I'm really tired of being followed around homes while trying to steal stuff. It seems that I have this problem more in some holds than in others. For example, in Solitude it doesn't matter what building I go in, the person or shopkeeper runs around trying to keep up with my every move. And they don't just walk either; they are fast and I can usually only grab about one item before they detect me. The worst part is that some of these people never sleep! I've tried entering many different times during the day/night and they are always there, waiting for me to take stuff.

I'm wondering if there is any way to stop this behavior in game. There isn't a disposition meter like in Oblivion, so I'm assuming I can't get friendly enough for the person to stop meddling. Does it somehow correlate with my standing in the hold (like Thane status)? Should I try selling to the person if they are a merchant to get into their good graces?

  • 3
    This is normally just a "I'm making sure you're not stealing anything" phase. They only really stop caring at the same time that you can start "taking" things instead of "stealing" things, which you normally have to do a quest or similar for them for.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 5:28
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    Have you considered buckets? Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 6:45
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    @RavenDreamer This bucket thing is becoming a bit of a trend for you. Do you solve all of Skyrim's problems by putting buckets over people's heads? :p
    – spugsley
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 13:53
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    @spugsley you mean you don't? Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 15:50
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    @RavenDreamer +1 Best response ever. Lol
    – spugsley
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 15:51

3 Answers 3


I've had success with a few things when it comes to people following me. I'm not on a sneaky character, so I've had to get crafty for some missions. It sounds like you've tried some of these methods already, but I'll put them here anyway just for completion's sake.

One is to try during the day, when people are out and about or tending to their stores. I've noticed that some (not all) vendors will stay at their counters instead of following me.

Second, is to go in and scout a quick path while letting the person follow you, but not steal anything. Then, go out and come back in (this usually resets their position) and make a mad dash for whatever you needed to get. I may just be lucky at encountering slow people, even in Solitude. I'm not sure if their speed or concern with me stealing something is related to anything.

Finally, I've also had success with telling my companion to wait on the stairs or in smaller door ways to block the person from following me, or at least slow them down more. It seems to be hit and miss, but it's worth a try.

I've also read (and it's mentioned in a comment above) that buckets/pots on heads can work. I've never tried it myself, but it would be a lot funnier than any of my suggestions! Maybe some combination of buckets and companion blocking to slow them down would help.

  • 1
    Companion blocking is something I haven't tried - such a good idea and hilarious. I'm definitely going to try that! Do you know if it might have something to do with my status in Solitude? I'm not a thane there, but I am in Whiterun and I don't have this problem when I'm in that hold.
    – spugsley
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 13:51
  • I'm really not sure if it's status related or not. I never paid attention to whether people followed me more or less as I went through quests and became a Thane in Solitude. The only person I've noticed that follows me consistently is the vendor in Bits and Pieces. So it could be related to that.
    – Preston
    Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 2:07
  • I'm going to give this question another day or so - I really want to know if it's related to your status within a hold. If someone doesn't bring that up soon, I'll accept your answer. Thanks again :)
    – spugsley
    Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 13:41
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    Teamwork seems to be the best method in burglary. Distraction, ...., profit!
    – DrFish
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 15:18

Do you have many open quests in Solitude? I would bet that this is caused by some quest causing people to be interested in you. I'm not sure selling things to the person would have any effect on your reputation with them specifically, but more so with your basic speech level.

Do they do this in other cities?

  • Solitude is the worst right now. In Whiterun, I don't usually get followed at all and I do have open quests there as well so I don't think that's the reason.
    – spugsley
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 4:47

The easiest way to get someone to quit following you is to go into sneak mode, walk through a door, and stand on the other side of the door being really quiet. Eventually, since they can't see you and since they can't open the door, they will get bored and go back to whatever is was they would be doing if you weren't there. You can also do this in the open as long as the sneaking eye is shut. I was once crouched down hiding in a corner of the room. The guy couldn't see me, but I could see him as he walked away.

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