Fear Of Stealing

The fear of stealing is known as Cleptophobia. When someone fears theft, they may become agitated or upset around triggers.

Reasons For This Fear

The fear of stealing may be triggered by some prior bad experience. When someone has been the victim of stealing, they will have bad memories that surface around anything that reminds them of the event. This can manifest itself as Post-traumatic stress disorder, or it may simply cause physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc. People with Cleptophobia may have been robbed, mugged on the street, or otherwise abused by criminal acts.

Theft Is A Violation

Being stolen from can be a violation. Beloved items may be taken, money may be lost, and insurance may not cover all the damages suffered by the person with Cleptophobia. People with this syndrome report feelings of being unsafe or vulnerable. They may worry about the threat of violence that often accompanies robbery or other crimes. Sometimes, a weapon is brandished during a robbery, and this can be extremely frightening for victims. Not knowing what will happen during a mugging or home robbery can be terrifying.

Robberies Can Be Violent

Store robberies, such as those that take place at convenience stores, often end badly. Criminals panic, or they rob under the influence of dangerous drugs, such as PCP or meth, that make their reactions far more unpredictable and aggressive. Often, television and news programs will focus on the violent acts of robbers, and shows like Crimestoppers, which seek to punish the guilty, may become potent triggers for people who fear stealing.

Those who place a high value on their material possessions may be more prone to worrying about theft. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself against these sorts of crimes. For instance, home security systems, self-defense courses, and insurance can be excellent methods of soothing anxiety. However, nothing is foolproof. There will always be the risk of theft and there is only so much a person can do. In extreme cases, the person with Cleptophobia may become paranoid about robbery, and create a home or business that is like a fortress (fully protected) in order to feel safe.

Other Triggers

Living in certain areas can exacerbate this phobia. High-crime areas, such as low-income urban regions, can be dangerous places – in daylight, or at night. People who must live around gangs and organized crime may simply be reacting to the realities of their situation. However, the fear of stealing can affect daily life when it goes untreated. People with this affliction may feel it is unsafe to go outside or to live their life they way they want to. They may avoid public transportation, such as subways, where crimes are known to occur. At its worst, this phobia can create a personality that becomes a veritable shut-in. Sometimes, people who are more vulnerable, such as the elderly, can become very frightened of being robbed. Unfortunately, some criminals do prey on the weaker members of society. Home invasions and act heinous acts have affected the elderly population in the past.


Seeking panic treatment or psychotherapy can be one option for managing symptoms. Getting at the root of fears is the best way to begin making progress. Proper security precautions will also add to a person’s feeling of being safe and in control.

The fear of stealing is also referred to as:

  • stealing phobia
  • stealing fear
  • afraid of stealing
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