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Bandit Mook

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Kill it! Kill it before it gets away!

"Tasked with procuring Golden Eggs, Snatchers will emerge from the sea when Golden Eggs are present, and try to seize them and return them to the depths. Any snatched Golden Eggs can be retrieved by defeating this Salmonid before it returns to the water."
Salmonid Field Guide, Splatoon 2

While it's pretty common for RPGs to give your party a thief as a team member, or otherwise give the player an ability to swipe goods off an opponent during battle, it is relatively rare to encounter monsters or foes that do the same thing to you, even when you're specifically fighting thieves as opponents.

Now enter the Bandit Mook.

This is the occasional Mook who isn't interested in your party's demise so much as it is in your Bag of Holding. It may have a share of normal attacks, but it is unlikely to do any serious harm — its signature attack pattern is to swipe something from your Hyperspace Arsenal then disappear as quickly as possible, taking the stolen goods with him. Fenced goods may be gone forever if stolen, so for this reason it will (usually) interest itself only in items that can be easily replaced at local shops. After all, if the Bandit Mook randomly made off with your hard-earned MacGuffins and Plot Coupons, this could render your game unwinnable, and that would make players very angry.

Defeating a Bandit Mook frequently results in the immediate recovery of any stolen goods; but this isn't always the case, especially if it was just cash. (Exactly how it can keep you from physically looting its corpse is a mystery, but then again, it may be because Everything Fades.)

The obvious exemption from this trope is if an item (important or otherwise) is stolen solely because the plot demands it, like the MacGuffin Delivery Service.

Compare Mooks Ate My Equipment. May overlap with Harmless Enemy. Not to be confused with mooks who happen to be bandits in-story, unless they're also Bandit Mooks in gameplay terms too. Most tend to become Cowardly Mooks as well.


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Video Game Examples

  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has a bandit boss: Upon depleting Valefar's health the first time, he'll steal all your money to replenish his health, so if you've been hoarding your money when you face him, enjoy the brutal slugfest, but this also means that if you've been extravagant with your spending, he's not going to recover much (if at all) and will die again soon enough.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has the Chupacabras, who would appear at several points during the game and steal items requiring you to complete a puzzle/section without some of the most powerful equipment & hunt them down. In universe they're seen as so annoying that a brotherhood knight is said to be forming an extermination squad in a note found on his body, out of universe they're removed from both of the sequels.
  • The gnomes in the Harry Potter video games would steal a few of your Bertie Bott Every Flavor Beans if they ran into you. They weren't reobtainable in the first game, but they were in the second game.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Majora's Mask has the infamous Takkuri, a bird that not only steals rupees but also an empty bottle or even your sword. When this happens you have to go to a curiosity shop, whose owner is probably the owner of the Takkuri, and buy them back overpriced. As if weren't enough the Takkuri requires fifteen hits to be killed. On the other hand, once killed it leaves a rupee the value of two hundred normal ones. Note that you could always play the Song of Time to go back in time and regain your stolen stuff free of charge, but it's a little jarring to do that if you'd made a lot of progress on that particular day.
    • A Link to the Past has a thief enemy as well. While he never steals anything of great importance (just bombs, arrows, rupees etc.), he's 10x a bigger pain in the ass than the Takkuri by virtue of the fact that he can't be killed or even stunned. There's also Pikits, who hop around and attempt to snatch rupees, arrows, bombs, and even your shield from you with their tongue.
    • Maple, the Cute Witch in the Oracle games, has exactly the same mechanic as the thief except with a twist. She bumps into you and scatters not just your items, but hers as well. Cue frantically running around trying to get as much stuff as possible! This almost always works out in your favor as the items she drops (rings, gasha seeds, and even heart pieces) are infinitely more valuable than the things you drop (bombs and rupees). You can even equip a ring that increases the Maple encounters.
    • The rats in The Wind Waker are something of a variation. Normally they run at Link and knock rupees out of his wallet on a hit. The rats steal the highest-value rupees that they knock loose and Link has to kill the rats if he wants the money back. However they're much more interested in the All-Purpose Bait you're carrying and, if you give them some, they'll not only leave you alone but also offer to sell you stuff.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Adventure Mode challenges will sometimes involve "Thief" enemies that can steal your magic, sub-weapons, or rupees if they connect with an attack. Item Thieves in particular will keep coming back to steal more weapons until they're beaten. They're generally just a minor annoyance, as you can fight well even without those resources, but Rupee Thieves will only show up when the goal is hoarding rupees to begin with.
  • Paper Mario 64 had Bandits in Dry Dry Desert, who stole coins from Mario with each attack, fleeing the battle on the next turn. Attacking them made them drop the loot, with Mario recovering it immediately.
    • They return in the sequel as common enemies, some of which can steal items and even badges, and must be defeated to regain your stolen loot. They also appear as neutral NPCs.
  • Sundered has Eschaton Devourers, which can eat any Shards that the player character doesn’t pick up. These Shards are gone for good once they’ve been eaten, so killing the Devourer doesn’t get them back.


