Stealing

  1. An object stolen from a minor must be returned.
  2. A minor who steals must return what he has stolen if it
    still exists. If it does not, some say he is obligated to compensate the owner
    even after he comes of age; some say he is exempt.
  3. It is fitting for the court to give stripes to a minor
    (according to his physical condition) who steals, so that he will not become
    accustomed to steal. Similarly, a father should punish a child who steals. He
    should consult with a qualified educator to assure that his punishment will be
    effective and not incite him to rebellion.
  4. A person who has stolen from the public and does not know
    to whom to return what he has stolen should make a contribution to the public
    welfare. For then the people from whom he stole will also benefit, and G-d
    will make sure that all those from whom he stole will benefit according to the
    measure of their loss, and will forgive him. When a person makes an effort to
    purify himself, G-d helps him. Nevertheless, the court cannot force a person
    to make a contribution to the public welfare, because it is not a complete act
    of returning stolen property. Nevertheless, if a person who has stolen asks
    how to do teshuvah, he should be told to make a contribution to the public
    welfare.
  5. When a person who stole makes a contribution to the public
    welfare, he should not do it in a manner that wins him honor and respect, such
    as distributing charity in a public way.
  6. A person who steals something is called a tzaddik from the
    moment he decides to return it.
  7. Even if a person has returned what he has stolen, his sin is not forgiven
    until he appeases the person he stole from and asks forgiveness. And, he also
    has to ask G-d to forgive him—he has to do teshuvah for stealing, for whenever a
    person sins against his fellow man, he also sins against G-d.