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To ask for advice, cannot believe what my friend has just done.

(87 Posts)
JakeBullet Fri 30-Aug-13 13:43:21

I am asking here because it is anonymous and I know the advice will be honest and frank!

My friend J has just moved house way from an abusive exH and in a new town. The house she has gone into was occupied by a tenant who has built up massive debts. My friend knows this as she is answering doors to bailiffs almost daily and having to show her tenancy agreement to prove that she isn't the debtor. My friend gets over anxious about things and has been opening post to keep on top of it and contacting companies to point out that the other tenant has moved.

My friend doesn't always think things through, she is agoraphobic with an anxiety and panic disorder plus severe depression for which she is having weekly psychotherapy. This move was supposed to be positive and on the whole it has been.

However, she came to see me in the past 24 hours with her current partner. While he was off seeing relative she told me that she had opened another letter which had all the previous tenant's bank details on so.......had been online and used them to buy an expensive mobile phone. shock

I have advised her that:

* this is illegal (she is fully aware of this)
* that if this comes to light she would be in serious trouble (she seems too confident that it won't come to light).
*that what she has done is wrong (she honestly doesn't seem to care sad).

It doesn't help that one of her new neighbours apparently grows and sells cannabis and has offered to sell to her when she has tried so hard to come off it. He apparently has "a nice set up in the loft" and "plants growing well in the garden" plus "loads of solid" hmm. The order for the phone took place after she had been smoking some apparently "good quality solid" and I think it has clouded her judgement at that point. I wish she hadn't told me though.
My friend always says that "green" makes her paranoid but that the "solid" just keeps her mellow and relaxed. I don't smoke so I have no idea about cannabis.

Now I am so honest it is untrue, I have never knowingly stolen anything (apart from a time when I discovered a pair of earrings in my shopping which were not on the receipt...even then I went back and paid for them).
All this just sits uncomfortably with me but I don't know what else I can say or do. I don't feel I can report this....not given all my friend's mental health issues but I want her to decline the phone when it arrives and return it.

Or does not reporting it make me awful?

I cant do it though, she is fragile at the best and I have seen her in the depths of despair and suicidal over the past few weeks. I don't think she is thinking straight so any psychiatric nurses/doctors/experienced folk welcome with advice.

I feel my only options are to report (cant do it) or ignore and hope for the best. ....or keep advising her to return the phone immediately hich is my preferred option.

My friend feels that as the previous tenant is ignoring all mail and still apparently using the address to set up car insurances etc that nothing can be proved.

Feel really upset that she has done this but cant tell anyone...only people here and ask advice.

LeaveTheBastid Fri 30-Aug-13 13:47:22

She is committing theft and fraud. People go to jail for a lot less.

I'd really struggle to not report this. Once she gets the phone and realises how easy it was, she will move onto other things. Do you really think she bought the phone and then threw away the bank details? Me neither.

You're not doing her any favours by enabling her behaviour. Depression is no excuse for being a criminal.

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 13:48:50

What a mess.

How long have you been friends with her and what is it that bonds you as friends because after reading the above it's difficult to see why.

She is clearly going through a tough time and has issues but if she doesn't receive help from professionals then I truly fear for her future.

Her mindset about not caring that it was theft isn't good either. I think at this point I would question the friendship and perhaps slowly detach.

JulietBravoJuliet Fri 30-Aug-13 13:49:04

If I wasn't prepared to report, I'd have to cut all ties. I could not be friends with someone like this. Harsh, I know, but I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Fri 30-Aug-13 13:52:06

She shouldn't open the previous tenant's post, I believe it's illegal. Just write 'not at this address, return to sender' and put them back in the post. I have to do this too, as despite living where I do for the past 4 years I still get post for the previous tenants.

She needs to ring and cancel the phone.

Could you report the drug-growing neighbour, anonymously if need be?

BalloonSlayer Fri 30-Aug-13 13:52:42

Well call me cold-hearted but I'd probably not report it but cut contact with her.

I know you said that she's smoking cannabis to calm herself and that's why she has ordered a phone fraudulently, but being "too confident that it won't come to light" doesn't really go with having an anxiety and panic disorder.

Maybe she'll get an attack of anxiety and send it back of her own accord?

Whereisegg Fri 30-Aug-13 13:53:51

The trouble is, if she gets away with this, then it is a slippery slope.

Tricky though.

I would report the neighbour for starters.

ENormaSnob Fri 30-Aug-13 13:55:16

Your friend is a drug smoking, theiving criminal.

Her actions are dispicable.

JakeBullet Fri 30-Aug-13 13:55:40


Yes I feel I have to slowly detach too. Tbh hat ties me is that we had children in the same class and a shared sense of humour. I did support her emotionally quite a lot when she went into a refuge and I think she has leant on me quite a bit. I don't mind this as supporting someone in need is a good thing. I have also done a lot of work on my own issues in the past two years and recognise myself as a "rescuer" if that makes sense. Of course I cannot "rescue" her from her life (which has honestly been horrific) and I mustn't enable her either.

She has moved 30 miles away from here and I suspect our friendship will phase out beyond a quick "how are you" call now and then.

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 13:55:56

You sound complete opposites and have obviously grown apart.

Do not feel responsible for her. She is responsible for her own actions just watch she doesn't drag you down with her.

JakeBullet Fri 30-Aug-13 14:01:31

She has now moved 30 miles away from here so I suspect we will drift apart a bit. I will slowly detach apart from an occasional phone call.

No she wont drag me down with her, I have too many strong ideals for that.

I am sad though because she is not the person I thought she was. I have know her four years and thought I knew her.

Pawprint Fri 30-Aug-13 14:09:43

She sounds self destructive and I really don't think there's a lot you can do about that. I agree with others who say that she will probably continue to steal and will, quite rightly, get into huge trouble.

I would distance yourself.

themaltesefalcon Fri 30-Aug-13 14:11:55

There is not a hope in hell that this will not be detected.

I'd distance myself.

hardboiledpossum Fri 30-Aug-13 14:12:12

I wouldn't report but i would end the friendship.

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 14:13:23

It's sad when you have a friend and the friendship changes. I have been in a simlar situation and over the past year have become detatched from three long term friends. Maybe we'll drift back into each other's lives in the future but for now we have nothing in common and it's hard work to even converse.

Beastofburden Fri 30-Aug-13 14:13:24

She is a rotten picker- of men, of other choices around her life- this is just one act in a long chain of self destructive behaviour. I think she will take more drugs and quite likely steal more too, now she has this opportunity.

It's not a very big crime so in itself I am not sure it merits reporting, though like you I would never do it. But the police might not prosecute for something like that. And in her situation, normal standards of morality, while they ought to apply, seem very distant.

So perhaps we have to ask- Would being caught now help her access more intervention? Or would it make things worse? Do you have the expertise to know the answer to this, or do you have to pass this on to others to make the decision? By others, I don't mean MN because unless we are lucky, there won't be a poster with professional knowledge here today.

Your options are- you could tell her mum or sister, assuming she has a supportive family.

You could tell her social worker, about both the theft and the drug use, or social services generally if you don't know who her social worker is.

Or you can ring crime stoppers about either the drug use or the theft.

I would go for social services myself.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 30-Aug-13 14:19:14

I think reporting her is a step too far (yeah yeah wah wah about the phone, but the former tenant is clearly a crook too and the mobile phone companies can eat the loss) but distancing yourself is a good move.

JakeBullet Fri 30-Aug-13 14:20:45 SW at the moment but I could express concern about her DD being exposed to all this. My friend does worry about her DD and Young Carers have just taken her on as when my friend is very low then her child does a lot of care.

Maybe I can go to young carers which is run by Social Services. I really don't have the expertise to know what else but I could speak to her psychotherapist....possibly. I spoke to her a few weeks ago as my friend was suicidal and I was concerned for her DD.

Actually you are ALL right here, I need to detach as perhaps I have become over involved with it all. My friend doesn't have a supportive Mum or anyone else sadly...she is very much on her own and I feel for her about this as I know how supportive my family have always been for me.
I am fortunate.

Anyway....she is now living 30 miles away.

cushtie335 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:22:09

I can't be friends with someone who doesn't have the same values as me. If you feel reporting it is a step too far, just distance yourself from her completely. Anyone who thinks this behaviour "ok" is not a decent friend and will no doubt let you down badly in future. If she's capable of this she's capable of a whole load of other criminal behaviour.

onetiredmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 14:22:18

Just out of interest, wouldn't she be easy to trace if she ordered the phone from her own PC? The account holder would notice the missing money, alert the bank & surely the bank would follow up on recent transactions & find the phone order complete with her name & address as buyer.

Also as an aside, whenever I order online I have to enter the security code on the back of the card (which wouldn't be shown on statements) & there's sometimes another passworded layer of security. Has she paid outright using the number on the card & expiry date, or set up a DD with the account number & sort code.

Sounds very very easily traceable to me.

Beastofburden Fri 30-Aug-13 14:25:48

I would report to SS via young carers and make sure they keep her DC on their radar. Sadly with her profile there has to be a significant risk she will hook up with another abusive man, who may also be abusive to her DC. Her drug use and theft are going to introduce some unreliable characters to the family....

justmyview Fri 30-Aug-13 14:26:37

Surely when the former tenant sees a large bill, he'll query it & the phone company will report that the phone has been delivered to the house & it'll all be reported to the police soon enough anyway, without you having to do it?

I'd steer well clear

InTheRedCorner Fri 30-Aug-13 14:29:54

Se could potentially be in a lot of trouble if found out so I guess you need to decide if you want to support her through it all when and if it happens.

QueenofallIsee Fri 30-Aug-13 14:30:10

Your friend is a drug smoking, theiving criminal.

Her actions are dispicable.

100% this

ChinaCupsandSaucers Fri 30-Aug-13 14:30:46

Be aware, that if this comes to light some other way, and she mentions to the police that she told you about it, they will still track you down for a statement.

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