Adult Child Stealing from Parents

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Dandy, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Dandy

    Dandy New Member

    Going into round 3 with unauthorized charges to my credit card with my 26 year old adult son who lives with us. He's been charged twice and served jail time.
  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi Dandy and welcome to the forum.

    Ugh, I am sorry about your son and him stealing from you. I know your post is very short, but I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak you have suffered, just like we have.

    My son stole from me too. The first time was taking my debit card, taking out $60 and then putting it back.
    There was some gas lighting going on of course, "who me?" "I didn't take your debit card..." blah blah. Nobody else was here in this house except he and I . Anyway. you know the drill.

    Then he stole jewelry, a bike rack, things he could pawn and sell. He also stole jewelry from his stepmom.

    How are you doing? Please write back when you can and let us know about you and how you are coping with all of this.

    And, if you would like, please write a signature to go along with your profile so we have some of your back story as a reference point.

    Most importantly, we understand here. Most of us have been through the same thing. As a matter of fact, my son, difficult child, will be 26 in July. It's been a long six years but he is doing better right now.

    Fingers crossed. Hugs to you on this Monday!
  3. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Prosecuting him is the only way to teach him this is unacceptable & won't be tolerated though. Sadly we love our kids so much, give them everything, & they repay our kindness by stealing from us. You are doing the right thing. Hope he learns from this & never steals from u again.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Dandy, I'm glad you found your way here. We are here to offer support to each other, to share our stories and to share what has or hasn't worked for us.

    It is a betrayal like no other when your child steals from you. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.
    I too have been through it with my son. Once he stole $3000 in cash that I had hidden extremely well, so I thought. One thing I learned, if they want money bad enough they will find it no matter where it's hidden and if they can't find money they will steal other things to pawn.

    First thing I would do is call the credit card company and report the card lost. Your son may have memorized the card #. They will issue a new card and that one I would keep locked up.

    You also have the option of calling the police as you know. If it were me, I would.

    What is the reason your 26 year old son is living with you? Does he work? Is he paying rent? Is he using drugs or alcohol?
    It's very helpful if you can give some more detail.
    I know you may feel like you are helping him by letting him live with you but you are not. At 26 he should be living on his own and taking care of himself.

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. We are here for you.

    ((HUGS)) to you...........................
  5. Rina

    Rina Member

    We recently found out that our son stole from us once or twice. It's like a knife to the stomach. You're doing the right thing. Take care.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why does he live with you? I assume he is using drugs?
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  7. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    For a lot of people on this site, those two sentences tell a whole novel of pain, betrayal, anguish, and confusion. Sorry you're going through this.

    If you could post more we could respond better. You have found a place where we've been there done that and got the T-shirt, as Tanya M said.

    Sounds like you're doing what's needed in prosecuting him. Like the other people have said, maybe it's time for him to find alternate living arrangements. 26 is an adult in anybody's book. Usually they steal to fund a drug lifestyle.

    Sorry you're going through this, but probably your only viable option is to detach and let him suffer the consequences of his decisions. A natural consequence of stealing from you in your own home is that he can't live there anymore. If you had a houseguest who stole from you, would you allow that person to continue staying there?

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  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that he has given up any claim to living with you. I hope you press charges and he does jail time. While he is there, you can change the locks and pack up his stuff. Nothing short of that is likely to change his ways.

    Good luck,

  9. GnarlyWoman

    GnarlyWoman New Member

    Still struggling with the discovery that my daughter stole earrings from me. This after a decade of going to hades and back with cutting, hospitalization, drug addiction, abusive relationships to raising her daughter. Recently things had seemed to be getting better, but she relapsed hard. Supposed to have been getting the "shot" for heroin addiction, but still stealing? Don't walk into my house wearing earrings my own mother bought me, or casually drop another pair of mine with your things, then expect me to just "be chill" about it. I think she wants to me go off her, I swear. I'll just do what I always do, boundary lines going up. Stepping back. But dang if I'm not tired, ya'll.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When a 26 year old adult is a perpetrator in your home...he becomes first a perpetrator and then your child.

