New Member
My daughter is 19 and has been stealing since she was 17. First it was stores then from me. I have to begin by explaining how this hurts and how deep the pain goes. Our house was broken into for over a year off and on i lost pretty much everything. I was diagnosed with ptsd. I went into a deep depression. The pain and the loss and the fact someone came into our home while we slept scared me like I can never explain. It took a many years after to recover. Although things bring the nightmares back fast forward to my daughter stealing. She steals food pretty much all my clothes her sisters things her brothers things. It is a pain I can't describe she knows how much it hurt and crippled my life in sooooo many ways when the house got broken into. The emtional pain and suffering I endured. How much it took to try and overcome it. Yet she broke my heart like I can't explain time and time again. As well as her brother and sisters. She's taken money too. She is in the home then out then in. Each time me giving her the benefit for all our sakes. She is my daughter there sister
. Currently she is dating a drug user and has taken so much that this time I don't want to let it go. It scares me but there is a camera that catches our door where we live. I want to call the police cause it's so out of hand and i dont have the money to replace the things she times i struggle myself as I have a disability. What I guess im asking is when is the right time to charge her? Is there.can the police or will the police ask her to return the things before so she won't have a record. I dont want her younger siblings to think this ok behaviour. I'm so torn and heartbroken. That she would do this to us after everything we have been through . Please someone help me please


Well-Known Member
Hi there. I am so sorry about all this. I know how it wounds us. Is there a father? Have you ever surprised her but demanding a drug test? I believe she and boyfriend are both using heavy duty drugs and that is why she stesls. It makes sense. First i recommend that test. Then, i share the rest.

Sometimes our adult kids do things we dont understand. We love them so much that we try to deny it or we give them a hundred second chances or we believe their promises that they never keep. This is normal for loving mothers. We dont want to think our children are not good people. We take their problems personally. We cry. I did. We cant see straight. I didnt.

Hon, your daughters behavior and boyfriend decision are red flags for drug abuse. Addicts steal to sell things to support their habit. Even $20 helps buy. My daughter, who is an ex addict, explained that you stop caring about anything but the drug. It is part of the illness. To me this makes the most sense why your daughter steals. Why else would she tolerate a drug user and dealer as a boyfriend? Do you allow him in your house? These are just my thoughts.

I always told my kids that if they did something illegal id call the police. I called the cops on my fifteen year old daughter for drug use, especially because she confessed that her drug dealer was a 35 year old man that we knew. We wanted to stop him from messing with minors and teach my daughter that we will not tolerate illegal stuff in our house. She eventually quit all drug use, even cigarettes. It has been twelve years.

I believe we as parents need to show our kids that illegal behavior is not something we will ever put up with. Ever. If your daughter ends up in prison, for theft of somebody who does not care about her or for drugs, her record will be much worse than if you turn her in for stealing from you. Your love of her is telling her she can steal from her family with no consequences. This is not really good for her or your other children. Although it is because you love her, it is still a mother letting criminal behavior go. And not protecting the other siblings. She needs to understand stealing is a bad thing with consequences. Serious consequences. Family or not. How dare she steal from those who love her. Her siblings are going to turn on her and perhaps eventually be mad at you for allowing daughter to be in home, able to take their cherished belongings. Its a lose/lose to keep turning the other cheek in my opinion, although I get it. But you are choosing this daughter over the rest of the family, those who are not doing criminal behavior. That includes yourself. You matter. Your pain matters. Your belongings matter. Your home/your sancuary should in my opinion be a place of peace and comfort.

If this were me, she could not live in our home ever. I probably would meet her in public restaurants and not let her in the house since she steals. Id change the locks. Yes, she is your beloved daughter. She also is doing criminal behavior and probably associating with drug dealers who can hurt, even kill you, you and the rest of your family. They deserve protection from your daughter. So do you.

Right now your daughter, and I do know how much this hurts you, does not seem to care about the welfare of her family. So you have to maybe make painful decisions both to protect others from her and to teach your daughter that this is not what you taight her and that if she violates your values, she is not welcome in the house. We did that. My daughter came around. Is it a guarantee? No. But she cant steal from you and violate those who love her if she isnt home.

