lot now?

A television, a scooter, a car, a motorcycle - that is valuable.

Is it important for you to own a lot?

Yes, if I want something, I'll get it. Having a cell phone is important to me. Many things that people own, however, are worthless, a Playstation for example.

Does property play an important role for you in order to be happy?

Relative. You are happy when you have good things. But that's the way it is in society: if someone drives a Maserati, all Opel drivers suck. They then want to take part in the competition and also a Maserati.

Is theft justified if - as with Robin Hood - it is used to give money from the rich to the poor?

In theory not, because some rich people have worked for their money after all. But it would be justified, for example, with the children of stars who grow up rich and have done nothing for their wealth.

Shouldn't property then be abolished in an ideal society and everything belong to everyone?

No. Then you couldn't be proud of anything anymore.

* Name changed by the editor

** 31er: Note by the Red: This is how Ā»traitorsĀ« are called in prison jargon, ie people who incriminate others with their testimony. The name refers to a paragraph from the Narcotics Act.