We are always in the presence of unnecessary objects. The stolen object is symbolically invested with meaning.

The theft of objects not related to a need is a vice (which can become an illness). The person with the vice cites a personal dissatisfaction as justification for their actions, like a 20-year-old bourgeois girl who seeks a thrill in petty theft, which leads her to instant gratification for having obtained what she wanted, and which she may never use. Theft can also compensate for traumatic events. When it becomes a habit, one may even no longer distinguish the difference between the risk of stealing and the gratification one gets.