Did this count as theft (or am I just being over-anxious as usual)


#1

This morning I bought a newspaper at the store, then left it at home while I went into town. Getting back home at lunchtime, my family told me that the wrong magazine had been inserted in the newspaper. It was the magazine for an alternative newspaper - the one for the newspaper I bought was missing and so I’m assuming somebody else has it.

I thought of taking the magazine back to the store I got it from, but my family had already thrown it in the refuse. So I’m thinking there’s not much I can do about it, the only thing I can do is tell someone at the store tomorrow - when I go for tomorrow’s news - what happened.

As it looks like somebody has just got the magazines mixed up, I’m assuming that nobody has “lost out”. Someone else has just got the one I should have, and they’ve got the one I should have. So I’m guessing it isn’t theft as it was accidental on my part and that I’m just being neurotic/scrupulous. But thought it best to run it by somebody independent!


#2

Please get help for your scrupulosity.


#3

Scrupulosity, my friend. I’ve been there and it takes one to know one. There is no sin involved whatsoever. Mistakes happen in an imperfect world. Please be at peace and let God bless you with His love and be thankful He loves all of us with an infinite love. :heaven:


#4

This would legally not be classed as theft.

From wikipedia

Most criminal law systems in developed states exclude mistake of law as a defense, because allowing defendants to invoke their own ignorance of the law would breach the public policy represented by the Latin maxim: ignorantia legis neminem excusat. But someone operating under a mistake of fact will not generally be liable, because, although the defendant has committed the actus reus of the offense, the defendant may honestly believe in a set of facts that would prevent him or her from forming the requisite mens rea required to constitute the crime.

For example: A defendant goes into a supermarket and places eight items in a basket which is presented to the cashier for payment in the usual way. Both honestly believe that all eight items have been scanned, and the defendant pays the sum shown on the bill. A store detective, however, notices that a mistake was made by the cashier so that only seven items were actually priced. This detective arrests the defendant after leaving the store. Since the defendant honestly believes that he has become the owner of goods in a sale transaction, he cannot form the mens rea for theft (which is usually dishonesty) when he physically removes them from the store. Accordingly, he has not committed a crime.


#5

Be at peace. It wasn’t theft.


#6

It would probably be best not to feed the scruples with minute legal interpretations. Common sense and trust in God is the best weapon against them. Again, be at peace, OP; you had no intention of offending God. All shall be well.


#7

No, this was not theft at all.


#8

Theft would be taking something that is not yours with full knowledge and intent unless it is an action that is forced upon one by violence or threat.


#9

That’s pretty much it. Understanding in detail what a particular action consists of is a good way of reassuring yourself that you are not committing that action.


#10

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