Here's a logic question. A car was stolen. James, Tim, and Steve were brought in for questioning as one of them was suspected of stealing the car. If only one of the statements below is true, who stole the car? What your reasoning?

James: I'm innocent.

Tim: James stole the car.

Steve: I'm innocent.

  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Who stole the flying car in Hogwarts? Because every car is a flying car, and they all took Polyjuice Potion :-P $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2018 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ wait - every flying car is a car, but not the other way around (unless not-flying is just counted as flying at height 0) $\endgroup$
    – Stefano
    Feb 27, 2018 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor My car is broken. $\endgroup$
    – nl-x
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:44

4 Answers 4



Steve stole the car.


If James stole the car, the second and third statements are true. If Tim stole the car, the first and third statements are true.


Steve stole the car


Tim is not innocent either by telling a lie about james stole the car. he is probably telling this lie to cover Steve and they probably stole the car together. it is suspicious! otherwise why would he lie?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps Tim is simply mistaken. Not every falsehood is a lie. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2018 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor I said suspicious :) he can be a part of this car thief who knows... $\endgroup$
    – Oray
    Feb 26, 2018 at 18:03

It was:


If James is telling the truth, Steve stole the car by his own admittance and Tim's anti-testimony (although Tim could have stolen the car).

If Tim is telling the truth, James stole the car, but Steve was telling the truth, which is a contradiction as there is only one truth.

If Steve is telling the truth, both James and Tim are lying, so James both did and didn't steal the car.

Hence the only truth could have come from James, and so Steve stole the car.


I know I'm late, but I just wanted to share how I solved it when I first saw the question.

The thief is:


Explanation of how I came to this:

As I read it, I got the feeling that Steve was guilty from my knowledge of how these puzzles usually work and the order of the testimonies (not the most logical, but I know).

You might want to change up the order a bit when using it in the future @Jeff


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