    First Person Shooter 
  • In Borderlands 2, Rat Thieves and Rat Bastards live up to their names by picking your pocket while you're busy fighting their brothers. You can get the money back by killing them before they lock it away in their cash stashes. An unattentive player can easily lose millions. Also, all Rats will scavenge any dropped loot, ammo, and money they come across. In that case it's more of a "finders keepers" thing than directly stealing from you, though, which fortunately, they can't do.
  • The Call of Duty: Zombies map "Five" has the Pentagon Thief, who randomly shows up every few rounds to try and steal your weapons.
  • The second installment in the Descent series has the Thief Bot. They attempt to sneak up on you, then run away so that you get attacked by hoards of other bots as you try to chase them down to get your powerups back. They are extremely durable and agile, so they're quite difficult to take down. You can be warned of their presence by their distinctive chirping sound, which will instantly drive the player into a frenzy of paranoia and rage until the damn thing is taken down.
  • Descent 3 has the "Super Thief" that actually uses the pilfered weapons against you. This was originally planned to be an ability the standard version had, but it was decided that this made the Thief way too annoying, so it got turned into a Mini-Boss instead.
  • For maximum irony, cops in PAYDAY 2 can steal any loot bags that you leave lying around, carrying them to undesirable parts of the map or even taking them completely (bags critical to the mission can't disappear). Shooting the cop that is holding a bag will force him to drop it. If you're quick enough with the interaction button, you can steal the bags right off the cop's back!
  • PAYDAY 3 introduces hostage rescue teams, who will aim to free any tied down hostages you have taken. With hostages being as valuable as they are due to the additional resources they can provide between waves, they're high priority targets. Helpfully, they're clad in white to differentiate them from the standard cops in dark blue.
  • Probably the best known example of this trope to originate from a pre-2000 FPS is the Gremlin from Quake Mission Pack Number 1: Scourge of Armagon. As a unique twist, they can only steal weapons (and only one per individual Gremlin), & they can't steal melee weapons or weapons that are automatically in your inventory when you start a new game (your battle-axe falls into both "exempt" categories, Mjolnir falls into the former "exempt" category, and your single-barrel shotgun falls into the latter "exempt" category). However, when they steal a weapon, they know how to use it, and boy will they use it just as effectively as you can. Additionally, they can eat dead enemy remains (be it whole corpses or gibs) & will spawn 1 copy of themselves for every set of remains they manage to finish eating, and if you're wielding a weapon they can't steal, their attempt to steal it will hurt you from the resulting claw scratches. On the upside, unlike most modern Bandit Mooks, killing it lets you get the stolen weapon back (including any ammo the weapon has left when the Gremlin is killed — yes, they actually take some of the relevant ammo when they steal a weapon from you), and the cloning ability can be stopped by killing it when it's eating.
  • One of the basic mooks in the original Rise of the Triad can not only steal your missile-launching weapons, but he can also use them against you.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Gauntlet has the Thief, who steals treasure or, if possible, a potion from a player (selected randomly if two, three or four are playing). They also love to infuriate their victim by running away at lightning speeds proclaiming "YOU CAN'T CATCH ME!" in primitive digitized speech.
    • The sequel added a similar character called the Mugger, who just takes some of your life force.
  • Golden Axe has little sack-bearing gnomes who, when encountered in the usual game, will drop a magic jar every time they're hit. In between major sections of the game, however, the gnomes will steal all of the players' magic pots. The players are given a short time to attack the gnomes and reclaims some pots before the gnomes run away. This mechanic encourages players to use all of their magic before the end of a major section of the game. If they do, they'll usually come out of these sequences with more magic than they started with.

