Our daughter (18F) has been friends with this girl (18F) for about eight or nine months. In the last few months, she has started inviting her to our house more often because they are classmates and sometimes they have projects to do together.
Well, last week she came to our house and my husband (56M) was helping them with a project, since they are studying the same thing he studied. At one point, my youngest daughter came home with her friends, so my eldest daughter and her friend went to my husband's office.
And according to him, he had taken off his watch and left it on his desk, and our daughter saw it, so he was right. But when her friend left, the watch was gone, and after searching for it throughout the house I decided to check the security cameras and she took it when she was left alone in the office for less than five seconds.
To my surprise, my daughter wasn't shocked at all because, according to her, this is the third time that valuable things have disappeared from our house. The first two times, she stole a pair of gold earrings and a gold necklace from my daughter and she thought she lost them because honestly she loses her things all the time.
But my daughter is sure that her necklace and earrings were in her jewelry box and that her friend took them. And now my husband and I don't know if we should tell her parents since she has stolen a significant sum of money from our house and the last thing we want is to get the police involved. We just want to get our stuff back and help her get help because she clearly has a problem.
How can you talk to parents about this without them feeling offended? In total she stole almost $6,000 from our house and that's not right, but she's young and we want to give her another chance, that's why we're not going to involve the police, and that's why we also want to talk to her parents, what would be the correct way to face this situation?
Edit: Just to clarify, they are in college, and the decision not to involve the police has to do with that, we don't want to affect her academically. And I say that we want to talk to her parents because she still lives with them and they are the ones who pay everything for her.
If you have actual video proof of the watch being taken that should diffuse any awkwardness of the conversation. They won’t really have a leg to stand on in terms of just being defensively “you are just accusing my kid for something you lost”.
Being pointed about the fact that you are coming to them first, especially because she is 18 (permanent record will be hit) should get them to accommodate getting your things back. If they are a family of scumbags and don’t care then police will be the only path you can take.
Edit: As far as how they punish or parent to “set the kid straight” you really won’t and can’t have any hope or influence over that so remove that. This has to be about getting your stuff back. Maybe you will learn from how the parents react how they plan to address but that’s as far as you can hope.
Lol video proof will not stop many people from denying liability. OP should NOT confront the parents. They should call the cops, show them the evidence, and then invite the parents over. Or have a lawyer present for the conversation.
Some third party with a responsibility to the court so that the other parents understand the gravity of the situation and do not try to turn it around and claim harassment. The friendship with those parents is likely already dead; there is no way to rescue the relationship if they are not already taking steps to manage their child’s issues.
"Hello, Mr and Mrs, I'm contacting you because of something serious that happened. We have video proof that your daughter stole a watch that belongs to my husband, and it's worth XXX. Our daughter also thinks she stole earrings and a necklace that is worth XXX.
We would like to have everything back, as soon as possible. We believe she is young and everybody makes mistakes, and we are willing to forget about this as long as she gives us everything she stole from us by the end of the week. Unfortunately, due to these circumstances, she is no longer welcome at our house." If they ignore you, don't send anything else, file a police report.
This is why she keeps doing it - because no one is making her take accountability.
Come on now.
My (36F) husband (56M) and I decided to talk to her (18F) parents (40s) because she lives with them and we thought telling them was the best thing. Well, according to them, they suspected that she was doing something wrong because she was "receiving" more and more gifts from my daughter every day, because that's what she said they were.
We told them that our daughter only gave her a bracelet, that was a birthday gift, but that the rest of the things were never "gifted." Fortunately, they weren't offended and even promised to check her room to see if they could find our things.
When they checked her room and her electronics they found even more things than we thought. She has been stealing things from our house for months to sell them online on a second-hand clothing sales app.
At home we live with four teenagers (18 16 14 12) who are constantly exchanging clothes, shoes and jewelry and often have arguments because one of them takes something from the other without permission, so when she stole several of my daughters' clothes they never suspected it was her.
She sold all the clothes she stole from them and only had my daughter's earrings and necklace, a ring from my youngest daughter (8) and my husband's watch in her house. According to her, she did that because she wanted to help her father with some debts that he has because she didn't want to have to sacrifice college to reduce expenses.
She works as a nanny and sometimes that money wasn't enough to help her family and she noticed that since my daughter "wasn't affected" by losing jewelry, so she thought about taking them because she needed them more.
Her parents confirmed that they have a debt but they would never have thought she would do something like this to help. They apologized and promised to return every penny of the things that were already sold but my husband told them that it was not necessary, that her giving us back the jewelry and the watch was enough.
She gave us everything back and also apologized, and we told her that this time we were not going to involve the police but that not everyone would do the same if they caught her stealing again.
We also made it clear to her that she's no longer welcome in our home and that my daughter will finish the project for both of them because we don't want her to be involved with her either.
And that was it and we haven't heard from her since. A lot of people said we were idiots for not getting the police involved and the truth is we might be, but we weren't going to ruin an entire family's life over a watch and some earrings.
I also read comments saying that my daughter knew that she stole but that is not the case. She loses things all the time or sometimes her sisters take her things without permission so she never suspected that her friend was the one stealing from her, that's why she kept inviting her over.
Ugh, I bet she steals from the people she is a nanny for.
That was the thing that smacked me in the head reading this. There were no real consequences here and someone else is entrusting her with their house.
When a thief doesn’t get punished for their behavior after getting caught, they usually become even more brazen in stealing.
Edit: Besides, how are they sure the money goes to paying debt and isn’t just a made up story to make others pity her.
I’d be curious to know whether she actually contributed a single penny to her parents’ debt, but you handled this as well as you could.
I doubt she was actually helping pay off her family's debts. She told her parents they were gifts and they didn't even know she had anything. OP should have made her return all the money she got from robbing their family.
So their daughter is now completing the whole project? Some nice consequences for the other kid.