difficult child stole my debit card!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I can't even believe it. I mean, I am at a loss. :dont_know:

    Yesterday morning I went to this discount grocery store out of town. I used my card there. Then I stopped at another store and used my other debit card for a different account. Then I went home.

    I unloaded groceries, cleaned out my car, and then difficult child asked me for money so she could buy some condoms :rolleyes:. I said I'd buy them for her, but that I would not give her money. Off we went to Walgreens. I ran inside with my 'other' debit card to use and then chickened out so I bought other things and got $20 cash back to give her for the condoms. I gave her the $20 and then we went home. When I got home I only had a minute because I had to go to the hairdressers and difficult child left to go to her boyfriend's.

    Before I left for the hairdressers, I noticed my card was missing. I called the discount grocer and the other store to see if anyone had turned in my card - no. So, I called H to get the 800 number so I could cancel the card. I cancelled the card and went about my afternoon, confident that I had preempted any debit card theft. ::shopping::

    Flash forward to today and I had to go check out nursing homes for my mom and invited difficult child to come with. She said okay and off we went. When we passed the discount grocers I commented about how annoyed I was at losing my card because now I had to order a new one, wait, etc.

    And difficult child says, "uh, yeah I need to tell you something..." I was so distracted that I wasn't thinking and then she said, "I took your card yesterday because I needed gas, but then" (my mouth was hanging open at this point) "the machine ate your card, so it's really lost". :vote:

    Me: You went into my wallet and took my card? :smile:

    difficult child: No, it was on the table and I needed gas; I was going to bring it back.

    Me: So, if you left a $20 bill on your dresser, is it okay for me or easy child or H to take it?

    difficult child: NO! I know it was wrong and I'm sorry - at least I'm telling you about it! (starts crying) :crying:

    I was just kind of speechless at this point, so I didn't say anything. Then I swatted her head :clubbing:. A couple of times. We rode along in silence, visited a nursing home, talked some more about it. She told me how shocked she was that the machine ate my card, how her boyfriend told her she was in big trouble (but in bad words), her friends also told her how in trouble she was, etc. I could just listen, not speak.

    We visited 3 places total, spending approximately 2 hours at each. We got home around 4PM.

    I told difficult child she couldn't go out. She went out anyway. I should have taken the keys to the car, but I didn't think fast enough. I am angry with her. :grrr:

    I know that many of you have dealth with difficult child's who steal your cash, wallets, jewelry, etc. I don't think that's what I'm dealing with, but it sure has made me think twice about things. When I get my new card, I am changing the pin. I'm also getting a new card for my other account and changing that pin, since it's the same! I'm going to hide my valuables.

    Tonight, H was going to tell difficult child that she had until the end of January to find a job or he was dropping her car from the insurance (for those of you who have told me to drop her already - H refused. That's why she is still on our ins - out of my hands). He never had the chance - she left. She'll be back later and I will get her keys and take them to work with me, so she can't go anywhere tomorrow. But still. My God. I am still stunned that she would cross that boundary and take my card.

    Me: "That's STEALING!!"

    difficult child: "I know and I'm sorry. I was on the phone half the night last night trying to get someone from the bank to meet me at the ATM and give me back your card" (I'm sorry, but Bwaaahaahaaaa - :rofl: what an @$$!!!) :hammer:

    Me: "What?!?!"

    difficult child: "Yeah, I was EVEN going to show you today the ATM it was so we could get it back"

    me: Duh - hello?? It's gone. We CAN'T get it back difficult child!!!
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Good idea to change the pins. Lock up any valuables. She feels bad because she was caught---not because she thinks it was wrong. If she had gotten the money and put it back, you'd be none the wiser. been there done that. I keep my pocketbook close at hand if difficult child is ever around. If I give him gas, I go to the store and swipe my card and let him pump. I never give him my card. He stole husband's once and that was enough.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    From an outsiders perspective things have been going downhill since your difficult child got back from her dad's house.

    She has broken all the rules that she agreed to in order to come home again, is not working, and now she is stealing from you.

    I've lived with keyed deadbolt locks on my bedroom doors and will never do it again. It is horrible knowing that you have to live that way because of a family member.

    Everyone reaches the point when they refuse to live like that at different points. Mine came when my difficult child was 19 and the first thing we did when we made her leave was to remove the deadbolt locks from our bedroom doors. I will never live like that again.

    I guess you need to ask yourself how much more you are willing to take. I don't see this getting any better for the forseeable future.

    Sending a big hug from one that has been there done that too.

  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to say, but I'm afraid that Kathy's perspective on this is probably accurate. You did good to be so on top of it and cancel your card right away. That's why the machine ate it. She probably knew that.

