kleptomania klep·to·ma·ni·a (klěp'tə-mā'nē-ə, -mān'yə)
An obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need, usually arising from an unconscious symbolic value associated with the stolen item.
A compulsion to steal, usually without either economic need or personal desire.
recurrent compulsion to steal without regard to the value or use of the objects stolen. Although widely known and sometimes used as an attempted legal defense by arrested thieves, genuine kleptomania is a fairly rare mental disorder. A kleptomaniac may hide, give away, or secretly return the stolen items, but he seldom uses them or attempts to profit by their resale. The kleptomaniac usually has the economic means to purchase what he steals and obtains gratification from the theft itself rather than from its object.
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