  • Spoofed in a Kingdom of Loathing April Fool's Day "sneak preview" with a Disco Bandit NPC. The preview also demonstrated an NPC special attack that would destroy all worn/wielded equipment. Subverted with the dirty thieving bandits; the game currency is meat, but they steal it from your hitpoints rather than your wallet.
  • Warframe has several examples:
    • Grineer Drahk masters steal players weapons by whacking it out of their hands with a rocket-powered boomerang. Fortunately, the attack does minimal damage, and the dropped weapon can be picked back up off the ground; the real trick is noticing when it happens in the first place.
    • Scavenger Drones, meanwhile, snatch up any dropped loot within a certain radius of themselves — and anything they capture has a chance of being lost.
    • Finally, Kuva Liches, introduced in Update 26, will tax a portion of all rewards obtained in missions that are within their area of influence. Killing them, however, will reimburse you with everything that they stole.

  • Ape Escape 2 has Lousy Rats, who steal your coins if they come in contact with you, and dash away when they do; if they run away long enough, they'll teleport away with your stolen coins, but if you can defeat them before that, they give the stolen coins back. However, coins briefly increase in value if you collect enough in a row, so actually letting the Lousy Rats steal your coins is a risky but rewarding way to make lots more money than what was stolen from you.
  • Densetsu no Stafy 4: Kaimo, a mole enemy that appears in Flourishing Desert during the New Game Plus, hides in the ground and pops out to steal pearls from Starfy or Starly. Attacking it will stun it and cause it to release the pearls.
  • Kid Icarus featured Pluton — who made matters worse by being invulnerable on top of everything else. They return in Kid Icarus: Uprising, where they thankfully can finally be destroyed.
  • TAC from Kirby Super Star can steal your ability — or outright kidnap your partner.
  • Kirby:
    • The Mirror World of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror has Droppies, which will suck any copy abilities out of Kirby and then transform into a common enemy that can use that ability before running away. However, if no common enemy uses the ability Kirby has copy, the Droppy will simply turn red before it running away with a pained expression on its face. In either case, Kirby can get the ability back by swallowing the Droppy before it gets away.
    • Kirby: Squeak Squad has the eponymous Squad who will always pop out to steal the giant treasure chest of the level the moment you pick it up. And they will keep going after it until you either finish the stage or beat the member of the Squeaks' Quirky Mini Boss Squad currently after you inside their base, which require letting said member take a treasure in then entering before they can lock the entrance.
  • Mega Man 11 has the "Anti-Eddie" enemy, which looks like an evil clone of the same Eddie that gives you items, but with a skull logo on its head. You will approach an item (such as an Extra Life or Large Energy Refill), then Anti-Eddie will pop out of the ground and run to the opposite side of the screen kinda fast. It is highly recommended to use the Speed Gear to destroy him before he jumps off the screen, taking the item with him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Heroes: The Egg Magicians will drain all 4 Teams of their Rings if flipped over from their Egg Bishop alter egos and can still heal their allies.
    • Sonic Superstars: The Speed Jungle Zone has Dragonfly Badniks that would make off with Item Monitors containing Rings and other items like shields.
  • Super Mario:
    • Super Mario 64 had Klepto the Condor in Shifting Sands Land and Tiny-Huge Island, who steals Mario's hat. Mario would take more damage until he got his hat back or left the level. He also appears in some areas of Super Mario Odyssey, where he steals Cappy and you have to get him back to progress.
    • Super Mario Sunshine had Swipin' Stus lurking the beach in some chapters of Pinna Park, who would attempt to fall onto Mario and steal his hat. Without his trademark sky piece to protect him from the sun, he'd suffer heat stroke and slowly take damage until he either got his hat back or entered the park (which reset it).
    • Yoshi's Island have Bandits that steal Baby Mario or any other babies from your back and run off with him as he screams and the timer goes down. Luckily, they can never fully run away. Frogs and Solo Toadies also do it too.
      • They can steal coins from Mario during the Paper Mario series, as well as Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, though they also use smoke bombs and decoy bombs in the latter to help them in battles and snatch and grabs.
      • Little Mousers come from the same series, but are different in that they are interested in Yoshi's eggs and/or coins instead of Baby Mario.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In the expansion to Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars, Kane's Wrath, each faction got access to a one-at-a-time Tactical Superweapon Unit. GDI, essentially the 'good guys', got the MARVnote , a unit designed, in-universe, to reclaim territory taken over by the Alien Kudzu known as Tiberium, which also serves as the game's resource. Normally, you'd use unarmed (or in GDI's case, armed with a peashooter machine gun only good for dealing with light infantry and vehicles) harvesters for this which would then return to refineries to earn you credits, but the MARV is the very image of Tank Goodness, armed and armoured befitting an Epic unit, and a Refinery On Wheels on top, which means it converts any Tiberium to credits instantly. Why does this make it a Bandit Unit? Because GDI players tend to send it rampaging through the opponent's Tiberium fields, robbing them of resources. You try stopping something like this.
  • The rest of the Command & Conquer series also has the Engineer unit, which can steal(i.e.: take over) enemy structures. If you did this to enemy Refineries or Silos, this also took the money they contained. The first Red Alert game gave the Allies a Thief unit whose entire purpose was to infiltrate and loot enemy Refineries/Silos. Later games in the series gave that ability to their Spy units.

