Stealing from Parent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cindyd, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. cindyd

    cindyd New Member

    I am new to the forum and wondered if any of you have had problems with your child stealing money from you or taking your credit/debit card and using it to withdraw money without permission? My son has done this several times, even though I have confronted him with it. Any suggestions?
    cindyd, mom of 19 year old ADHD, OD, Anxiety Disorder male.
  2. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Hi and welcome. Yes.....don't leave anything of any type of value around....lock it up. Read the archives from Teens/Substance abuse and PE archives.

    You're not the first one this has happened too...let's just hope you learn quickly and put a stop to it right away.

    some of us, me being one, have had our kids arrested for theft etc.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    First of all, welcome to the board. You will find a lot of support and advice here. As for your issue..............this is pretty common around here. For me personally, I don't think my difficult child has stolen more than change out of my purse, but I know it's happened to a lot of parents here. Basically you only have a couple of options. For the card, you can get a new pin number. Otherwise, it sounds like it's time to start (literally) locking up your purse and anyone else's purse/wallet who lives in the household. For my son, he prefers to take "things"....of course we never usually have cash in the house. Nothing to do with him, just how it works out. We now have a deadbolt on our bedroom door (key lock door knobs are too easy to break into) and our garage is always padlocked so difficult child can't get at tools and stuff that's stored in the attic. It's rotten that we have to live like that but as long as he's in our house, that's our reality.

    Something else to think about with your difficult child is pressing charges. As parents, we don't want to see our kids in trouble or in jail but if confronting him on it hasn't changed things, you may have to think about taking that next step. You may not be able to prove that he took cash from your purse but the ATM machines have camera's that record all transactions. Sometimes it is the only thing that get's through to them. (and sometimes even that doesn't do it) But at the same time, if he did it to someone else, most people would press charges and it's a natural consequence of his actions. It's your decision of course but if this has happened repeatedly, in my humble opinion, I would have to at least consider it, if it were me.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, our difficult child stole from both us and her easy child sister. She also used our credit cards twice without permission (luckily, it was for a relatively small amount each time). We didn't press charges at the time (she was 17) but now I regret that we didn't. Maybe she would have learned something from that and would not done it the second time when she was 19.

    We locked everything we owned up for a while but that is no way to live. Finally, the stealing, lying, and drugs in our home pushed us to the point that we told our difficult child that she couldn't live here anymore.

    She is doing well living on her own now (that took two tries, though). I still will not let her be alone in our house and I watch my purse carefully when I am with her at a restaurant or shopping. I don't know when, if ever, I will fully trust her again.

  5. cindyd

    cindyd New Member

    Interesting thought on pressing charges. He is currently on house arrest (in my house of course) for violating probation. If I press charges he will surely go to jail. Why can't he learn from his mistakes? (I don't expect anyone to answer that!)
    Thanks for your input.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Mine is one of the ones who is a thief. Drives me insane. I cant leave my purse anywhere that he can find it or he will go in it. My debit card also was fair game but I solved that by destroying it. Now I just keep the numbers in a hidden file on the computer in case I want to buy something on line. Otherwise I have to go to the bank to get money.
  7. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Cindy, add me to the list. I (foolishly, it turned out...)trusted my son until I found that, on five different occasions in one month, he was withdrawing an additional $20 to $40 whenever I took him to an ATM for some cash for his allowance. That's when I changed my PIN number.

    Then, the change stash (and we're talking about $200!) started disappearing. That's when we bought a safe. I would remove my wallet from my purse and lock it in the safe whenever I was home.

    Very sad to have your child, especially a child who had a rather substantial allowance (I know, guys...I've hit myself over the head about that stupidity many times...) steal from his own parents!

    But, that's the way it was, and we had to deal with it... I'd go out immediately and buy a safe and make sure it's bolted down!
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Add me to the list. Mine has stolen money, used debit and credit cards without permission, and stolen and pawned my jewelry. All of this was down in pursuit of drugs. He is in recovery now and back at home, but I will take no chances. I do not leave my purse out in common areas. I do not keep more than $20 in my wallet at any time. He knows we will press charges if he steals from us again. He filed charges once before, and they are still pending until we call again. Does your son have a drug problem? If he is on house arrest, what is he using the money for? If he is using, until he is clean he will continue to steal to feed his habit. Lock everything up!
  9. cindyd

    cindyd New Member

    My son is on house arrest because he violated his probation. He was originally on probation for participating in a fight at his high school. I believe that he started the fight which ended up being a two against one fight against another student. He was expelled from school. His probation should have been up in November. However, he got an underage drinking violation in January of last year. As part of his sentence, he was supposed to take a decision-making class. He missed two classes and was kicked out. His probation officer told him he had to sign up for the class again. He did not do it. Then, he was arrested for drug paraphenalia (may have miss-spelled that). Because he was still on probation, the probation officer reinstated his original suspended sentence of 60 days in jail. The judge put him on house arrest for 60 days. He does use alcohol and marijuana. I don't know about anything else.
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My difficult child stole from us and his siblings for years. We punished him whenever we caught him but it just didn't sink in. He is currently in prison for a probation violation for which the original charge was felony burglery.

