Talk:It Takes a Thief (2005 TV series)

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I made a major revision of the page, mainly taking out the breakdown by segment and adding information on the hosts. Let me know how I did, since I'm not entirely sure I did it "right".

I'm not sure exactly how to source things, but I used the Discovery website and the IMDB. The pages are already in the "external links" section.

And for the record, try not to use the term "robbery" or variants on the page. The show does not deal in taking things from people by force. The hosts are burglars. --UsaSatsui 02:12, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Application vs. spontaneous choice[edit]

In the second season, it's been established that homeowners applied to be on the show; I'm wondering if this was the case or not for season one. It's possible that, in season 1, Matt approached the homeowners on the spot and asked them if they wanted to "play along", then had them fill out the releases and whatnot -- either way, we need verification (WP:V) for sure. Amnewsboy 18:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Johnston did not approach the owners randomly in Season One. They applied to Discovery to be on the show.
Is that verified anywhere (WP:V)? Amnewsboy 00:15, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Matt Johnston mentioned it on his web site during an online chat session (before Season 2). PNW Raven 13:41, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Move Article?[edit]

Should this article be moved to It Takes a Theif (TV series) since it obviously isn't just a 2005 show? -- J. [ tlk | con | #'s ] @ 07:04, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

It might be confused with the old 1970s TV Series, "It Takes a Thief" starring Robert Wagner.
...which can be found at It Takes a Thief. EVula 16:22, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Should there be a disambiguation from the film To Catch a Thief? It seems likely to me that someone could misremember (as I did) the title of either the show or the film, and wind up at the wrong page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

No Source for "Full Permission" Claim.[edit]

The article claims that Matt and Jon have full permission of the people to burglarize their home. I didn't see it cite any sources, though. Plus, on the show when Matt comes into the house or whatever, they don't know who he is. Where does it say that they have full permission? Knightskye 00:03, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Permission from the homeowners is assumed. Otherwise, the show can't be done at all. If they don't get permission, it's a crime, and there's no real legal protections in place for Jon if he gets caught (plus it's unlikely they're going to get cooperation afterwards). During the first season, Matt himself got the permission, but for the second, the producers set up the contact. That's why many homeowners don't seem to know who Matt is. Maybe they don't have "full permission"...there may be some things in the show's contract with the owners that keep Jon from having carte blanche on the house like a real burglar would My guess would be "Don't break anything irreplaceable", "Go easy on the kids", and "Don't kick the dogs in the face" are on that list. --UsaSatsui 01:41, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I would imagine this could be cited from the Discovery Channel's "It Takes A Thief" web site. Also, according to Matt Johnston's online comments at and also the Discovery Channel web site, there are extensive arrangements, applications, permits, and camera crew set-ups that are done prior to a break-in. The "victims" have to apply to be on the show and they go through a selection/interview process. The show doesn't just show up at someone's house and do a break-in. Everything is orchestrated. The homeowners obviously know who Matt Johnston is when he shows up, but it's (supposedly) the first time they actually meet him.PNW Raven (talk)


The break-ins often ignore obvious entry points like sliding glass doors in the backyards, and during the robberies themselves the intruder often needlessly breaks property (kicking a cardboard sign from a child's room down a flight of stairs, smacking over a kitchen chair randomly, etc).

I haven't checked myself, but i wouldn't be surprised to find reviewers pointing out this sort of thing —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • Breaking a sliding glass door doesn't seem like a good idea to me. That's a whole lot of glass to shatter, and I bet it makes one hell of a noise (plus, it could be dangerous). Jon's the thief, I'm willing to believe his judgment here. As for needlessly knocking things around...well, burglars do that. Jon has said on a couple of occasions that sometimes, he's trying to "leave a message" for the owners, but it's not certain he wouldn't be doing it in a real robbery. Guessing at his motives is just speculation, though, and I wouldn't add any criticism from any reviewers about the robberies themselves unless they happened to be actual burglars doing the criticizing. --UsaSatsui 03:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
    • I wonder what happens with some of the property that he destroys. I think I remember him breaking some valuables and a chandelier. -- Mapetite526 (talk) 21:52, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
      • They replace it. I'm not so sure about irreplaceable or very expensive things, though I do remember in one episode Matt switched out some valuable china for an imitation because he knew Jon would take it and likely it would be broken (it was). --UsaSatsui (talk) 22:27, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Some of the random destruction of property is explained on the show as Jon deliberately trying to entice the homeowners so that they'll take security more seriously. (talk) 21:20, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Also note that Jon doesn't wear gloves while burglarizing the houses. What real burglar would leave his fingerprints all over the crime scene?--Auspx (talk) 23:03, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

This show is rigged and a ripoff[edit]

There is an episode where he's carrying a 62" LCD TV to a van. Now, let's assume he can lift it, like we works out in his spare time on a stolen gym setup. When he gets outside, the TV obviously looks fake, and he drops it. Nothing shatters or etc, and you can even see it bounce a bit.

Later on, he tells the owners that it WAS a fake TV. This just goes to show that the show is setup before hand with fake things for him to break, prolly so he wont get hurt. Pussies.

This show is also a rip-off of because the US can't ever not rip off the UK —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mix Bouda-Lycaon (talkcontribs) 07:04, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

  • "It Takes a Thief" started in Feb '05. Your wiki link to "Beat the Burglar" currently states it started in Spring 2005. Does Spring in the UK begin before 2 Feb '05? It looks like similar ideas occurred separately. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

The show i think was originally on Channel 4 in the UK and the wiki link only seems to refer to the Dominic Littlewood presented Season 2.. the first season was a good while before.. around 2001 and the host was a former burglar turned priest with Mike as the thief still. The first episode was where they broke into a farm and stole the landrover and packed it and a horse box with the content of the house.

And yes in the US version they have fake items to steal :S so the burglar doesn't break expensive items (wine bottles in the show i just saw today) :S I recall Mike breaking items a few times on the UK show. Also he never cased the joint from the inside or was directed as to what to take as in the US show.. he would rummage and often just take everything in a draw rather than pick n choose. Also once he was memorably attacked by the victim of many robberies and held by the throat against a wall.

They also don't give a value on the items stolen by both the owner and thief as in the UK show.. where the thief shows he'll get a lot less than their actual value just to move them on and in some cases have no idea what he stole was valuable.. just that he likes the look of them for himself or as a gift to a friend. Mike once stole a bottle of whiskey just coz he likes that brand.

As for breaking in.. Mike would do a different entry every time.. even when there was an easier way, that he said he didn't know about, which might have been scripted for the shock value and to keep things interesting. Like barging in a front door because he could when there was a back window open. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Also the time frame is in question.. as on the winery show the thief somehow downloads everything he needs to steal from a home PC hes supposedly never seen before in under 1 minute without even thinking of stealing the PC itself. Mike would often explain he'd view items purely as what he could get for them in resale. While it was clever as the details could have been used days later without the owner knowing it seems unlikely he'd just get everything he needed so quickly and seems to be just there for the lesson to be taught than him actually do it. --MRNasher (talk) 17:33, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

This talk page is a discussion about the article, not a forum for opinions. Twinsday (talk) 10:04, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Viewing Sites?[edit]

I find it truly fascinating and amazing that I cannot, for the life of me, find any sources, legal or illegal, of any evidence of a DVD release or any possible way to watch any of these episodes online or elsewhere. I searched Hulu, YouTube, Crackle, Amazon, and multiple sites that host links to illegally uploaded copyright content and found: nothing. Not a single trace of any possible way to watch this show, at all.

Does anyone have any idea if they even released any DVDs of the seasons? Even if they only got 100k unique views per episode, then Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Crackle, etc. could be making potential profits. --Anthonyk747 (talk) 04:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

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