  • The Meta-Being known as Gliro in Baroque likes to steal an item from your inventory, then flee at top speed. And yes, it can snatch the sword right out of your hands or the coat right off your back. If you manage to chase it down and kill — er, purify it, it will drop whatever it stole from you... but sometimes the Gliro chooses to throw the item at you in self-defense, in which case the item will be lost forever.
  • The Binding of Isaac has a variation: Greed (and the smaller "greed-heads" and the larger Super Greed) doesn't actually steal your money directly, but getting hit by his attacks causes you to drop 2 pennies, but lose 3 from your total count. You can always pick up the pennies Greed made you drop, but that 3rd cent is lost forever. The final boss of Greed Mode can also beat the coins out of you, but does pick them up if you don't snatch them back. Not only does this prevent you from depositing those coins in the Greed Machine after the boss fight, but they also heal him for a minimal amount.
  • The Smirking Sneak Thief in Castle of the Winds can steal your money or whatever's on your belt, then randomly teleport to anywhere else in the level. Very agile and requires three fireballs worth of damage to kill. You can get your stuff back if you can find and kill it.
  • For the King: Scamps, Thieves, and Bandits are all capable enough knife fighters, but also have a special attack that cuts the player character's purse to steal gold or consumables. If it works, they try to flee combat on their next turn.
  • NetHack has Leprechauns who steal gold, and Nymphs who steal items before teleporting away. Nymphs, in particular, can steal without limit, they can use the stolen goods against you, and some of them are even invisible. It's especially frustrating if they steal an amulet of life saving, since not only do you have to kill the nymph twice, but it also uses up an Auto-Revive you could have later used to avoid a permanent, game ending death.
  • Like NetHack, Ragnarok has nymphs which are capable of stealing items from you. It also has bandits, but they can only pick up items off the ground, rather than taking them from you.
  • Pixel Dungeon has Crazy Thieves, who can grab a random item from your inventory and run away with it. Shattered PD add Crystal Mimics, who are capable of the same.
  • In Slay the Spire Looters and Muggers have the Thievery buff which causes them to steal gold from the player each time they attack. After two or three attacks, they will use one round to defend themselves and then run away on the next round.
  • In Spelunky, monkeys may take a gold nugget out of your backpack if they latch onto you.
  • In Streets of Rogue, random Thieves may sneak on the player and stealing a item before running away, sometimes even using the item on the player if you get too close. This is the case in most playthoughs unless you are playing a Thief yourself, in which case, you get to do the stealing alongside not needing to worry about others stealing from you due to a trait called Honor Among Thieves.
  • Akalabeth, the first adventure in the Ultima series, had a Thief who could steal any items your character had on him, and a Leprechaun who stole half your food each turn. In both cases, the goods became lost forever.
  • The Packrat in Anvil of Dawn.
  • Bug Fables: The Desert Bandits encountered in the Lost Sands consist of Thieves (dragonflies), Bandits (crickets), and Burglars (ladybugs) that are all capable of taking items from the party with physical attacks. The player can prevent this by either equipping the correct Medals or using damage-reducing Action Commands.
  • Chrono Trigger has rats in Lab 16 who will steal a tonic from your inventory and run away if they manage to catch you.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Shrieker is a boss monster that will occasionally steal Trinkets from your inventory, requiring you to take a special quest in order to get them back.
  • The Spiteful Crow from EarthBound (1994), again one of the first enemies that Ness meets, is also fond of stealing your food. This is also a common habit of the Octobot family of Mecha-Mooks.
  • Gremlins in the Exile series stole your food when they struck you. They also didn't give it back when they died, presumably thanks to some kind of fey magic.
  • In the Den in Fallout 2, there is a gang of kids who'll pick the player's pockets if he/she steps too near to them — which is necessary as they lurk at buildings' doors — and try to carry off their loot to their leader. Of course, the player can steal their items back from them. Or if you really hate the snot-nosed little shits, you can play a game Grenade Tag and reverse pickpocket a grenade into their inventories with no reputation penalties whatsoever!
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI had one enemy in Mt. Zozo, a bear whose primary strategy was stealing four digits of Gil, then suddenly fleeing on the next turn.
      • If defeated first, it returns the exact amount it stole. If Relm is in the party with her Cat-Ear Hood, he'll somehow drop twice what he stole (the Cat-Ear Hood doubles Gil drops.)
    • Final Fantasy VII had enemies that steal items from you, including accessories. You could get them back if you killed them fast enough. If.
    • Final Fantasy VIII has the Lefty/Righty's, a pair of hands that can Draw-Cast spells from you, with a corresponding depletion in your spell inventory.
    • Final Fantasy IX has item-stealing enemies too, but you have to use Zidane to steal them back.