    I will no longer permit myself to be abused, disrespected, betrayed, insulted, in my own house. If I continue to allow this..I have internalized a perpetrator that I must identify and expel.

    With the patient modeling of the people on this site, I am learning to identify that which needs to be changed, and how to change it. My adult child is responsible for himself. I am responsible for ME.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  11. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    So sorry you're dealing with this betrayal, it's very frustrating. My Difficult Child, at 17, role our safe open and took about $4000 cash...

    At 26 years old he needs to find his own place to live. He doesn't respect you and therefore shouldn't benefit from living in your home.

    My advice...after much insight from the wonderful people here: call the cops, press charges, get him out of your house so you can live without fear and set firm boundaries (and stick to them)

    He's a grown man, time to stand on his own two feet and fend for himself.

    Take care.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    My first thought was why is he living with you? If he stole from you, and is older than 21, there seems no reason in the world he should be in your home. Perhaps there could be an exception, but it would be VERY VERY unlikely and rare. ...can't even imagine one. I would consider getting support. Maybe Families Anonymous or another group that would be appropriate and helpful. Perhaps some short term therapy for yourself. Making such a big decision, even if it is an urgent and necessary one, is almost always extremely difficult. You have our heart wrenching Kudos for pressing charges.
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you WearyMom.
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm so very sorry. That he'd do it once is bad enough, but three times, having charges and jail time to boot, is just unbelievable. :( Like many here, our son stole from us. Never charges on credit cards, but things he could pawn or sell and finally a substantial amount of cash. We never pressed charges, though we said we would, but we did put him out. I can't imagine circumstances when we'll let him come back.
  16. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Hi Dandy, I too have had my son steal from me to pawn for $. Even worse he stole his (special needs) sisters ATM card randomly, sneaking it back in to her wallet. Had us thinking we were going crazy. That's when he crossed the line. He wasn't even living with us, he'd some how get in to our locked house. Yes, changed the locks a few times. I did press charges and he got a felony charge for residential burglary. He doesn't steel from me any more. You're doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is. I imagine he's stealing for drugs? Naranon has been a big help to me. Alanon too. You're not alone. I hate what drugs do to our kids...and to us.
  17. mtdenise

    mtdenise Member

    My son stole from us numerous times too. The first time we found out he left and lived with friends. Eventually he came back home, told us he was taking drugs and drinking too much, and wanted to get on the right track. We took him back in, set him up with a therapist, took him to AA and NA meetings, and he found a job. All we asked was that he go to meetings, work, save money, and be honest with us. Sadly, this didn't last. He started stealing from us again and lost his job. We still didn't put him out, but the final straw for me came when he stole checks from me and forged them. No, I didn't press charges but I did kick him out for good. He will under no circumstances live here ever again. I can't go back to living my life hiding my money and wondering if anything valuable is gone. I hear from him once in a while from a friend who is trying to help him out, but he's still not connecting the dots. Just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone and everyone here is great at "listening." I'm more of a lurker than a participant. I hope this board is very useful to you. Hugs for all you are going through.
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  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    How awful for all of you.

  19. Dandy

    Dandy New Member

    Thanks for the reply and encouragement. I elected not to report my son because he will be doing some jail time due to breaking probation -- didn't show up for a court date related to a difference matter and plans to turn himself in after he visits his two baby daughters in Texas. I reported the card lost and have the new one hidden because my son had the number and was using it. Now I find out that he's got 3rd party charges on his cell phone of which is on our family plan. I almost suspended his phone, but didn't because he's working now and needs the phone for that, and to stay in touch with his kids' Mom. I know I'm making excuses for him, so I told him that if I get another charge like that, I will suspense his phone. When I do, it won't be my fault. There's a lot going on with him that I won't go into, but in short, he needs counseling and I think some medication for his moods.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Does HE think he needs counselling? Would he actually go?

    If he is anti-help, there is less support you can give. It he wants help, can you help him find it?