If Someone Refuses To Return Your Property Is It Theft?

Dealing with dishonest people can be very frustrating especially if you have given them something and they simply won’t return it. Below we look at whether such scenarios can be classified as theft and what you can do to get back your things.

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If Someone Refuses To Return Your Property Is It Theft

Theft is when someone takes something or property that belongs to you with the intention of never giving it back to you. If you willingly give your property to someone and they never return it back, that cannot be classified as theft since you had willingly given the person your property. However, if the person had acquired your property fraudulently by making promises, they never intended to honor from the onset, then that can qualify as theft. So before labelling your case as theft, or throwing allegations, you need to start by thinking of whether you gave the individual your property willingly or whether they tricked you into giving them your property.

How To Get Someone To Return Your Property

If you gave your property to someone and they simply won’t give it back, there are a few things you can do to get them to change their mind. Below we highlight some of those things that you can do.

Talk To The Person

The first thing you need to do when you want someone to return your property is to talk to them. Make sure you explain to them the original terms of the agreement and how you specified that they were supposed to return the property. Talking politely with the person can help them change their mind.

Send Written Demand

If talking to the person does not yield any positive results you can then write a letter demanding your property back from the person. If you do not know the write words to use, you can always hire a lawyer to help you draft the letter. A written demand usually includes a threat of a lawsuit.  If you hire a lawyer, they will find someone who will deliver the letter to the person owing you. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter just in case the alleged offender refuses to oblige with the demands.

File For A Civil Lawsuit Of Repossession

If the offender has failed to comply with your demands, you can always file a civil lawsuit of repossession. This is a plea to the court so that they may declare you as the rightful owner of the property forcing the person to give you back your property.

How To Avoid Having Your Property Withheld By Someone

If you often find yourself in situations where you give people things and they never return, maybe you should start doing written agreements with them instead of verbal ones. This is because written agreements are more binding and you can easily take the written agreement to court. Make sure the person signs the agreement and has a copy of the terms.

How To Prevent People From Stealing Your Property?

Install Cameras

One of the best ways to prevent people from stealing your property is to install cameras on your house. This way, anyone who tries to take something from your house will get caught on camera. Make sure you install the cameras inside and outside the house so that you can have a clear view of what is happening on your house.

Install Locks

Another great way of preventing people from stealing your property is to install locks on all the doors of your house. This will help to ensure that thieves find it difficult to enter your house.

Hide Valuables

If you have valuables within your house make sure you put them in a safe place. Avoid leaving valuables lying around your house as they can attract thieves. Valuables like phones, cash or laptops can be placed in a safe if you have one.

What Would You Do If Someone Stole Your Belongings?

If someone steals your belongings, the best thing that you should do is to report the case to the police station. They will investigate the crime scene and ask you a series of questions. They will also give you a case number which you can then use to track the progress of the investigation.

Is Borrowing Something And Not Returning It Stealing?

Borrowing something and not returning it is not classified as stealing especially if the owner had willingly given you the item. However, after being confronted about the issue you need to return the items back or else you can end up being summoned to court for a crime you did not intend on committing.

What Can You Do If Someone Won’t Give You Your Stuff Back?

If someone won’t give you your stuff back, the best thing that you can do is to try and talk to them. If this does not work you can write a letter to them demanding that they should give you’re your stuff back. You can ask a lawyer to help you draft the letter. If they do not comply with the demands of your letter you can then file a civil lawsuit. If you win the case, the person will be asked to return your stuff within a specified amount of days.

Can The Police Help Me Get My Belongings Back From My Ex?

Depending on the situation, the police may or may not help you get your belongings from your ex. If your ex was abusing you and the issue was taken to court and you won, the police may help you get your belongings from your ex. This is mainly because, they will be protecting you just in case he tries to inflict violence on you. However, if the relationship had ended on good terms and no lawsuit was filed, the police cannot help you get your belongings from an ex.


Theft comes in different forms however, if you give someone something willingly and they do not return it that can never be classified as theft. Therefore, you may have to find alternatives of getting your property back.