    • The Final Fantasy Tactics series have Thief as a job/class for human units and were usually the first targets players went after other than the White Mages. Aside from being very fast and having high evasion, enemy thieves, like your thieves, can steal money, items, and equipment, which could lead to a Permanently Missable Content if an enemy thief stole a unique piece of equipment. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, thieves got nerfed and can only steal pieces of loot, money, and accessories. The new Viking class is capable of stealing armor with their Pillage ability, though.
  • In Growlanser series, the imp and Cat Girl enemies will steal items and gold from party members. The Cat Girl enemies will then make a dash for the nearest exit from the battlefield, rendering your items Permanently Missable if they manage to do so. Especially annoying when they attack your party in packs.
  • In the Harvest Moon games A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life the town bum can occasionally be caught stealing tomatoes from your shipping bin.
  • The Archraven from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep will try to steal orbs dropped by other Unversed before the player can get to them. When slain, an Archraven drops whatever it stole.
  • The Legend of Dragoon features the Crafty Thief enemies in the Barrens of Tiberoa, who will steal items and gold from the party, though you get it back if you manage to kill them before they flee.
  • In Lunar: Dragon Song, Yeti, Sturge, Thanatos, Ice Mongrel and Ochu can steal items, making them among the most annoying enemies in the game. Kill a Yeti, and it may drop a card which prevents items from being stolen.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Melynxes will attack the player to steal an item (even if you happen to be in the middle of a fight with a giant dragon) and try to run away with it. Defeating them gets it back. If they do escape, however, there is a "lair" somewhere in the area that you can get them back from. An additional source of relief is the item Felvine, which if you carried it would always be the item stolen first.
    • There is also the Gypceros, a bandit boss who can steal items from you with its pecking, and unlike the melynxes there is no way to recover anything stolen. This can be very infuriating if the item stolen happens to be the trap that you needed to capture it!
    • Just as aggravating is the Chameleos, a bandit Elder Dragon who can steal items from you with its tongue, and like the Gypceros any pilfered items are lost for good. In Rise, they stop stealing items, but instead start stealing Spiribird pollen to enhance itself, taking away from what you already got.
  • One of the first enemies you meet in EarthBound Beginnings, the Crow, steals food items and does not return them upon death.
  • The various groups of Bandits, Sea Raiders, Looters and Deserters in Mount & Blade play with this trope a little. You get a chance to beat the living hell out of them first, but if you do lose to them in battle then they take you prisoner, and will quite happily relieve you of things in your inventory: spare weapons, spare armour, your actual weapons, your horse, party members, quest items. Annoyingly, even though the quest items they may actually steal are pretty common and easy enough to pick up in any village, you will fail the quest if they take them...
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced Mons that learn item-stealing moves naturally, such as Linoone (with Covet), potentially making them Bandit Mooks. As well as item-disabling moves like Knock Off. The Generation IV games took it up a notch with moves like Pluck, which damages the enemy and eats any berry the target is holding.
  • Septerra Core has a few thief/pirate/miscellaneous thug mooks, which have an attack that damages your funds rather than health. Of course, they would have to do it several times in one battle to cancel out your victory spoils.
  • Shin Megami Tensei games have recently included this as Macca Bean and Wastrel Beam. The first slashes a percentage of your total money away, never to return. Wastrel Beam is worsehalf your money is tossed into oblivion. The first is favored by demons such as Nekomata and Preta, and the second is a favorite of the Black Rider.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey presents Macca Beam, an enemy-exclusive skill you'll run into as early as Sector B, which forces the target to drop a fraction of the team's Macca and has an extremely high accuracy rate. Then the final sector introduces Wastrel Beam, which drops an even larger percentage of money. Macca is just "energy" in this game, so killing the enemy won't give it back. Very often, players will just reload from an earlier save than go to the trouble of earning back all the money lost. And no, your demons can never have this skill.
    • The moves return in Shin Megami Tensei IV. It's even more infuriating here; money is incredibly scarce in IV.
  • The Scumbags in the Star Ocean series can steal a varying money based on their strength, and are very prone to running away. You can get your money back if you defeat them before they escape, though. In the fourth game, you can actually get it back with interest if you're using equipment that boosts the money you gain after battle, which can make fighting them an extremely profitable venture.
  • Super Mario RPG, the first Mario role playing game, had Croco the crook.

