How to Deal With a Petty Thief Without Involving the Police. Sometimes the police are not necessary in petty theft cases. A criminal record can hurt a lot of people's lives. When petty crime is involved, there are often other ways to deal with the thief. Your aim is to discourage this behavior, teach a lesson and basically take the law into your own hands.
Be certain the person you are accusing is guilty. Look for evidence such as the stolen item on their person. Another way of being sure is to have trustworthy eyewitness accounts. You do not want to start dealing with someone if they are not to blame.
Get your stolen items back. The first thing you should do is demand your stolen goods back. Give the thief an ultimatum saying that you will not resort to calling the police if your items are given back. If not, your problem isn't petty thievery anymore and deserves police attention.
Obtain the thief's personal information. If you are going to deal with this person in the future, it is important to know how to contact them and who they actually are. Ask to see their identification and copy it down. In addition, demand their phone number.
Make the thief fix whatever property was damaged in the crime. Make them pay for anything out-of-pocket. This will ideally show them the consequences of their action and hopefully be difficult for them, so they will learn a lesson.
Have the thief do manual labor for you such as mowing the lawn or pulling weeds. This will show them the degrading and tough life that awaits them if they choose to keep stealing.