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Anyone had to deal with serious repetitive teen stealing?

(5 Posts)
hoke74 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:11:19

My DS aged 17 has been stealing from us for 2 years. At first we punished him by withdrawing privileges, taking away mobile phone, computers, tv etc. As he continued the stealing the punishments got more severe. Last year just before his 16th birthday he receptively stole my bank card from my purse and stole £500. Because he was putting the card back in my purse I was convinced that my card had been cloned, even went to lengths to try get CCTV footage from shops where my card was used. I eventually realised it was him when my card was used to withdraw money one weekday morning. I thought it couldn't be him because he was at school. Something didn't sit right so I phoned the school to check his attendance that day, he was not at school that morning. He had "skived off". When I confronted him he admitted the truth but only after I told him that the police had CCTV footage of the person who was using the card at the cashpoint.

After that my trust was shattered. He moved out to stay with my parent but stole from them and caused too much stress for them so he hen moved away to live with my brother and his family, two older boys who we hoped would be a good example for him. He continued to steal and lie to my brother. After three months my brother told me he had to leave.

Social services were absolutely no help whatsoever. I tried to get support for him but he wasn't willing to cooperate with the social worker. My husband and I have had counselling to help keep our marriage together as the stress has been so bad. Guilt, blame etc.

DS also has a past of self harming. I went to my GP for help and they offered him chiselling but he wouldn't go and at 16 I can't physically make him go.

He has been home now for 5 months and the stealing has continued but until today we have had no concrete proof. We have tried giving him responsibility and offering him our trust in the hope that he has outgrown the stealing behaviour.

He doesn't have a job, he doesn't go to college, he smokes weed, he is too young to claim benefits so can't get help with housing unless we physically chuck him out. Crazy as this sounds but he is a lovely person. I don't want to kick him out as I am terrified that he will end up going further down the wrong path but I am at a loss as to what to do.

Has anyone got any advice as to who can help?

hoke74 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:13:11

Chiselling???.... That was supposed to say counselling..(autocorrect!!!)

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 30-Jul-13 15:47:00

I think you shouldn't have given him responsibility. You should have locked away any valuables. Where on earth does he get the money from to smoke weed? You say he doesn't get any benefits, so do you give him money? If so, why? Perhaps this is a time when you will have to talk to him about kicking him out. It may be the best thing you ever do for him.

DS1 was thinking about leaving school at one time. I did tell him that if he did, he would have to pay keep. He was shocked. He hadn't thought that far ahead.

Your DS doesn't seem to have any structure in his life. He needs something/anything.

flow4 Wed 31-Jul-13 08:53:42

Yes. My DS1 stole over £1000 from me, over about 4 months. Search my name if you want (using keywords like 'stealing' and 'drugs' too) - I posted regularly in the darkest times.

Chances are, your DS isn't just smoking weed. He's probably also using m-cat/mephedrone. It's widespread and highly compulsive. We had a burglary epidemic in our area last year, because so many teens needed cash so regularly and had sold all their possessions already. sad

Join this thread . There are plenty of us there with similar experiences, who know throwing a dc out is not an easy option.

It may still be your least-worst option. Your choices are - ultimately - throw him out or hang on in there. There will come a point where it is better to throw him out than to continue to hang on. Only you can know where/when/what that point is.

Meanwhile, lock up your things. Put a lock on your bedroom door, and never, ever, leave cash or valuables lying around.

And learn to look after yourself. He will probably grow up, or move out. You need to try not to be dead, insane, ill or divorced by the time you get your life back.

There is hope. My DS stopped stealing and mis-using drugs about a year ago, and is now back in college. ILoveJJ is right: your DS needs something to re-engage him.

Good luck.

lazymum99 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:12:15

He is stealing to fund his weed habit. This is what needs addressing although easier said than done. If he was self harming he is probably suffering from anxiety/depression and uses the weed as medication.
Look at the thread Flow highlights its got some good advice. If he has a 'drug' problem he will get money however possible. All of last years birthday and Xmas presents have been sold by DS1.......I left him money for food hn I won't away and he spent the lot on weed.
I hav not had the courage to throw him out as there are underlying mental health issues.
But flow is right -2 choices chuck him out or see it through until he leaves of his own accord

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