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Thieving
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Thieving Guide

 

Intro

Some consider them no good fiends, preying on Runescape's poor shopkeepers and other citizens. Some consider them heroes, their agile frames and quick fingers as something to be admired. Others understand the brotherhood that is Thievery. Long have Runescape's citizen's longed over expensive items, or noticed that the Guard's coin purse was a little loose. Thievery is the ability to obtain what at first would seem unobtainable. Some have mastered this ability and can pickpocket any NPC, pick any lock, disarm any trap and steal from any stall! Thieving can reward you with heaps of Gold Pieces, stacks of Runes and food to feed your training with! Now, enough blathering and on with the details of the different parts of this members only skill.

Pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is the most basic and most used method of thieving. To pick an NPC's pocket, right click on it, and select the 'Pickpocket' option.

Pickpocketing

If you are successful, you will have gained some loot and thieving experience from them. If unsuccessful however, you will be stunned by the NPC for about 4 seconds and have damage done to you (the amount of damage depends on the NPC you are pickpocketing). When stunned, this is shown in game by circling birds over your head and you are unable to move. However this is a good time to eat to heal your hitpoints, or alchemy any drops you picked up.

The higher your thieving level, the less likely you are to be caught by your victims. Below is a table with properties for each thievable NPC.

NPCs to pickpocket
Picture Name and Location Level to Pickpocket Exp. Damage if Stunned Loot
Man Man/Woman
  • Throughout Runesacpe
1 8 1 3 gp
Farmer Farmer
  • Farms and wheat fields
10 14.5 1 9 gp
H.A.M. Female Female H.A.M. Member
  • H.A.M. Headquarters
15 18.5 1

If caught too many times, you will either be hit over the head and removed from the H.A.M. Camp, or thrown in the Camp jail. Pick the jail door lock to get out (no picklock required).
gp, tinderbox, logs, uncut gems, level 1 clue scrolls, raw anchovies, raw chicken, H.A.M. clothing, various worthless items (rusty swords, damaged armour, buttons, etc.)
H.A.M. Male Male H.A.M. Member
  • H.A.M. Headquarters
20 22.5 1 - 3

If caught too many times, you will either be hit over the head and removed from the H.A.M. Camp, or thrown in the camp jail. Pick the jail door lock to get out (no picklock required).
gp, tinderbox, logs, uncut gems, level 1 clue scrolls, raw anchovies, raw chicken, H.A.M. clothing, various worthless items (rusty swords, damaged armour, buttons, etc.)
 Warrior  Warriors
  • Al-Kharid.
  • North of Ardougne
25 26 2 18gp
 Rogue Rogues
  • Wilderness, lvl-54.
32 35.5 2 25gp, 45gp, 8 air runes, lockpick, iron dagger (p), wine.
Guard Guards
  • Many towns
40 46.5 2 30gp
Fremennik Citizen Fremennik Citizens
  • Relekka
45 65 2 40gp
 Knight Knights
  • Ardougne
55 84.5 3 50gp
 Yanille Watchman Yanille Watchmen
  • Yanille Watchtower
65 137.5 3 60gp & bread.
 Paladin Paladins
  • Ardougne
70 152 3 80gp & 2 chaos runes.
 Gnome Gnomes
  • Gnome stronghold
75 198 1 200-400gp, gold nugget, earth rune (1), swamp toad, king worm, fire orb.
 Hero Heroes
  • Ardougne
80 274 4 100-300gp, death runes (2), blood runes (1), wine, cut diamond, gold nugget, fire orb.

Just a small note: You must complete the Fremennik trials quest to thieve from citizens of Relekka.

Stealing from stalls

You have successfully picked a few men into poverty now, and wish for something a little different. Market stalls were originally only found in the Ardougne Marketplace, with the exception such as the Tea Stall in Varrock and the bread stall in Ogre city (Gu'tanoth). However, with the new lands added to Runescape, many more cities have stalls to steal from. To thieve a stall right click on it, and select the 'Steal from' option.

Stealing from stalls

Stealing from stalls can be tricky however. You must watch out for the stall owner, as well as guards, paladins and warriors who all patrol the marketplace, trying to get rid of us honest, hardworking thieves! If a shopkeeper catches you, you will only be yelled at and your attempt will simply be unsuccessful. If a guard, paladin or warrior, or whatever else is guarding the stall catches you, you will be unsuccessful but also be attacked. Different NPC's seem to patrol different stalls however. (For example, it would be folly for a big ole Paladin to attack low levels thieving the cake stall). When a stall has been stolen from, it takes some time for it's loot to respawn.

Stalls to steal from
Stall and Location Level needed Experience Respawn time(seconds) NPCs to elude Loot
Veg stall
  • Miscellania
1 10 1 Greengrocer, Skraeling Onion, Tomato, Cabbage, Garlic, Potato
Cake stall
  • Ardougne
5 16 2.5 Baker, Warriors, Guards. Cake, Bread, Meat Pie, Slice of chocolate cake.
General Stall
  • Marim
5 16 10 Monkey Archers Tinderbox, Hammer, Pot
Crafting Stall
  • Marim
5 16 10 Monkey Archers Chisle, Neclace mould, Ring mould
Food Stall
  • Marim
5 16 10 None Banana
Tea stall
  • Varrock
5 16 2.5 Tea Merchant. Tea
Silk stall
  • Ardougne
20 24 5 Silk Merchant, Warriors, Guards, Knights. Silk
Fur stall
  • Ardougne
  • Relekka
35 36 15 Fur Merchant, Guard, Market guard Grey Wolf fur/Fur
Fish stall
  • Relekka
  • Miscellania
42 42 15 Fish monger, Market guard, Skraeling Raw tuna, Raw salmon, Raw Lobster (rare)
Silver stall
  • Ardougne
50 54 30 Silver Merchant, Warriors, Guards. Silver ore
Magic Stall
  • Marim
65 100 60 Monkey Archers Earth Rune(1), Fire Rune(1), Water Rune(1)
Spice stall
  • Ardougne
65 81 80 Spice Merchant, Knights, Paladins. Spice
Scimitar Stall
  • Marim
65 160 60 Monkey Archers Iron scimitar
Gem stall
  • Ardougne
75 16 180 Gem Merchant, Knights, Paladins, Heroes. Uncut sapphire, emerald, ruby or diamond

When stealing from stalls, position yourself wisely. If you are positioned well, you will lower your chances of being caught. Try to use the stall and other pieces of scenery (crates, boxes, other stalls etc) as cover.

Picking locks & Disarming traps

Lock picking and Trap disarming is the last area of thieving. Some of Runescape's more selfish citizens try and lock their belongings away from us, unwilling to share. Being able to pick these locks and disarm any trap (on chests) that might be on them is a great way of getting some loot. You can also pick locks and disarm traps on doors leading to interesting regions of Runescape you might not have been able to access otherwise. To picklock a door or disarm a chest trap, simply right click and choose the correct option. For some doors, you will need a picklock in your inventory. These are thievable from Rogues or can be purchased from other players. There is also a lock pick respawn deep in the agility dungeon where you will need level 57 agility to access.

Picking locks   Disarming traps

When you disarm traps on chests, you will automatically open them to discover treasure. People often train at chests as well as getting the treasure to make a profit. Below is a table showing the different chests and their details. You might want to open up the world map to locate the exact positions of the listed chests.

Chests to thieve from
Loot Level needed Exp Location
10gp 10 7
  • East entrance of Ardougne just before the market place, the building to the north of the road.
  • The second floor of the house just north of Ardougne church, the east chest.
  • Magic Axe house in lvl 54 wilderness.
Nature Rune & 3gp 28 25
  • East entrance of Ardougne just before the market place, the north chest in the building to the south of the road.
  • The second floor of the house just north of Ardougne church, the west chest.
50gp 43 125
  • East entrance of Ardougne just before the market place, the south chest in the building to the south of the road.
5 Steel arrow tips 47 150
  • House in the town of Hemenster next to the fishing guild. Picklock needed for this one.
2 Blood runes & 500gp 59 250
  • There is a tower just north west of Ardougne. Picklock the door to enter, go down the ladder and you will find the chests at the end of the passage guarded by ogres. A second magical trap will trigger and teleport you to a nearby building in Ardougne.
Adamant ore, raw shark, uncut sapphire & 1000gp. 72 500
  • In King Lathas' tower in Ardougne, go upstairs. Picklock the door and go upstairs again to find this chest.

