Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friends been stealing

Hi, basically ive been with my friend into town and she keeps on stealing little things from shops like keyrings or bookmarks or rings and i just dont understand why, she doesn't need any of these things and doesn't use them. so i dont understand why she bothers to steal them?
Ask Sam



Thank you for writing to me about this. It sounds like knowing that your friend is stealing things has put you in a difficult position.

It can be hard to understand why people do certain things. People can sometimes have many reasons for the way they behave, but it doesn’t make it okay to break the law. It might be that your friend isn’t even sure herself why she’s doing this. Perhaps she feel bored, unhappy or angry about something, but isn’t sure how to express those feelings.

Even though your friend is only stealing small things, it’s still breaking the law, so there’s a possibility she could end up with a criminal record. There’s also a risk that being involved in fairly small crimes now might mean she gets tempted into doing more and more serious things over time. You might want to have a look at the Crime page in Explore, or at the Law Stuff website.

Have you tried asking your friend directly about this? It sounds like you are a really good friend and are worried for her, but it’s important to remember that everyone has to make their own choices and be responsible for these. It can be hard to change someone when they are not ready so it’s okay to think about yourself and do what is best for you too.

Are you with your friend when she is stealing? While it is not your fault, I’m concerned that if she does get caught and you and she are together you may be in a difficult position. It might be a good idea to think about talking to your parents or carers about this so they know what is going on for you and what your worries are about your friend.

Please feel free to come and talk about this some more by calling a counsellor on 0800 1111 or by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter