sticky fingers n.
1. a thief.
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 226: sticky fingers One given to petty theft; to steal.|
|Among Thieves 147: The fellow with his eye on the prize. Old sticky fingers.|
2. the tendency or desire to steal.
|Cut and Run (1963) 77: I dropped the watch in my pocket. I can’t control my sticky fingers.|
|Shooting in the Dark (2002) 285: Maybe Ralph’s sticky fingers had upset some kind of drug syndicate and they were looking for revenge.|
|Pubs Eng. Dial. Soc 62-5 33: STICKY-FINGERED, adj. thievish. ‘He’s a sticky-fingered chap, an’ all. The very fust day he’s out of prison he steals a bag of potatoes out of Widow Baines’ garding’.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 21 Apr. 1/1: Having picked up the ten pound note [...] he attempted to bluff [...] the name and occupation of the sticky-fingered bounder will appear in due time.|
|Caught (2001) 151: When you said about the Regular what ’ad a sister that got took inside for bein’ sticky fingered in one of the big shops.|
|Sun. Times (S.Afr.) 6 Jan. 20: The sticky-fingered Mwai Kibaki, who had just added an election to the list of stolen goods in his possession.|
|(con. 1960s) Black Gangster (1991) 133: Find out if Roman is playing sticky fingers with our bread.|