The Psychology of Package Thieves

It’s no surprise that de-humanizing thieves is easy, they de-humanized us first. But when Mark Rober let us get inside of some package thieves houses and cars…I felt a little like they weren’t what I expected…even if I didn’t know exactly what I expected.

That left me at a loss…so I decided to talk to a few people…some who had engaged in package theft and one psychologist, Dr. Robert Tyminski, who wrote “The Psychology of Theft and Loss.” I’ve come away from that feeling like I understand this phenomenon a lot better, though I still feel like it’s way more complicated than I really get. And as I say in the video, understanding this behavior does not excuse it, and this behavior still makes me really frustrated and mad.

Mark Rober’s Video:

Dr. Tyminsky’s book:

Andrew Huang’s new album:

The full conversation between me and Dr. Tyminski:

And here’s what was up with two of the situations being staged (From Mark Rober)
“I put a feeler out for people willing to put a package on their porch and this person (who is a friend of a friend) volunteered to help. To compensate them for their time and willingness to risk putting a package on their porch I offered financial compensation for any successful recoveries of the package. It appears (and I’ve since confirmed) in these two cases, the ‘thieves’ were actually acquaintances of the person helping me.”

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