    with him out o the house things are so much less stressful. For the first time in years I can leave my purse handy in my home. I don't have to lock my bedroom door or hide the car keys. Previously I had a keypad lock on my bedroom and also a lockbox. It didn't matter difficult child always seemed to know if someone had left things unlocked. He would always deny it even when we found the stuff in his room or he came home with something new.
  11. sillydog

    sillydog New Member

    If he lives at home, kick him out. If he does it again, have him locked up.
  12. kassy

    kassy New Member

    been here done that :grrr: he steal from us and lies about it... i wes just thinking today that i will probably have to press charges if he goes to stealing my credit cards... he took one of our home equity checks... i found it in his room thankfully before he used it.. what is crazy is he uses it to buy food...and pop :nonono: what is the worst part is that he steals from our 10 yr old who saves her money... which p***'s me off.....royally....
  13. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Well, add me to the list! difficult child 1 used to steal from us and her siblings--usually money. We also had to lock our cabinet where we keep liquor and the fridge (extra one) where we keep beer. She even broke the lock to the liquor cabinet--how dumb does she think we are that we wouldn't notice?! I believe the stealing was to buy drugs--didn't know it at the time. The stealing was one of many reasons we kicked her out when she was 18. It is very nice to not have to lock up stuff and worry about my purse in my own house now.
  14. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Add me to the list too. Younger difficult child will steal anything that isn't nailed down and some things that are. I lived for years sleeping on top of my purse and locking up everything of value and he still managed to get away with some stuff an money and credit cards, etc. Now that he is on his own, he is not in my house as much but I still have to be careful about letting him see my credit card numbers, etc.
    It is always difficult to decide whether to turn them in or not. My aunt is 90 and her son is at least 64 and he is still stealing from her. He has ruined her credit and has her in trouble constantly. If I were she, I would definitely turn him in. But when they are younger and in trouble anyway, you have to weigh all of the consequences and decide for yourself what is best. But I do know that allowing them to get away with it is not doing them any favors.
    Good luck.
  15. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    wow cindy! of course! my son stole what he could. money, prescription drugs, his dad's wedding ring and finally the car!

    if you know this is happening time to lock things up in a floor safe. for now, you might want to put jewelry and money in a pocket of some old clothes in the closet.
  16. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Cindy-


    Yes, I'd wager a guess that most of the PE parents have had experience with their kids stealing from them.

    Rob used to steal all kinds of things from us. As he grew older he branched out from money to stealing our cars to burglarizing our neighbor's house to shoplifting to hacking into our computer, get the picture. :grrr:

    I'm probably repeating others' advice but a fanny pack comes in very handy to wear your valuables instead of using a purse. Change all passwords on financial accounts, credit cards, even computer programs. We put locks on our computer room and master bedroom doors.

    It's a heckuva way to live. :sad: :grrr: :hammer:

  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a sad way for us PE parents to bond ~ sharing our common experience of having our children steal from us.


    I can relate to those who commented on how nice it was to be able to leave our purses out once the difficult child moved out. I laid a $20 on the kitchen desk last week and never gave it another thought that it might disappear. I could never have done that if difficult child was in the house.

    This relates to CAmom's thread about whether our difficult children really do love us. Would someone steal from someone they truly loved? Or is it just a lack of boundaries and an inability to empathize?

  18. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Ant's mom, with all due respect, that's exactly where I found my son's stash, the one time he brought it into the house. They've figured out pockets in old clothes, at least in CA! Also, he told me that some of his "friends" remove the insole from their athletic shoes and and hide things there. So, shoes won't work either...why we bought a safe.
  19. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    My difficult child started off selling his own stuff (which I had paid for) telling me they had been stolen, and I was still naive enough to believe him. When he ran out of bicycles and electronics of his own he moved on to our stuff. We had always thrown our change into a big bottle and used it for weekend trips. When I went to get the $500 in rolled change it was gone. We finally had to lock the garage because tools kept disappearing. I have no doubt he stole more from us than I'll ever know about. His largest theft was when he ran away and took $1000.00 in cash from us. To this day I don't know how he got into the strongbox. It was still locked and the lock was intact when we checked and realized the cash was gone. The only key was in our locked bedroom.
  20. Jen

    Jen New Member

    Welcome to the board.

    Add me to the list. My difficult child son has stolen from us since his Sr. yr in HS. Never turned him in though. Only 2 times out of all the times could we possibly proove it, once with his g/f my husband's ring they stole, adn the other time took his father credit card, and used it for gas.

    Fortunately my difficult child is out of the house, but the lies continue. Oh the locks are good, but beleive even those can be broken.