Over the past 40 years, U.S. social scientists carried out hundreds of selfreport studies of juvenile delinquency, using as subjects primarily high school and college students. In a typical study, members of a sample complete a confidential questionnaire in which they are asked to report the number of times in the preceding, say, six months they committed each of a list of crimes. Taken together, the results of these studies show that participation in direct-contact theft is not limited to the disadvantaged to nearly the extent suggested by arrest statistics. Although important class differentials in delinquency are apparent even in the findings from selfreport research, theft, it turns out, is a surprisingly democratic enterprise. The same, however, cannot be said about men who commit the most serious and largest number of direct-contact thefts and who often persist at doing so despite formal sanctioning by the adult criminal justice apparatus. Their backgrounds are noticeably tilted toward the lower reaches of the working class.