My brother steals from my family

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cherryfairy, May 31, 2012.

  1. cherryfairy

    cherryfairy New Member

    Hi everyone!

    I've been reading a lot of threads and had no idea there are so many other families with similar situations as ours. I realize this is mostly a forum for parents, but it would feel nice to share my story. Or rather my brothers story. My parents have kicked him out a week ago. He has been stealing from us for the past 2 years or so.

    At first he just started with taking foreign money from my parents, then he took special edition money that my dad collected and was saving for US. My parents noticed and confronted him, and at first he didn't want to admit, but he eventually did and he seemed remorseful. At the time he was 18. He kept doing it every now and then, stealing money from my mothers wallet, from my parents bedroom, from my bedroom, even from my then 7 year old little brother. So we bought new locks for our bedroom doors and were locking them all the time. Even if we just went out to the bathroom, we locked the door, it was just crazy. But he found a way to get around that too. He tried all the keys that were from other doors in the house, pantry, etc... And he was able to get in. Every Sunday when we would go to church he would never show up in the morning, and he knew he'd have a perfect 2 hour gap to do whatever he wanted without anyone dropping home on him. In April we noticed that he had taken money I've been saving in an envelope in my parents room and I told him if he does it again I will go to the police because he has now reached a point where I barely care for him, I cannot in any way say that I love him.

    Last week my mother noticed that some of her jewelry was missing, the more she looked the more popped into her head that she could not find. I took his bag when he got home and searched it, but could only find the keys he used. His wallets were empty. We confronted him once again. I told him to write down everything he took with a description of how it looked like, etc. Of course at first he didn't want to, but every ten minutes I was able to squeeze one more item out of him that he took. I threatened him that for every thing that he doesn't write down I will report him. We also made him write down the address of where he took the jewelry to, and also what he spent the money he got for it on. He also wrote down jewelry of mine. My mother told him he has to leave in the morning, because this is absolutely unacceptable and we will not take it anymore. But he decided to leave right away in the middle of the night.

    Next day we went to the address and found out that unfortunately it was not a pawn shop or similar, but a gold wholesaler, where they melt the stuff taken in within 2 days. So my mother was absolutely devastated, I cannot even put into words how upset and embarrassed both of my parents are. I can see that they don't want to report him to the police, because next time anything happens he will be considered as a recidivist. I honestly think he deserves it though. He has caused so much pain over the years.

    My parent are well known and adored people in our town and community and it would be a great embarrassment for them if word got out about him. We do not understand how he became to be this kind of person as he was never taught these actions, was not shown these examples. As a younger child he was a very cute, easy going child. He was loved so very much, he had everything he needed. It's not as if it were lifesaving to have to steal. He still always even asked for money. But he always expected lots of it everyday and no one could have kept up with his expectations. We live in Europe but it would be 15-20 dollars that he wanted everyday to spend on food and cigarettes. That kind of money we do not have and it's not like he didn't have food to take from home... Nothing was ever enough for him. The money he stole was always spent at Mcdonalds, for food and drinks, cigarettes, new headphones, makeup for his girlfriend. I can only imagine the money he has spent at Mcdonalds.... Also we're pretty sure he doesn't do drugs, we've seen kids that do, and we never noticed it with him. He just steals for the pleasure of a big meal, that by the way he would get at home just as well.

    He would also take things from our room, like my moisturizer or flashlights or hair straightener. Things that he would have no use of, they were always just stashed away in his room. Seemed like a kleptomaniac.

