A wishing well is nothing more that a place to hope and dream. A token offering is given with the silly notion that the wish just might come true. But what happens when these wishes start to come true, on a regular basis?
What about a 'criminal' society with distinct laws - for stealing, the larger the value of something stolen, the less punishment the courageous thief recieves (but must return it of course). For this pirates(?) caught petty thieves deserve to be punished harshly. If you take, you better take a lot.