In the end, we all do what wr feel is best. We share our experiences. Thats all. It is up to you. Have ypu had a family meeting with your other kids to see how they feel? You are the head of your own house, but we always had family meetings. If you havrle onr dont include oldest dsigjter or the others wont feel safe speaking their true feelings.
She is your daughter, but is not behaving like a caring family member right now.

Love and big hugs and sadness for your hurting heart.
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Roll With It
It is time to call the police. Each and every time your daughter steals something, from now one, you call the cops on her. She is MORE than old enough to face the consequences of her actions. You gave her the benefit of the doubt and each time she slapped you in the face and did it again. If you don't call the police, you are telling her and your other children that she is free to take everything you own with no consequences.

PLEASE start calling the police every time she steals. Not only do you need this, your daughter NEEDS this. She needs this boundary. She needs to know that this is not okay and you won't tolerate this any longer. She is going to say and do ugly things when you do this, but you need to ignore those. She MUST face the consequences of her actions, if that is jail time or drug rehab or whatever, if she is ever to learn to live within society's rules. If she doesn't learn to stop this, sooner or later she will steal from someone who protects their home with a gun. Then she will get shot because she broke in and tried to steal from someone who had every right to protect themselves and their home. I know you don't want that. I know you want her to stop stealing. Right now the best way to teach her to not steal is to call the police on her for every single item, no matter how little, that she steals.

This will also help teach your other children not to steal. It is NEVER good to let this sort of thing go. NEVER. If she were a little kid, maybe letting it go would be good. But this needs to stop and it has gone so far that you need the police to stop it.

Do NOT delay. Call the police. EVERY TIME.

I hope this helps.

For what it is worth, I found that one of my children had shoplifted an item from a store that was 75 miles away. It was worth $3.75. He was 13. He had to pay the gas to return the item ($30). He had to go and return it, he had to pay for it, and he had to take whatever punishment the store chose to give. If they called the cops, I would not stop them. If they wanted money, he had to pay it. Whatever it was, it was up to him to work it out. He got lucky. They had an older lady who took the time to really speak to him and she made a real impact. For years he would stop and talk to her whenever he would go back to htat store. We were both remembered because very few people would care about so small an item, and especially not to drive so far to make a child return it AND pay for it. But I won't tolerate stealing at all.


Active Member
They will push you further and further - if you allow them to (drug addicts)!

You need to say ENOUGH. I would have kicked her out at the first theft - not allowed her back into the house without constant supervision - made her wait outside if I have to go to the store (not allow her to be in the house alone). And not allow her to bring in any backpacks or anything in which she can hide her stolen goods. Just like at many stores, signs say you must leave your backpack at the front counter.

Search her when she is leaving the house. That is make her open any containers, bags, purse. Empty her pockets, lift up pants legs so you can see if she is concealing anything.

With this latest incident, I agree you should call the police on her. This must stop! Tell her to go "shopping" elsewhere.

As for yourself, feeling "secure" is a basic need. Ask your local police what you can do to your home to improve its security from burglary. Also you can get an "air horn" for $10 at Walmart - they use them on boats. You could use that to signal for help. And if you have a key FOB for your car, you can press the "Emergency" button from inside your house and your car horn will start honking - Your own personal alarms.

Go to a gun shop or personal security store. You can buy "pepper spray" there. You can protect yourself with that. Get a baseball bat and keep it next to your bed.

You may not need to do the above things, however they may make you feel more secure in your home. That is the point and you are entitled to feel more secure!


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

Welcome and so sorry you are going through this. I also know the pain and suffering when a child we love so much makes poor choices again and again.

I agree with the others, you must not tolerate this one minute longer. I agree there is rampid drug use going on also. Her behavior is not normal.

This is not yours to fix but you can and you must protect yourself and your home and your things! Stop being her victim.

Agree to start calling the police. You think you are protecting her by not doing this but in actuality you are enabling her which is much worse. I've done it too and we've been through the mill with our son as you can see by my signature.

Sending you hugs, prayers and strength!