I recently bought a newspaper that had another newspaper tucked inside that I hadn’t paid for but only found out when I was at home. I decided to keep it rather than go back to the shop. I thought that it wasn’t stealing because I had already taken it without paying, so I couldn’t steal it again. I feel guilty, but what should I have done? Did I steal? Please help because this can happen quite a bit with groceries and such as well.
Stealing requires deliberate intent. What happened to you appears to have been an accident. If it is an accident in which the vendor shares blame and not just the result of forgetfulness or negligence on your part, and the cost is so minor that it would cost you more in time and gas to return to the store, it does not seem to be a problem to keep the merchandise. If you like, you could add the cost of the product to your next donation to a food pantry or other charity for the poor.