Word for stealing an item then returning it without the owner’s knowledge?

Does there exist a specific word to describe the action of stealing an item, keeping it for a few days then returning it from where it was taken?

An example: A friend of mine “lost” his personal diary for few days while in the college hostel. Someone (unknown to the owner) was definitely interested in reading about his life story. He found the diary on the table after a week. So someone stole it temporarily and gave it back.

Is there is a specific term or phrase to describe this action performed by the person who stole and later returned the item?

Edit: Thought I clearly posted the question. But this has turned out to be something totally different. The question is just about the action of the person who used the item and replaced it without the owner’s consent. I don’t think my example really captured what I wanted to ask.

Assume that a person is in need of an item and so he searches for it. The person finds the item somewhere then steals it and leaves the place and remains a silent observer. He uses the stolen item for his personal gain and also looks out what’s happening in the place where he stole the item. The owner of the item and friends start searching for it and they don’t get it. Now this person feels like he might get caught or he might have finished using the item as long as he wants and he stealthily places the item in its original place when the owner is not around. This has nothing to do with the owner’s memory. I am just asking about the action of the person who stole it initially and then replaced it.

If borrow is the word for it, then the owner should be able to say, “A person borrowed my precious item without my consent.” But I don’t know if it captures the stealing intent of that person. I hope I made it clear.


Consider, Indian taking

Indian taker

Informal. Offensive A person who steals your property but returns the stolen property to you at a later date.

The car thief stole my car but was nice enough to return it the next day. What an Indian taker piece of shit.

Urban Dictionary

Indian giver

One who takes or demands back one’s gift to another, as in Jimmy wanted to take back Dan’s birthday present, but Mom said that would make him an Indian giver. This term, now considered offensive, originally alluded to the Native American practice of expecting a gift in return for one that is given. [; early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary

Source : Link , Question Author : Nagarajan Shanmuganathan , Answer Author : Elian

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