Kleptomania is an irresistible urge to steal items of trivial value. People with this disorder are compelled to steal things, generally, but not limited to, objects of little or no significant value, such as pens
Pens may refer to:* plural of pen, Fountain pens - writing instruments* Pens * a nickname for the Pittsburgh PenguinsPENS may refer to:* Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, commonly referred to as electroacupuncture...

, paper clips, paper and tape
Pressure sensitive tape
Pressure-sensitive tape, known also in various countries as PSA tape, adhesive tape, self-stick tape, sticky tape, or just tape, is an adhesive tape that will stick with application pressure, without the need for solvent, heat, or water for activation...

. Some kleptomaniacs may not even be aware that they have committed the theft .

Kleptomania was first officially recognized in the US as a mental disorder in the 1960s in the case of State of California v. Douglas Jones.

Kleptomania is distinguished from shoplifting or ordinary theft
In common usage, theft is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud...

, as shoplifters and thieves generally steal for monetary value, or associated gains and usually display intent or premeditation, while kleptomaniacs are not necessarily contemplating the value of the items they steal or even the theft until they are compelled without motive.

Increasing brain research and clinical work indicate that shoplifting and stealing can become addictive-compulsive disorders.