    At the very least this is a call for a serious conversation. That she took off after you told her not to is a really bad sign. She's not actually fessing up if she can't stay around long enough for you to get over the shock of it and have an intelligent disscussion about it.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Ugh...so been there done that...and still dealing with it!

    I hope you dont have to go through what I have had to but just remember that Cory started out with my debit card too.
  6. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh Jo, :frown:

    I understand your shock!!!!!!! :smile: For those of us, I'm including myself here, who never believed that our difficult children would steal from us... when they do... we go into shock... :smile:

    We have to revamp our thinking and accept that anything is possible.. anything. :frown:

    I agree with Kathy here. When she walked out after you told her she couldn't it was like spitting in your face.. been there done that. But we all come to the time in our lives when we won't take it anymore. I also refuse to live my life in fear.. of things being stolen.. or violence. If my difficult child wants to make those choices... he can make them somewhere else. :warrior:

    Sending gentle hugs.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sending (((hugs)))

    This is one of several reasons I won't have one.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    witz, For all her smarts, she actually didn't understand why the machine ate my card. She honest to God thought if she could just get a hold of someone somewhere anywhere related to the bank, she'd have been able to get my card back! I mean, duh.

    H is home today so he's going to have that sit down discussion with difficult child. I am hoping she can sit long enough for it to be a RATIONAL discussion and I hope H can stay calm long enough to say what needs to be said before they start yelling. I am thankful actually that I am not home to get involved. Surely difficult child will call me for some reinforcement, but she won't get any. At least H finally realizes the folly of keeping her car on our insurance! He's going to give her until the end of the month to secure a job so she can get her own. And if she hasn't by then, Oh well, the car's coming off ours! Finally. I've only been telling him this since September.

    She knows she is in deep doo doo. What I hate is that when she's confronted she immediately flips out and starts screaming and defending herself as if there is an actual viable defence here. The tears, the running off...so glad I made it into work. Despite 8" of snow this morning, I made it in. How sad is that, that I'd rather be at work than home with my family. I just can't stand the BS and lies anymore.

    Kathy, I know you're right...still am having a hard time bringing the hammer down, though. I know I'm almost there.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Jo, this story is true...

    DAY ONE:

    (I was a bank manager for many years.) Woman called me one day livid because her account is overdrawn. Checks were bouncing all over, OD charges were being assessed up the wazoo. I printed out her account activity and she came in to review it with me. There were a couple of debit card withdrawals that were unaccounted for in her book. She started to have a hissy and I told her I'd have our fraud division get pictures of the fraudulent transactions.

    DAY TWO:

    The security guy does his thing and brought me several pictures of the young, attractive female who is making the transactions at the ATM machine. I called the woman and described the young woman to her....yes, of course......it's the woman's daughter. Woman asked me to hold onto the pictures and she would bring in her daughter.


    Woman and I are now co-conspirators to see if daughter confesses. Obviously the daughter is a major difficult child. In my best navy-banker-suit delivery I gave the mother and daughter an overview of what had transpired on Mom's account and what legal ramifications there were to the person who took the money.

    Showed the pictures.

    I'm sure you can predict the rest...

    Daughter denied it was her even though the pictures were OF HER FACE and she had on clothes that Mom remembered her wearing on the day the withdrawals took place. And daughter was filled with righteous indignation at being blamed even though she admitted that those pictures "sure do look like me."

    :rofl: :hammer: :rofl: :hammer: :rofl:

    At home, we dealt with Rob stealing from the time he was a little boy until the day he was sent to Detention. We also lived with locks on our bedroom door and locking safes, etc.

    Never again.

    I'm so sorry.


  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Remember the ferry -ride fiasco? Cost you a bunch - and don't know if you remember this - but it would really be easier for her to have her OWN debit card. I would NEVER give her cash, I would never allow her to know how much money I had at any given time on hand or in the bank - If she asked for money and earned it? I would put it on a pre-paid Visa for her.

    I have lived with a child that has stolen from me since he was 12. At first it was little things that I didn't overlook and I didn't let go. Change from my car. 1.) It's MY car, 2.) It's MY change and 3) it IS stealing. Okay mom - sorry - tears, won't do it again.

    Then he found my rolled coins - stole $40.00 but was BIG MAN on campus for a day buying friends Subway and pop, candy. When i found the note in his closet that said HOW MUCH I had - I went and got my back up note and once again - we had "the stealing" talk. I told him at that point if he ever got into my purse I would bust his arm off and I wasn't kidding. Then it was little things, like aftershave from DF, batteries, snacks - I mean the list went on and on. Even when I would pull up at the ATM with my card? I parked the car, walked up and did my banking - NEVER EVER with him in a car. This is a kid who can't remember to take out the trash, but could memorize a 7 digit code for the ER doors after watching one time. ARGH.

