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sneak thief

a burglar who sneaks into houses through open doors, windows, etc.
Origin of sneak thief
An Americanism dating back to 1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sneak thief
Historical Examples
  • More'n that, I hate to go 'round feelin' like a sneak thief.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Instead of that, he stole them after the manner that a sneak thief picks a pocket.

    Frank Merriwell's Son Burt L. Standish
  • He had the chance, and being a sneak thief by nature he took it.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
  • “It was a sneak thief,” he explains, as he leaps down among them.

    Dangerous Ground Lawrence L. Lynch
  • We've had one sneak thief visit the Grange already, General.

    The Riddle of the Night Thomas W. Hanshew
  • After a long and honorable career I have to become a sneak thief.

  • "I'll bet it was a sneak thief," said a third voice—Mr. Pyecroft's.

  • There's a good deal of a man about him, or about any common burglar or sneak thief, compared to this duck.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • If it is only a sneak thief, hell take a jump in the river the minute he knows we are aware of his presence on the deck.

  • “More like a sneak thief, I should say,” remarks Alan, with aggravating coolness.

    Dangerous Ground Lawrence L. Lynch
British Dictionary definitions for sneak thief

sneak thief

a person who steals paltry articles from premises, which he enters through open doors, windows, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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