We’re taught wrong from right at a very young age. But the world isn’t always black and white. And while we have laws in place for good reason, those too can sometimes be unfair or unjustified.
Every now and then, it may be right to do the wrong thing. Just take it from these people who recently shared stories about the one illegal thing they did for the right reason.
53. Everyone Deserves A Little Candy
52. You’d Have To Be Pretty Hungry
When I worked at a pet store, I let a homeless man take dog food and dog treats for free because I didn’t want his dog to starve. When I left my shift that day, I saw him eating the dog food along with his dog in the parking lot. Seeing that nearly made me break out in tears…
51. Bluffin’ With Your Muffin
50. Playing Santa Claus
49. A Fortunate Kidnapping
I technically kidnapped three kids, 5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old. They were my best friend’s sister’s kids.
We were supposed to be picking them up for a weekend at their grandma’s, but when we got to their place there was no answer at the door or phone. We walked around looking in the windows. Finally, we spot the 2-year-old lying on the kitchen floor.
We ended up kicking in the back door (so it’s a B&E too, I guess) and gathering up the filthy and hungry children and taking them. Three days later, mom calls from jail. She didn’t ask about the kids, she just needed someone to come take responsibility for her to get her out of jail. After that and many other worse incidents, it still took 3.5 years to take custody of those kids away from her.
48. Pet The Good Boy
47. Fraud For A Good Cause
46. Family First
45. Friendly Lunch Lady
I did an illegal thing and the lunch lady used to help.
I was in Seminole Middle way back when in Florida and we were really poor. Like, really poor. I used to steal lunch wraps and salad from the health bar during lunch in the cafeteria. The lunch lady knew. There was lunch A-C, all hosted at different times of the day.
She wouldn’t charge me until the third lunch, and even then it was next to nothing. I would have a backpack full of wraps and salads that I’d take home and share between my brothers.
To this day, I have spent every Sunday talking to her for at least two hours. She is old now and nobody really visits her. I tend to go see her from time to time when the opportunity arises. I bring her Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinners. Sometimes I cook breakfast for her and I maintain her garden. I take her for walks (she’s in a wheelchair). I love her. When she passes away, I’ll have lost a mother and a friend.
44. Nuggets Of Food
When I worked at Golden Chick, I would stuff boxes/bags full of chicken when it was almost time to throw it out. People’s two-piece meal turned into an 8 piece family meal and then some.
I hated throwing food in the trash. Plus customers were usually appreciative when they noticed.
43. Flag Fiasco
My friend and I were Boy Scouts. After a night out at the local bar, we noticed that the American Flag on the cell phone tower was all torn up from a recent storm. It was in tatters and, us being the civic-minded chaps that we were, we decided that the flag was in no shape to be up there. So we jumped the fence and pulled the way-bigger-than-we-expected flag down. Then we properly retired it later that week.
42. Keeping It On The Side
I rode my bicycle on the sidewalk. In most major cities in Montana, it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk in a business zone unless you are a bike cop. On weekends, the downtown areas get so overrun with tourists and visitors from the surrounding rural areas that riding on the road is a death trap, even with a helmet. A couple of weeks ago, a pedestrian yelled at me for cruising slowly past him on the sidewalk (I rang my bell). The way I see it, I would much rather endure a walker’s wrath than a distracted motorist.
41. Coupons For Cats
I worked as a manager at a big box pet supply store with in-house cat adoptions. Kittens were always adopted within a week, but occasionally we’d have older cats (8 years+) who would stay with us for months. All cat adoptions come with a coupon book for supplies.
Any time a family adopted a senior cat, I manually entered a tremendous amount of “coupons” into the register.
40. The Dognapping
I stole a dog. I went to a friend’s house one night and we were hanging out in his front yard. A super friendly dog came up to us. I asked my friend if he knew the dog and he told me the story. It belonged to his neighbors, who were kind of scaring everyone else in the neighborhood. They would abuse the dog in the streets, it clearly wasn’t fed enough, and my friend said when the neighbors would try to get him to come to them he would run away every time. I took him home; within a week you couldn’t see his ribs anymore and he was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had. 10/10 would dognap again.