    Shoot'em Up 
  • The zig-zaggy blobs in the Atari 2600 game Dark Cavern, that steal your player's collection of bullets when you come into contact with them.
  • The Option Hunter/Thief from the Gradius series sort of counts. It doesn't kill you on contact, but if he touches you or your options, it steals your options away from you! They're invulnerable too, so the only thing you can do is avoid letting it touch your stuff.

  • Early Assassin's Creed installments had the occasional thief that would bump into the Player Character in the streets and make off with a decent amount of their money via Le Parkour. It was possible (though often quite tedious) to get the coin back by running after the sucker and catching him with a full-body tackle. Killing him, however, would put you on the authorities' radar for some reason, by raising your notoriety. Since these games usually included a basic economy system that gave the player a regular income every thirty realtime minutes, thieves can be considered an anti-cheating feature to prevent players from leaving the game running overnight as a cheap source of money. Not that it did much good — there are more than enough places where time passes normally but thieves can't touch you.
  • Metal Gear Solid has an event where Solid Snake loses an important item several floors below him and has to get it back. If you're not quick enough, a rat will eat it and run around the perimeter of the room, including inside the tiny vents. If this happens, you have to set up a claymore mine at one of the entry points to blow up the rat and get the item back.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Splatoon's Salmon Run mode has a couple:
    • The Snatchers are a type of common Salmonid which spawn after a Boss Salmonid is defeated. They can't attack players, but they will attempt to take the Golden Eggs left on the ground back into the sea. Splatting them will make them drop any eggs they're carrying, but more Snatchers will continue to spawn until you pick the eggs up yourself and take them to the egg basket. While the ones in Splatoon 2 are bound to the ground and can only hold up to three eggs at once, the ones in Splatoon 3 can carry multiple Golden Eggs at once, and pilot tiny aircraft to grab out-of-the-way eggs, such as those left on a Fish Stick.
    • During certain Salmon Run waves, you will be faced with the Mothership, which can steal Golden Eggs right out of your egg basket. Shooting at it enough while it's attempting to siphon from your basket will push it back temporarily, but it will attempt to steal your eggs twice before the wave is over.