    But also another thing. He seems very daft? sometimes. Anytime we confronted him at first he always denied but 3 minutes later he admitted. Also lately my parents 'tricked" him with very see through things, as in: we've taken the envelope in to the police and they are able to take fingerprints off of it, so we all need to go in to get our fingerprints taken. And he believed and confessed that he took the money. Also he was always a very poor student, my father was able to get him into an auto repair type of 2 year school when he finished high school. This was his first year, but he has been performing very poorly. He is very lazy, never studies a bit, he absolutely doesn't care about anything. He is very aggressive with me, I got to the point where I didn't even say hi to him. My little brother used to adore him when he was even younger, but now even he avoids him too. Also the little one understands jokes and hints and sorts right away, while he still doesn't understand now as a 20 year old. When we get into an argument about anything with him, it seems as if he doesn't even understand what we're saying, he keeps repeating the same sentence over and over again, and in an arrogant, dominant loud tone. He lies about basically everything, but then always gets all tangled up in the lies, and can't answer cross questions. Would this be some kind of disorder? I'm not at home, and I've been reading posts about borderline disorder, etc, but I'm not quite sure.

    Excuse me for writing such a long post, but there are so many details that I haven't even covered....

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Cherryfairy and welcome to the board. It is perfectly fine for you to post here about your brother.

    I have to tell you that after reading your entire post, the first thing that crosses my mind is some form of autism spectrum disorder. The one iffy thing is the stealing but that could be an obsession I suppose. I do understand your family putting him out and I think that is the right thing to do. Can they help him find a place to go? Do you have anywhere around there that would test him for autism spectrum disorders at his age? Perhaps he could get in some sort of adult independent living situation. I dont know what is available there. I do know I think your family needs to change your locks and make sure he cant get in your house when you arent there anymore. Perhaps get a safe so all valuables are locked up. I had to do that when my son was stealing from me.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,
    So if I'm reading your post correctly, your brother is around 20 yrs. old. I do think he should be evaluated for some kind of disorder - that doesn't seem like he's doing it to be vindictive - I just don't think he can help himself. He seems compelled to take things - even things like a hair straightener. If you are sure he is not using drugs, then I think for someone age 20 to be doing this to spend the money on fast food indicates a very real problem. His cognitive ability seems to be impaired in some way.

    What kind of student was he? I know this is very frustrating for your family, and I'm so sorry for all you're going through. Your brother does need help, though, and I know your parents are embarassed. However, I'm sure they want the best for your brother, and seeking help for his issues would be the kindest thing to do for him, in my opinion.

    Good luck. Please continue to post and again, I'm sorry for your troubles.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi CF,

    Welcome to the board. You didn't say how old your brother was or at this point what you hope to gain by coming here. Not that I'm not thrilled to have you - I am. I'm just trying to get a handle on if you're venting, or if you're trying to help your parent's help your brother or if YOU are hoping to help your brother. Reason being - I'd like to know which direction to point you in. You say you have no love loss between the two of you. I completely respect that. Your parents (via your descripton) seen to want to "ostrich" the situation and not really make an issue out of it because of their social status. At this point they've put him out, and would just like to leave it at that. So he's out, he's gone, he's not bothering them, you or your little brother. What is the issue at hand? Not being sarcastic at all - but it would seem from all attitudes that since he's gone - and you have no love loss and your parents don't want to press charges or make an issue of his problems, and he's obviously not going to stop or seek help on his own - what could be done?

    As far as a diagnoses? It would be near impossible to nail something down - we could hazzard a guess - but SO Many things come into mind, and factors would enter in - like Did he have any traumatic events happen in his life that could be life altering? Could any of those events have happened without family knowledge? Did he possibly have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? It could be an organic issue, it could be something that is personality related or it could be early onset schizophrenia, Conduct disorder that has manifested into Anti-Social disorder, he could be suffering some form of Autism on the spectrum, he quite possibly could be a kleptomaniac. He could be bored and just doing this for the thrill of it. (doubtful but possible)

    If he's willing and you really care but are just exhasperated with how much he's hurt your family and he'll agree to it? I would encourage him to seek professional help in the form of a therapist NOW. If he's stealing from your family? It's beyond likely that he's stealing from businesses and other residences. Larceny or Burglary charges are nothing to sneeze at and depending on the laws of your country - and the residents? If he starts burglarizing places? He could end up shot or gravely injured. If petty theft doesn't thrill him any longer - he could one up this situation and go to bigger and worse situations.

