This law took away any protection a thief might imagine he had from the cover of night.
So, the risk assessment for a thief during those days was, perpetrate my crime:
at night -- the cost of being caught will be my life.
during the day -- the cost of being caught will be full restitution. If I have nothing with which to make restitution, I will be sold into slavery.
"Is the thing I'm coveting worth the cost?"
Such a system wouldn't deter everyone who might consider theft, but Israel didn't need a prison system. The cost of security, policing and welfare would be nowhere near the levels they are today had such judgments remained part of the justice system.
Here is a graph of this particular type of crime in Australia:
Courtesy Crime Statistics Australia
What is immediately obvious?
Well, head and shoulders above all other groups are the two groups 10-14 and 15-19. The reason for this is, the law treats those under 18 differently to the rest of the community. Notice there is very little change from year to year in the other groups.
Those adults of a criminal mindset will take into account the leniency of the justice system towards minors in their risk assessment of committing a crime, and will send their children to do it for them. This would not be the case under the Law that was given to Moses. A man would be very reluctant to commit such a crime knowing the cost, but he would be very, very reluctant to send his son to do it for him.
The trend downwards for the two groups over the years in regard to this crime is not explained. However, it would foolish to imagine that children or their parents have been deterred by the system, or that the community has not borne a greater cost in regard to security, police numbers, and expenditure on welfare.