Exploring the practices of steal-to-order burglars: a different brand of offender?

  • Nicholas AddisEmail author
  • Andrew Evans
  • Nicolas Malleson
Original Article


This research helps shed light on the largely overlooked practices amongst steal-to-order offenders, with a view to identifying ways in which steal-to-order offences may be disrupted through targeted intervention. Interviews were conducted with a sample of incarcerated burglars who have previously engaged in steal-to-order offences. In addition to highlighting a number of parallels between steal-to-order and non-steal-to-order offences, this paper illustrates the nature of professionalism exhibited by offenders during steal-to-order offences. Moreover, this paper reveals a behavioural continuum amongst offenders engaging in steal-to-order offences: those who steal-to-offer, those who steal-to-order more general items, and those who steal-to-order more specialist goods. The paper also highlights the potential lack of flexibility experienced by steal-to-order offenders, and the implications of this in challenging criminological theory of offender decision making. The paper concludes by discussing how steps at both a residential and organisational level may be taken to effectively disrupt the practices of offenders during steal-to-order offences.


Burglary Steal-to-order Stolen goods Crime prevention Modus operandi 



This research was supported through an ‘Innovations in Quantitative Methods’ Scholarship from the University of Leeds. The authors are grateful to Professor David Best, Dr James Banks, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Thanks are also extended to HM Prison Service for enabling access to the offenders in this study, and, in particular, to the staff and prisoners who gave their valuable time in order to support this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Addis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew Evans
    • 2
  • Nicolas Malleson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Law and CriminologySheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.School of GeographyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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