Was this theft?

Ordered at a fast food drive thru. Paid exactly what I owed ($10.50), waited a few minutes for the food. When the guy gave me the food he also returned $9.50 in change. I wasn’t thinking and simply took the change. Somehow it dawned on me s few minutes later that the cashier messed up, but I chose not to drive back and return the money. Theft on my part or just tough luck for the dumb employee?

It is wrong if you keep the money.

The employee made an honest mistake, you should be honest and return it.

Agreed. And it’s not too late…

According to the theology I have heard about this, it is too small to be a mortal sin, but it could be a venial sin. So it wouldn’t really be theft, which sounds like something very serious
If someone doesn’t charge enough, I try to give them money right away if I realize this then (though some people won’t take it), and if I realized later that they were owed more money, I would go back and pay for what I owed.
In any case, why worry about it at all, when you can just go and pay the money?
It’s good you are concerned in such a matter. Many people are rather shady when it comes to money. Many people for example will borrow money and then won’t pay it back.

I would maybe consider putting the money in the charity change donations box often found in front of the cash registers at fast food joints. Their mistake so perhaps it should go to a worthy cause they obviously support.


Good advice already given here. Return the money.

Will return it tonight. Maybe will get a free burger for honesty.

Used to be that the employee had to make up out of his own pocket any money he was short at the end of his shift. If the money isn’t returned, he may be responsible for coughing it up. To me, that’s the bottom line.

I went to a coffee shop, Starbucks.which I no longer patronize due to their politics…etc. etc…but anyway…the girl behind the counter never made eye contact with me…had conversation going with a co-worker,never in as much acknowledged me…I gave her a five dollar bill for cup of coffee…prbly 4 dollars and somethng (which I no longer do),she gave me change back for a 20 dollar bill…I kept the money and put it in the basket at church…prbly not the truly Christian attitude because I envisioned her having to make up for the loss…but also I was thinking that it might teach her a lesson…soooo…give the money back if possible…or,the poor box at church…PAX

And what lesson is that? It’s OK to steal fifteen dollars from inconsiderate people?

You knew what you were doing, you envision her having to make it up out of her own pocket, and you take it anyway because “I’ll show her, ignoring me”? And throwing it into the collection plate makes it okay??

Go tell your parish priest what you did and see if he thinks it’s no biggie either.

Don’t like the service? Complain to the management. Don’t steal from the workers. Even if you think they somehow “deserve” it.

Sorry if this is coming across as harsh, but…otherwise, words are failing me.

Not right.

Not right.

Why did you have to call the employee “dumb”? You made the same mistake.

Forget the burger. The sure reward for honesty is an untroubled conscience.

There is no reward deserved for righting a wrong that you have done.

A cashier has 1 job-- to collect and return correct change. Yes he was dumb because he can’t add or subtract correctly!

Not dumb. He was confused. He thought that you gave him a $20 bill and gave you correct change for a $20. We don’t know why, but that’s obviously what happened. Perhaps he was distracted. At fast-food joints, the cashier probably has other duties in between transactions. You mentioned that a few minutes elapsed between your payment and his giving change. Perhaps another customer paid with a $20.

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