    Tower Defense 
  • Plants vs. Zombies: On the roof, Bungee Zombies will steal any plants marked with a target. They can be combatted with Umbrella Leaves or quickly killing them before they have a chance to get away with the plant. This overlaps with Instakill Mook, because once the plant is taken, its gone, even if they aren't necessarily killed in-universe.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time:
    • The Ra Zombie uses his sun scepter to steal any sun lying around. Killing him makes him drop any sun that he stole.
    • The Turquoise Skull Zombie uses his Crystal Skull to steal sun lying about before firing it as a deadly beam attack. Killing him will not make him drop any sun that he stole.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Thieves in the Fire Emblem series can usually unlock and loot chests if you don't get to them quickly enough, and will them promptly make off with the goods if you don't kill them before they leave the map. Sometimes they'll perform other acts of banditry, and aim for nearby villages instead which usually have gold or useful items if you warn them to shut their gates. Depending on the game, the thieves may or may not be able to steal items from your slower characters.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • ARK: Survival Evolved has the Pegomastax. This small, easily missed biped jumps out on the player, stealing whatever is in their last inventory slot and dashing off into the undergrowth. Should that slot be empty the Pego will randomly select any item or stack of items being carried. They often invoke Finagle's Law by stealing something you really don't want to lose.
  • Don't Starve has a few monsters like this:
    • Gobblers are turkey-like critters that randomly pop out of berry bushes, and will eat the berries off nearby bushes you haven't already harvested.
    • Frogs will knock items out of your inventory with their attacks. Splumonkeys will not only knock items out of your inventory, but then pick them up.
    • Many monsters, including Pig-men, will eat any food you leave lying on the ground.
    • If you've been "naughty" and killed too many non-hostile mobs too quickly, The Krampus will show up and steal items from your treasure chests.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Kea birds are infamous for this. With their ability to fly and tendency to appear in large flocks, they are a major nuisance to most players, often seen stealing the fort's sole anvil before even any metalsmithing industry is established. They can steal artifacts, too. Giant kea share this tendency and add enough size and aggression to eviscerate dwarves that try to stop them.
  • Minecraft: If you die and drop all your items, any nearby zombies can pick some of them up and even use them as weapons to hit you with. Killing the bandit zombies may or may not get you your stuff back.


    Non-Video Games 
  • Afrikan tähti, a board game, has a round cardboard disc facing downwards on each location space. Landing on a space that still has its disc, you can either choose to pay or try your luck with the die to claim it. Three of these coins are Bandits: they steal all of the player's money. No buts. This could leave you on an island, and yes, travelling by ships costs money, meaning facing a Bandit on St. Helen, Madagascar, or Canary Islands was practically an instant game-over. Popular Game Variants existed for this very fix until decades later, new printings featured rules that featured an official solution to the problem.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Swindlespitters are small dinosaurs who normally feed on the eggs of bigger creatures. However, they're not especially bright and tend to confuse small to medium-sized man-made objects for strange eggs. Consequently, one of their main gameplay uses is to filch objects such as books, backpacks and the like from player camps, carry them off into the jungle, and send players chasing after them to retrieve their goods before the creature can tear them to pieces to get to the yolk it's sure is in there somewhere.
  • Munchkin: A lot of different Bad Stuff cards steal and/or destroy the player's equipment. A double-edged sword because it has no effect if you have no equipment of that kind, but very irritating if you do.