39. Digging For Data
I used my company’s client personal customer data to tell the police where a vehicle was, resulting in a little girl that had been abducted being rescued.
I didn’t think twice, and I fessed up when I got back to work. Everyone told me I did the right thing but not to talk about it.
38. Getting Thrifty
I used to work at a thrift store. Not a small non-profit one, but that big multi-store for-profit one. Anyways, we would get homeless people in the store all the time, and many of them would be missing shoes or jackets, etc. So whenever they asked if they could have some items for free, I just let them walk out the store with them. Besides, that place is so susceptible to shoplifting, the items might as well go to the people who ask.
37. Uber Emergency
I ran a red light at 3 a.m. taking an Uber passenger to the hospital.
36. Holy Cow
I drove without a license. My cow was stuck in a mud pit and needed water while waiting for a rescue, but there was no running water at the barn. So I had to drive my dad’s pickup home, about 10-15 minutes away, to fill up gallon jugs and buckets for her. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it.
35. Fighting Over Fire
When I was in the volunteer fire department, I was trying to access the front door of a structure fire to put a knock on it with the hose line. A deputy from the sheriff’s office was standing on the front stoop blocking the door, telling us it was too dangerous to go in.
So I pushed him off the stoop and went in to put the fire out. We saved two-thirds of the house that day. I got called out to see the sheriff and County Fire Chief arguing about arresting me for assaulting a deputy, but the CFC and my chief were reminding the sheriff that it was a fire scene, not a law enforcement scene. And if I was arrested, everyone would walk out of their stations and let the Sheriff’s department handle all fire and EMS for the county, since they know more about it.
34. Stealing To See
In middle school, I volunteered in the school library. We partnered with the Lions Club and held a drive for old eyeglasses to donate. I had got glasses in 2nd grade, but my parents used their money on substances instead of taking care of us kids, so I hadn’t gotten another pair. The prescription was no longer right and they didn’t fit my face. I couldn’t see.
So I went through the box of donated glasses, found a pair that helped me see, and I stole them. I’d do it again.
33. Dog Rescue
My buddies neighbor had a German Shepherd chained up in the backyard. We would see the owner go out, throw a bunch of food on the ground, and make sure the dish still had rainwater in it. He would then abuse the dog for crawling up to him and rolling over. The dog was begging for his owner’s attention.
One day I had a few beverages and thought, “I am stealing that dog”. So I did. A few months later, I was back at my buddy’s house and had my dog with me (named him Carlos after his owner). The guy came out and said I stole his dog. I said if he did anything I would beat him like he used to beat the dog. The coward went back to his house and we never heard from him again.
Every time after that, when Carlos would see his former owner his hair would stand up and he’d start growling. I’ve never been a bully or threatened to hurt anyone but this guy, and he deserved it.
32. Going On Record
The only album I ever pirated was Everything Goes Numb by Streetlight Manifesto because they specifically told people to pirate it since their record label is a huge jerk. Great album and band.
31. All Charged Up
I worked at Sears Auto over college summer vacations. A lady came in once with a dead battery. She was visibly distressed. She said that she had to bounce her rent check to get the battery. No battery, no car, no work. She asked what the cheapest battery was.
I sold her the $50 cheapo, but pulled the $300, super-cranker, with reserve power cell, out of stock.
30. Treating The Dog
When I worked at a pet store, I let a homeless man take dog food and dog treats for free because I didn’t want his dog to starve. When I left my shift that day, I saw him eating the dog food alongside his dog in the parking lot. Seeing that nearly made me break out in tears…
29. Quality Care
When my low-income patients go home, I fill a bag of supplies for them to take home from the hospital, especially if they are going to need expensive bandage stuff.
28. A Seedy Situation
When I was five, I stole one of those small paper packets of tomato seeds while we were out buying groceries. My mom’s birthday was the next day, and I felt like I should get her something — tomato seeds. I made it out the store and halfway home without getting caught.
My mom found out when she realized I was walking funny. I was hiding the seeds under my armpit inside my jacket. I now realize that simply putting them in my pockets would have been much easier and I probably wouldn’t have been caught.