    The description of he was a cute kid - and all that? Meh - not much to go on. Well behaved, never got into any trouble, always a good student - went to universtiy - etc......UNTIL - would be more of a warning or red flag to me. Like some life-altering event that either you know about or don't - could be something simple as - a girlfriend broke up with him, he got a bad grade, he had a teacher that year that was mean to him, he had an embarrassing situation in school - he was teased, bullied......etc... Or a series of events that overwhelmed him and he needs to deal with those situations in his psyche and move OUT of that particular time he's stuck in - and grow up mentally from that point forward but can't because a particular event in time stunted him. Happens to the best of us.

    I feel for your family - but there is help if your brother is willing to admit he needs help. Otherwise? I would stay the course of him STAYING his own course away from your house, change ALL THE LOCKS and do a perimiter check every time I left - and check all windows to make sure they are locked and can't be opened BEFORE I leave. He will of course have made keys to every door lock.....EVERY door. So if you think throwing him out - has saved your goodies? Guess again. He's five steps ahead of all of you. BE one more step ahead - and call a locksmith - TODAY....and get an alarm company - notify your neigbors of whom is to be at your home and WHO is not - and when they should call the police. EVEN if it's HIM. And let him know this is being done. That you have lookouts, an alarm - and locks changed. GET DEADBOLTS.....just my advice - I So be warned.

    Hugs -
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi and welcome. Really sorry for the heart break. your description of your brother does sound like he is very immature socially and if he is unable to really "get" humor, that is a big red flag that something else is going on that makes it so he can't really navigate well. Not that he is NOT able to do it but he sure sounds like he has some lacking skills. I agree it woudl be great if there was some way for him to agree to go to a specialist similar to what we call her a neuropsychologist (a special psychologist with extra training in neurology and they do lots of testing and interviews etc. to help figure out how behavior and the mind of the individual work. They can help see if there is a developmental problem, a psychological or psychiatric problem, or a combination.

    BUT, you are the sister, and he is now grown. Great if your parents want to do any of this but for you, there is some trauma to recover from. I am glad you are here. There are many parents here who have to work on the issues that go along with having a behavior challenged child, one of those big issues is how to help and support the siblings. (we call the kids like you easy child's) you go ahead and vent. What you have been through is really a hard thing.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hello and welcome to the board. :)

    The whole.........

    Throws up a red flag for autism spectrum. So does the stealing, taking things for just the sake of taking them. That may not be kleptomania, but an inability to recognize personal boundaries. My son had this issue for literally YEARS. Not money per se. But he'd take all sorts of random things without giving any thought to it from anyone in the house. It was as if because they were in the house, they were equally his to take in his mind. It took some creative thinking and hard work to turn that around and help him to learn those boundaries.......and it wasn't done overnight. And when confronted, Travis would usually be baffled as to why someone was upset with him, it would take him a bit before he'd admit to it. It depended on how he was asked. Because autistic or not, he learned over time when confronted to deny first.....because he could usually register anger from others. But he usually wound up being honest about it in the end. Heck for that matter, at one time he did it so much he simply forgot that he took some of the things he did.

    But I will say the selling items for cash........makes me wonder if something else isn't going on. There are other addictions besides drugs/alcohol. Could he be in to gambling? Or could it be some other addictive behaviors?

    A diagnosis doesn't excuse inappropriate behavior, nor make it acceptable, it explains it and may provide a means to change that behavior. But since your brother is now an adult, he will have to be the one willing to be evaluated by professionals to see if indeed there is a diagnosis to be treated. Depending on your brother's medical history and could be any number of things.....or just simply that he has another issue that hasn't come to light yet.

    As his sister, you're in a an awkward position. And I know it can be difficult and hurtful and really create a LOT of resentment. I know because it did for my girls. It was only when Travis began to really catch on to personal boundaries and there was a noticeable change that they slowly began to let it go and move past it. It took time. And because I could see their side, I'd let them vent it to me....without they had someone to talk to about it. I also helped them educate themselves about his diagnosis' so that they could better understand him.

    I'm glad you found us.