And below is a table showing the details of several doors you can picklock to access restricted areas.

Doors to picklock
Location Level needed Exp gained
  • East entrance of Ardougne just before the market place, the building to the south of the road.
1 3.5
  • East entrance of Ardougne just before the market place, the building to the north of the road.
14 15
  • The building just north of Ardougne church.
16 15
  • The room with the anvils just south of Yanille bank.
16 15
32 25
  • In level 54 wilderness, there is a house full of pirates.
39 35
  • In level 54 wilderness, there is a house full of Magic Axes.
42 23
  • The tower with chaos druids just Northwest of Ardougne.
46 37.5
  • On the first floor of King Lathas' castle in Ardougne where many Paladins reside.
61 50
  • The door between the Agility dungeon and the yanille building, which is a shortcut.
82 50

Training & Tips

Levels Locations
1-5 Men or women are your only option until level 5. Anywhere is fine since you'll only be there for a few minutes. Some quick examples of places to find them are either Lumbridge and Edgeville.
5-20 Cake stalls are a good option at this level. Just travel to Ardougne and use one of the 2 bakery stalls (east or west one). Try to stand in an area where guards are least likely to notice. You won't get attacked by anything higher than guards, so don't need to worry a lot. Just keep thieving cakes/breads etc. until level 20.
20-40 Silk stalls are good way to go until level 40. If you prefer to go pick pocketing then either rogues or warriors until 40 is a good way to go.
40-55 Guards are a simple but slightly annoying way to get to 55. Just either use Varrock castle (with a few hundred lobs) or Ardougne if you want to steal cakes for food. You could try Fremenniks at level 45, but involves a lot of travel and also the "talk to Fremennik" option makes them a bit hard to thieve fast. They can be faster exp then guards though overall.
55-99 Knights all way from now on. Some may say to start at 60 but they are great right from the start. You can use ardougne castle to thieve the lone knight there. Another great place is the building just above the 2 Bakery stalls in Ardougne.

Comments on other NPC's:

  • Paladins are the best money makers for thieving. At high level thieving, you can get up to around 1k chaos runes per hour + 40k gp. That is almost 180k gp per hour.
  • Some people say it is best to change to watchmen after level 70 or so. This isn't a great idea. First of all, you still get caught a lot at very high levels. Secondly if you do the math you actually get less gp per exp point compared to knights.
  • The other NPC people say you should thieve is heros. Although at 99 thieving for example you can still get caught almost always and this takes away 4 hp each time. Overall can be a slow and annoying process.


Tips for more efficient thieving:

  • Try to find a good world where you won't get distracted or have people killing your thieving NPC.
  • Especially for high level pick pocketing try to click fast between right and left clicking (please not too fast though). Some wait for the animation to finish, but it is quicker to click a bit faster then that. Just takes a bit of practice to optimise clicking for fastest exp.
  • Luring the NPC in a room is a good way to avoid people killing the NPC and to stop it running all over the map.
  • If you find you accidentally attack your NPC too often, then wielding a bow without arrows is a good way to avoid that. Just disarm it if you want to attack to lure the NPC to a room.


Enjoy your thieving and use tactics wisely. If you have to thieve an easier monster which gives less xp per turn, it might be worth it because you get caught less often. There are of course some random events which affect you while training this skill. Read about them in our random events guide. Carefully look at the npcs, stalls and chests that you are able thieve from with your level and play about to see which is best for gaining xp, or achieving your target. Have fun!

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