Hadith no. 2674 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 277 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was the (most handsome), most generous and the bravest of all the people. Once the people of Medina got frightened having heard an uproar at night. So, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) met the people while he was riding an unsaddled horse belonging to Abu Talha and carrying his sword (slung over his shoulder). He said (to them), “Don’t get scared, don’t get scared.” Then he added, “I found it (i.e the horse) very fast.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 278 :
Narrated by Salama (radiallaahu `anhu)
I went out of Medina towards Al-Ghaba. When I reached the mountain path of Al-Ghaba, a slave of ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf (radiallaahu `anhu), met me. I said to him, “Woe to you! What brought you here?” He replied, “The she-camels of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) have been taken away.” I said, “Who took them?” He said, “Ghatafan and Fazara.” So, I sent three cries, “O Sabaha-h ! O Sabahah !” so loudly that made the people in between its (i.e. Medina’s) two mountains hear me. Then I rushed till I met them after they had taken the camels away. I started throwing arrows at them saying, “I am the son of Al-Akwa’; and today perish the mean people!” So, I saved the she-camels from them before they (i.e. the robbers) could drink water. When I returned driving the camels, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) met me, I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Those people are thirsty and I have prevented them from drinking water, so send some people to chase them.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O son of Al-Akwa’, you have gained power (over your enemy), so forgive (them). (Besides) those people are now being entertained by their folk.”
Forgiving someone when you have power over them is one of the hardest things to do, I suppose. If a ‘big guy’ took your lunch money in school, you probably had to let it go because standing up to him would mean more bullying. But if the same crime were committed by a weak little person, would you have done the same thing considering you could smash his entire being into the wall? I don’t know why there’s so much violence in my example today. :/ :P
The robber will get the punishment he deserves, in this life or the next, but your reward for forgiving him after overpowering him will be much greater than the satisfaction of seeing him get punished for his crime. Allah knows. :)
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 655:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery.
A believer who indulges in a major sin cannot possibly have the fear/consciousness of Allah while he’s committing the sin. Iman increases and decreases, and sometimes it just goes too low.
Only sincere repentance can wipe out these sins from our slate, nothing else.
Al-Tirmidhi narrated that Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you and I would not mind.’” [Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 654:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Yazid Al-Ansari (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) forbade robbery (taking away what belongs to others without their permission), and also forbade mutilation (or maiming) of bodies.
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. [Wikipedia]
Did you know that the punishment of cutting the thief’s hands does not apply to the robber?
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
The fact that the hand of the thief (saariq) may be cut off for three dirhams, and not in the case of the opportunist thief (mukhtalis, one who steals when a person is not looking), robber or extortioner (ghaasib, one who seizes something by force) is indicative of the perfect wisdom of sharee’ah. For one cannot take precautions against the thief who breaks into houses and breaches one’s hiding-places and breaks locks; the owner of the goods cannot do any more than that (i.e., hiding them in appropriate places). If it were not prescribed for the hand of the thief to be cut off, then people would steal from one another in this manner and a great deal of harm would be done, and the problem of theft would be grievous indeed. This is unlike the case of the robber and opportunist thief, for the robber is the one who takes things openly in the sight of people, so they may stop him and restore the rights of the one who has been wronged, or they may testify before the judge. And the opportunist thief is the one who takes things when the owner is not paying attention, etc., so there has to be some form of negligence which enables the opportunist to steal, otherwise when one is careful and alert, he cannot take anything. So he is not like a thief (saariq), rather he is more like a betrayer.
Moreover, the opportunist theif (mukhtalis) does not take things from a place where things of that nature are usually hidden, rather he waits until you are not paying attention, then he takes your things when you put something down for a moment and are not paying attention. This is something against which precautions may be taken in most cases, and he (the opportunist) is like the robber who steals openly. With regard to the one who seizes things by force, the case is more obvious: it is even more apt that his hand should not be cut off, but it is permissible to put a stop to the actions of these people by beating them, making an example out of them as a warning to others, imprisoning them for lengthy periods and punishing them by seizing their property.
Alaam al-Muwaqqieen, 2/48.