    So we locked up our doors, I got the punishment keyring (little bungee thing on my wrist) to carry with ALL my door keys. And they were locked EVEN IF I went to the bathroom. He was that quick and calculating.

    I agree that she has gone down hill since visit to dads - but it's not an excuse. Crying and pouting, tears, arguing are a defense mechanism - so here's a trick I learned. When you sit down to confront a child about theft tell them first - "YOU MAY cry, you may argue, you may pout - but it will NOT get you any closer to an apology with me. You did what you did because YOU WANTED TO do it - now there are consequences - so cry if you must but it isn't going to help your situation. I'd recommend crying later - when I'm not around if you are truly sorry that would be the appropriate time to cry. I'm over it."- and then talk.

    That stopped a lot of the sassing back or "defending the innocent" in an obvious crime. As far as the change - bad on me - there will never be change in my car for a long time. For the rolled coin - We stopped talking to him except for basic answers for over a week - DF and I both said we didn't care to live with a thief. He was given ridiculous chores to complete. And he did complete them - after that EVERYTHING got locked up, all the cleaners in the house, all the laundry soap - you name it it got locked up. It was hard to live with having to unlock a door each and every time we wanted to get something - but at least it was there until ......

    His buddy showed him how to break into our house using a school ID card - through the windows. NOW the added expense of the extra locks on the window make me feel safe in my own home. And I'm sure all the friends he has had in - know the layout of our house, have seen what's steal-worth or have told their older cousins about it - so we put up signs about the security cameras.

    Idiot kid - cost me more than I care to think about but mostly it cost him my trust. NOT easily given - HARDER to earn back.

    Sorry you have to go through this - I still haven't taken the locks off anything. I put one on our shed and he PRIED it off with a screwdriver he got from a friends. THAT was the living end. I pay for locks and he pries them off? ARGH.

    Good luck
    Don't trust her for a minute -
    this action has put her in a different category to be viewed not just as a daughter but (sadly) a daughter who will steal from her own mom.

    And as far as being sorry - yeah She's sorry she got caught because if that card would have worked in the ATM machine - she'd have taken money. If it would have been anyone but you - she'd be in jail.

    Don't buy into it - and I get you on the rather go to work - it was my haven for years. And I worked with an alcholic/type A personality man. Pick the lesser of THOSE 2 evils.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ironically, difficult child has a lock on HER door because after easy child went off to college, difficult child moved into her room! easy child required a lock on her door, cried begging me to install a lock on her door, because difficult child was always 'borrowing' her things: perfume, deoderant (ew), clothes, makeup, hairbrush, belts, etc. The odd thing was that difficult child supposedly hated easy child's clothes...that was when easy child noticed money missing and even some jewelry. I bought her the locks.

    We had a lock on our bedroom door, but we lost the keys, got locked out, had them removed and H replaced our doorknob with one that does not lock. I begged for another locking doorknob, but H refused.

    I have change jars randomly placed around the house; in the laundry room, in my room, the kitchen, just so everyone can throw spare change into them. Then after I have enough, I roll them up. I have that box hidden under my dresser. difficult child knows this is where it is. She also routinely take quarters from the change jars.

    We don't really have a lot of valuables. We just don't. But, all a person would have to do to get into our house when we're not home is hit the doorbell outside of our garages. It is a simple doorbell - that's it. It leads into our basement through the garage where there is a stairway and door that lead into our kitchen. I have asked H to PLEASE replace it with a keyed pad to open and he laughs and tells me I'm paranoid. Even with the stalker incidents, you'd think he'd take me more seriously. For our back door, all it is a regular keyed lock, no deadbolt. But the front door is like Fort Knox!! Haha. The windows would be tough to get into unless they just broke them and we have no alarms anywhere. It took me 12 years to get H to install sensor lighting outside! I worry more about her loser friends getting into my house than anything - even difficult child.

    All my valuables are sentimental items. They woudn't fetch much in a pawn shop. But you're right about the change, card pin, etc. I ordered my new card today and gave it a new pin. I wonder if an ATM will eat it when I forget it has a new pin!! Ah, the irony!

    I have to go home in 30 minutes and I am dreading it. I hate to say it, but difficult child is so much like her bio-dad it's scary. The pathological lying and petty theft [email protected] is just eating me up inside. I always hate that exh was such a liar - about the most stupid things! - and he would steal miscellaneous items off jobsites and garages, things that weren't even very valuable or of use to him. It's like he just did it for the thrill of it. Sickened me to no end. He still does it to and then he brags about it to easy child and difficult child. I am sick to my stomach.
  12. WiscKaren

    WiscKaren New Member

    My heart is with you on this one. For many, many years we had to live with a lock on our bedroom door and anything and everything of value went in there. And if my purse was out and son was home, even if I went to the bathroom, I made sure my purse was with. It was a hell of a way to live, as many of you can understand.