Mom made me bring them back and apologize to the cashier. She didn’t get a present from me that year.
27. Bank Invasion
I don’t know if this is illegal, but I went to the bank thinking that they were still open since the doors were all unlocked. All the lights were off and no one was there. So I called the cops. The cop told me to walk inside to see if someone was there. Nope. But someone left a pair of bank keys on a desk. So, with police consent, I trespassed. An hour later, after I had left and gone to buy lunch, I saw four cop cars stationed outside the bank. I’m hoping that no one got fired for the wrong reason.
26. Conversations Are Hard
I jaywalked so I didn’t have to interact with a human being
25. Donut Drink
I worked at Dunkin Donuts in high school. I was supposed to throw out the donuts and bagels at the end of the night. On the weekends, a bus driver at the local college would come in at closing and I would give him everything so he could feed the starving college kids on his bus that he was driving from the bars back to their dorms. He said it made them quieter, less likely to damage the bus, and a lot less likely to be sick.
24. Gifted Fruit
I stole a bag of apples from the farmers market because I saw some kittens that looked hungry. I was four and thought kittens would like to eat apples. Also, I got caught and my mom paid for the apples.
23. The Green Goat
When I was 6 years old, I stole a goat from our neighbors. We lived about half a mile from each other (out in the country) and I figured they might come to see if he was at our house.
So I took this hair spray dye that is used for Saint Patrick’s and sprayed this goat until he was mostly covered.
Now you may be saying that it wasn’t a smart idea, but I’d figured if the goat was green, it could be camouflaged in the grass and it wouldn’t match the neighbor’s goat’s description. It was the perfect crime.
Well, my parents got home and saw the green goat tied up and they figured it out. I had to wash the goat and give it back to my neighbor. Instead, I just snuck the goat back over and didn’t wash him.
22. Racing To The End
My mom was in a hospice due to cancer. My sisters, brother, and I were there with her. I decided to head home early in the morning around 6 am. One of my sisters and I live in the same town 75 miles away, and I was going to shower at home, change, and get a fresh bag of clothes for my sister.
I was 5 miles from my town, heading back on the freeway, when I got a call from my sister telling me mom was close to going and to hurry. The freeway is pretty much empty as it is most of the time. I averaged about 140 mph. Never dropped below 100. The freeway has a lot of turns in it. It was not the slowest car I ever owned, but nowhere near the fastest either. My hazards were on.
I know it was a crazy thing to do but I was not thinking quite straight. Wish this story had a better end and I could say that I made it in time to say goodbye, but I didn’t. In the end, I was about 5 minutes late. I said goodbye before I left, but I wanted to be there. I’ve driven much faster in my other cars but not that sort of speed for that long.
21. Price Is Right
When I was 11 or 12, I would switch the price tags on certain food items at the store down the street to make sure we didn’t spend too much money on food for my mom and sister. My mom was usually messed up on illegal substances, so I tried to stretch whatever money we had to make sure we could keep the lights on and have something in the fridge. Looking back on it now, that’s something no kid should have to deal with, but my sister and I turned out fine considering our childhood.
20. Pricey Pregnancy Tests
I used to steal pregnancy tests from drug stores for girls who couldn’t afford them. By the way, this was before they put those anti-theft tags on all the big ticket items. This was not because I was popular with the ladies. When I was young, I was kind of known as a master shoplifter. Perfect record, never got caught. My specialty was the 40 oz (difficult, not impossible).
19. Save The Turtles
Stopped my car in the middle of the road to move a tortoise walking across it. It is illegal to move or pick them up, but I have seen too many squashed tortoises in my days to not break the law in this instance.
18. Surprise Valentine
I used to work at Godiva. A couple of years ago it snowed pretty bad on Feb 13th and the mall closed. I had been in the store since 2 am making chocolate covered strawberries. Around 8:30, when we were told the mall was closed, I had around 2,000 strawberries ready to be sold. I was told to throw them out. I couldn’t do it, so I took them with me. As I saw other mall employees leaving, I would give them a box. Got a lot of hugs that day.
17. Wheelie For The Children
So I was at a stoplight on my motorcycle the other day and there were two kids waiting at the crosswalk. One screamed, “Do a wheelie!” at me. I figure there are no cars around us, the road looks okay, and I’m reasonably good at them, so why not?
As the light changes, I roll on the throttle harder than usual in first and the front popped up. Nowhere near the balance point, but high enough to be impressive to a couple of kids that are probably between 10-13. I only rode it out for a few seconds, but when I looked back I could see them cheering. I had made their day.
Remember guys and gals, wheelie for the children.
16. Half-Price Healthcare
I was working independently, and one of my children needed special care, which was very expensive. The COBRA from my job had just ended and as a result, my healthcare premiums went up to over $1,200 a month, which was killing us. I found someone who offered to help (for a modest fee) by getting me into a union, which sounded a little “gray”. But considering my situation, I couldn’t find anything reasonable on my own.
I took them up on the offer. It worked. I got no benefits or anything else from the union, but I was able to buy insurance through the union at about half the price, which made a real difference to my child, who needed expensive treatment, and my family. I don’t regret it for a moment, and this person did what the government was unwilling to do at the time (it was many years ago).
Whenever I hear a Republican talking about doing away with the ACA, I want to kick them in the groin.
15. Taking Stock
Stole a backpack full of stuff from where I work. I have to do a stock take from 4 pm until midnight, without notice? And you won’t pay me? And when I point out that’s illegal you say do it or you’ll fire me? Fine. Your stock take might be a bit lower than you thought it would be.
My friend and I both did this. Stole about 35 packs of big items plus aftershave, socks, sweets, and some pork for dinner. A friend stole a similar amount. Jerks should have paid us.
14. A Forged Vacation
Years ago, my girlfriend lost her birth certificate the day before we were supposed to leave for vacation. Made a fake one on MS Paint that made it through customs.
13. Teacher’s Present
Reported a kid present when he wasn’t, for two weeks.
I was teaching in a rural village, and I knew that kid was out in the woods with his dad getting deer meat for the winter. The family needed the protein way more than the truant officer needed to know.
12. Rescue In The Rain
I was getting home from work recently in the middle of a torrential downpour. When I pulled in, I noticed a car with its windows down. I walked over to it, unlocked the car by squeezing my arm through the open window and rolled the window back up. Thankfully it was an older car, so the car alarm didn’t go off.
11. Stolen Goods
My roommate had his bike stolen. It was very unique, had some cool decals on it. Well, he found it chained to a bike rack on campus. We went out at 2 am with lock cutters and took turns cutting while the other person watched for campus police. We stole his bike back and got out of there. I felt so alive, doing vigilante stuff like that.
10. Turning To Help
I once turned around on the highway in one of those areas cops hang out with the sign that says “no u-turns” so I could go back and help a stranded motorist.
9. Scanning By
Worked on checkout in a supermarket in a lower income/unemployed type area when I was around 16. When people or families came in who looked like they were struggling, I would “accidentally” not scan all their items. The company I was working for was a large multi-million dollar chain so they weren’t losing out as far as I was concerned, and I hoped that the money the customers saved might help them out and make life a little easier.
8. Pushing The Limit
I work at the bank. Once, I had a customer come in, crying that she was late on her credit card payment and needed that remaining $50 on her limit to buy food for her and her children. After calling our backstop to waive the late fee to free up some type of limit, I was informed that they wouldn’t be able to do a courtesy fee. So instead I paid her credit card payment plus gave her some extra cash to help her out.
I hope she’s doing well. Haven’t seen her since. Under the FAAC rule I could have lost my job as well as the job of the teller who helped me process the transaction.
Would totally do it again though.
7. Mutual Destruction
I cut down a number of signs for a company that is trying to destroy some of the most important wetlands in my area. The signs were posted at various points in the marsh saying “this is private land owned by…” blah blah blah. It didn’t help much, but it made the local paper and gained a little more attention for the wetlands (a petition is circulating). Unfortunately, as it stands now, they are still doomed.
6. Generous With Groceries
When I was 11, I used to be friends with a kid who had really bad parents. He was always hungry because his parents never bought food and spent all their money on substances. Being 11, with no money, I used to steal food from the supermarket on the way to his house whenever I went over there. I’m glad I did it because it meant he got to eat a meal for the day and I’m lucky I was never caught.
5. Computer Repair
A friend had a job that lasted three months at the local Best Buy Geek Squad. The policies made him feel sick. He was told to deny any warranty work he could, and try to sell the customer on unnecessary repairs or a new (more expensive) device.
He made sure that every repair was covered by the warranty. By “made sure”, I mean that he’d break something on your laptop or tablet to make sure that your repairs were covered by warranty. These services were not appreciated by the Best Buy he worked at. They threatened legal action and fired him.
4. Sharing The Staff Discount
It was December, a good few years ago, and I was working in retail. You could spot them a mile off, the grannies and granddads that had saved up their measly pension all year just to buy the grand-kids those fancy sneakers or jeans. They would come to the till knowing they had just exactly enough to cover the cost. The look of surprise on their faces when I informed them that that very item was reduced by 40% was one that would have warmed the coldest of hearts.
I used my staff discount for them, never for myself. I did the same for people who were clearly not very well off. I’ve been in financial trouble myself, and I know how much of a difference even a few cents can make.
3. “It Was The One Moment Of Humanity That I Experienced”
Not illegal but it was something I wasn’t supposed to do.
Baghdad in 2006. We were on an overwatch for a cordon and knock. Heading up a 6 story building to the roof we passed a crying woman in her 20’s. I asked her what was wrong and in perfect English, she said that Iraqi and American soldiers had kicked her door in and she was all alone and scared without a door. We continued up to the roof and set up the overwatch.
I was first on rest so I laid down. As I was laying there, I started to feel really guilty. I made up my mind, popped up and told the sniper section leader I was going down a few floors to fix her door.
He gave me a dirty look and said something along the lines of that being a stupid decision as we had no security except on the roof. I reiterated that I would be fine and he reluctantly said I could go.
As I started heading down the stairs I became aware of how vulnerable I was. Once I got to her apartment she greeted me with a smile and I told her why I was there. By this point, I was getting kinda nervous at my decision to leave the roof in the hostile area. She could see me looking around and took my hand and looked me in the eyes and said: “Don’t worry, soldier, you are safe here”.
I ended up fixing her door and we talked about the war and our lives. I apologized to her that we had come in and wrecked her home, knowing full well I really wanted to apologize for being in her country in the first place. When I left she smiled thanked me and told me to stay safe.
It was the one moment of humanity that I experienced in the entire deployment and I wonder if she’s still alive.
2. Corgi With A Cough
I used to work at a veterinary clinic who had a partnership with a local pet store. The pet store was one of those places where the top of the “cages” are open so anyone can reach in, pet the puppies, and move on to the next. Well, that’s one easy way to spread diseases between puppies. This place was run by the scum of the earth. They would pull a puppy off the floor on a Friday, put it in the back until around lunchtime Monday and then bring the dog to us. By that time the puppies were usually too sick to save. I can’t tell you how many puppies a week they would bring us.
One day, they brought us a Corgi puppy. He had previously had kennel cough. He was sick for so long that his lungs were permanently scarred so he would have a cough for the rest of his life, even though he wasn’t sick. They asked us to just put him down since he was deemed unsellable. We falsified the paperwork to say he was euthanized and one of the other techs took him home.
1. Buick Takedown
I was driving home from work one day, behind a white ’95 Buick. All was normal until in the back window I noticed a head pop up and bang on the window like they needed help. I suddenly started to get really concerned. Then all of a sudden, the driver turns around and shoves the person in back down really forcefully until they were beneath the seat. The driver suddenly merges two lanes to the left and turns left on a yellow.
I don’t really know what went through my mind, but I took the risk and merged too. I had to follow this guy.
By the time I got to the light, it was red. I didn’t care; I flew through it and made a left-hand turn through the intersection. While tailing the Buick, I called the cops. I kept up the chase until I heard sirens coming from behind me. They zoomed past and pulled the Buick over.
I hope they saved that person in the back. I felt like I saved a life that day, hopefully.
Ran a red light to save a potential kidnapping victim.