    I remember even one time he stole from us and of course, he denied it. Right up until the time we were calling the cops to report a theft. When the cops came, we explained the situation and son confessed. Cops told us to "give the kid a break this time". It escalated from there.

    To this day, if son visits, I never leave my purse unattended and our bedroom door is locked immediately. We have been estranged now for several months though -- and I do not miss having to do this stuff.

    You are not alone,
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    I agree with the others who have talked about the loss of trust, having to lock all doors, etc.

    difficult child has been gone for a few months now, and I'm just getting out of the habit of locking everything behind me, carrying my purse and a great whacking bunch of keys around the house all the time, and having to take 2 or 3 daily inventories of my belongings, having to search difficult child's bedroom, bags, all clothing pockets, shoes, in between his winter boots and the boot liners, everywhere...sigh, for the things he stole.

    difficult child's bedroom door had a lock on it 9it used to be easy child 1's room before she left home) but now I have the only key. So...if he chose to lock his door when he was out of the room, he was stuck out of his room until I chose to let him back in.

    There are some nice door locks available at Home Depot, Rona, Wal-Mart etc. The lock is incorporated in the handle, and requires a key. They are not too difficult to install. If H won't do it, perhaps it's time for a new project, to learn to do it yourself. You can buy locks that are warded alike, so that you only need one key for several different doors.

    My heart goes out to you, Jo. Your difficult child needs to learn that she can't get away with this ever. I like your idea of taking her keys. I agree that you should take her off your insurance.

    It's clear that her friends understood the deliberation with which she took your card (the fact that they all said she was going to be in big trouble...)

    Hang in there.

  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Trinity -

    I like the way you think! YES - Jo you can put on a door handle! New project...new learning experience....good idea Trinity!
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I read through this board and I still can't imagine my difficult child ever stooping to the level where I'd have to take inventory and hide my belongings, put locks on every door, carry my purse around with me, etc. I guess I'm still in shock or in deep deep denial, but I really do not think she'd ransack the house to get things to sell for money. First, there isn't anything to take. But mostly, I really think she's just a stupidhead. She took my card to get gas instead of just asking for gas money - she knows we would have said no, which is probably why she didn't ask.

    For now, I am being very cautious. She's been calling and calling help wanted ads and today she's got 3 appts. This weekend easy child will be home and H is working, so I will get the door lock and install it myself. Not a big deal - I know how to do it, I was just hoping that H and I could actually be on the same page for a change and he'd go along with it. Next up: Get a keypad for the garage and have a code that we can change should the need arise.

    I also realize that I can't tell easy child everything about what difficult child's doing because it just makes her angry and not like difficult child very much. It's THE obstacle getting in the way of them every repairing their relationship, aside from the erratic difficult child behavior that easy child already cannot tolerate. Ugh.

    Thanks for lending me all this strenght and knowledge. I feel well armed.
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I, too, never thought I would have to carry my personal items with me. I learned the hard way that this wasn't true. I never gave my daughter my pin number and wouldn't even let her stand near me when using it. Not because I didn't trust her but because I wanted her to learn that some things are private and always should be for varying reasons.

    Well, it turns out she would watch at a distance. When she was about 17, she stole my debit card and bought about $500 in clothes she wanted and took out the max she could in cash. I had no clue this happened (clothes were stuffed under her bed where she knew I couldn't look) until I was overdrawn to the tune of $200 in overdraft fees because of automatic bill pay. She took back what she could. I had a garage sale the next weekend and sold her PlayStation, television, cd player, clothing ... whatever it took to recoup the money lost.

    She informed me that I better watch my stuff real carefully because she would get her money back. Knowing my daughter did not make idle threats in that regard caused the door lock to my bedroom, sleeping with a fanny pack, keeping all keys and my purse beside me at all times. Sadly, she'll remind me that I still owe for the things she "lost" at 17 when she's angry, which means my property is still at risk.

    You say your daughter took the car because she knew you would say no. That was my daughter's logic for the new clothes. She just took the money out cause she knew she was in major hot water so why not. Be careful, these can truly escalate to cause major financial damage.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Her money back? What gall!
  18. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Well, I never said my child didn't have a lot of nerve.
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    MB, that is so scary. I can't believe that all this time has passed and your daughter still believes that SHE is the one who lost HER money! My God. That is often how difficult child will respond, as if somehow her losing something of hers (due to punishment, etc) was our fault.

    For instance when she lost her cell phone due to misuse and blamed H and me that she couldn't call us to tell us where she was because we had to be mean and take away her phone.

    It is great to hear these stories (sorry they ever happened) so I can remain strong about protecting my things and money. Thanks~
  20. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member


    Just wanted to send a hug. :angel: