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Son stealing from us :(

(12 Posts)
PuddingPie1 Tue 01-Sep-20 11:41:17

I'm so so sad 😞

DS (16 in a couple of weeks) didn't cope well at the start of lockdown. Understandably! Missed the social interaction and normality of life in general. Has always been a good boy although anger issues with his PlayStation have caused problems in the past but nothing to do with this.

As we were eased out of lockdown, he started seeing friends again and I found out he was smoking weed (the empty bag fell out of his tracksuit bottoms when I was doing the washing). We then caught him smoking it out his bedroom window and in the garden. Lots of emotional discussions followed and basically we realised that there was nothing we could do when he's out the house (after he was initially grounded) but we would never condone it and he was never to bring it into our house. Found it again after that and confiscated it. I'll never be happy about him doing it but am hoping it's a phase.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and he was seen out in town at 3am with a group of lads. So he'd basically snuck out in the middle of the night when I was asleep in bed.

Yesterday we were with family for dinner. He didn't want to come and went out with friends. He knew we were going out at 4pm and he was seen hanging around with said friends basically waiting for us to go out. We made the decision to take wallets/purses etc with us and my DH moved our money pot to an angle where he could see if it had been tampered with. On arriving home, it definitely had been. The pot contains notes and £2 coins and had over £500 in there around a year ago. We expected it to have at least £600 now but more likely closer to £700. Smashed it open and there is less than £500. DS admitted he'd been taking it. I'm just gutted. I never thought he would steal from us. He's grounded indefinitely and pocket money stopped. If he wants money then he'll have to get a job.

I just don't know what to do now. He's due back at school later this week and we have a meeting next week about school in general as he is taking his GCSE's next year. I'm going to speak to them about any support they can offer but I'd appreciate any advice from anybody who has been in the same situation. It's his birthday in a couple of weeks and DH doesn't want to get him anything now but I'd feel mean especially as it's his 16th. That said, I really don't feel like rewarding him.

I asked him a few weeks ago if he'd ever take money from us and he reassured me that he never would. He knows it's wrong! I'm just gutted 😞

OP’s posts: |
mbosnz Tue 01-Sep-20 15:41:20

So he owes you £200. How's he planning to pay that off? Or work that off?

I think perhaps you need to think about getting a safe.

Also, I'm wondering about CCTV cameras, inside and out.

He can't, at this point be trusted, is not trusted, and this needs to be made painfully clear to him.

PuddingPie1 Tue 01-Sep-20 15:59:05

Yes I need to think of a way for him to pay it off. I've just asked him if he thinks he should get any birthday presents this year or whether I should keep the money to replace what he has stolen. He didn't really comment. He came up to apologise but I don't really know what to say to him at the moment.

The remaining money has now been removed/hidden and obviously we can no longer leave any cash or anything of value laying around in our own home.

Re CCTV, we are moving house soon so it's not worth us installing this now. I basically had to lock us all in the house last night though and remove the keys. Not ideal if there's a fire but the only option until we move, after which he'll be in the loft room so it won't be as easy for him.

I'm just gutted, sad and disappointed. He's a good boy at heart and I've never had any issues with him previously. This has come out of nowhere and obviously the trust has now gone.

OP’s posts: |
mbosnz Tue 01-Sep-20 16:10:47

I'm sure he's a good boy, but he is going down a path that is not good, and that will get him in a world of trouble if he continues.

Does he think he can steal from you with impunity? That is a significant amount. He committed a criminal offence. And he's nearly 16. It only gets more serious, the older he gets. Has he stolen from anyone else? He promised you he wouldn't steal from you. He did. How can you trust that he won't steal from others - who would involve the law?

VeggieSausageRoll Tue 01-Sep-20 16:30:23

I'd be tempted to have a word with the local community police team and get them to put the frighteners on him regarding theft and drug taking. They were really good when I was having issues with my sister (totally off the rails at the time. They came round, took her down the station in the back of the police car, sat her in a cell for a bit, "interviewed" her - basically gave her a very stern talking to, it scared her into sorting herself out.) Far better that you organise it in a controlled way than the next person he steals from reporting him, or he's caught with drugs on him in public. It'll only be a matter of time if he's sneaking out in the early hours of the morning.

RainbowDash101 Tue 01-Sep-20 16:35:43

I’d sell his PlayStation to recoup the money. My friend has had similar issues with her son and I don’t think it’s improved even tho he is now 20. He steals from them, gets drunk, brings strangers back to her house, who stole from her too. Had parties while she was away, again with strangers in her house. She has cameras in her house. I don’t think they are very expensive. He’s dropped out of uni and she thinks it’s down to his mental health but I suspect his issues are to do with drug addiction ( he can’t sleep due to night terrors). I really don’t know what the answer is. I’d maybe try to get help from the drug addiction charities. My friend had offered to pay for counselling for her son, but he wanted her to send him the money and didn’t want to use the university counselling service. I suggested she didn’t do this because I suspect he would spend the money on drugs. She believes what he tells her but I’ve been told that he is associating with known druggies.

PuddingPie1 Tue 01-Sep-20 16:51:26

Thank you for your replies. I did think about involving the police to see if that would scare him into changing his ways. Would I call the non urgent number to see what/if they can do anything?

I'm going to see if the school can talk to him too when he returns although I'm not sure if this will just push him further in the wrong direction. I'm just at a loss as this isn't the son I know. I'm sure if he's been stealing from me then he's probably been doing the same at his dads house. I haven't actually told him yet as I just can't get my head round it. I really hope this is just a horrible phase and he'll come out the other side but I can't see past this at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
latticechaos Tue 01-Sep-20 17:01:27

Thats horrid for you flowers

I'm not going into details but have some experience of a very similar problem.

I would say you might want to try to get to the bottom of what's going on with him. He may be really quite angry and unhappy? Is there any chance there is coercion from other people?

I agree with involving police and school, just to explain how serious it is.

Also it can come right, this doesn't mean he will be stealing in ten years' time.

I wouldn't give no birthday presents, but maybe a smaller amount. Also perhaps not the PlayStation. Can you get him to sell some things online? I don't think you have to have precisely £xxx back, you need a really genuine effort and change of attitude. I guess I would want meaningful rehabilitation not punishment.

VeggieSausageRoll Tue 01-Sep-20 17:37:59

Thank you for your replies. I did think about involving the police to see if that would scare him into changing his ways. Would I call the non urgent number to see what/if they can do anything?

Yeah it'd be your local neighborhood beat officer or PCSO. 101 for phone or a lot have community Facebook pages/profiles now too. Wouldn't hurt to get some advice from them, they'd also be ideally placed for info regarding other local support available

PuddingPie1 Tue 01-Sep-20 18:32:48

I have tried to speak to him to see if there is anything wrong. There doesn't appear to be and he's generally quite open and honest about his feelings. He seems to have got in with a different crowd lately which has started off the weed smoking and now lead to this.

I don't think I'd be able to completely ignore his birthday but I think I need to speak to him about a smaller present to recoup some of the money he's stolen.

I will think about getting a local officer to speak to him but I'll definitely involve the school. My BIL has just picked him up to take him for a chat. He seems very remorseful, realises what he's done, doesn't know why etc. He said he wants to get back to school and start learning again. He's got to totally change it around and prove to me that he's better than this. I'm really hoping he does. I'm still in shock.

OP’s posts: |
CooperLooper Tue 01-Sep-20 18:39:31

Honestly baffled why you're still planning to get him a birthday present, no matter how small, despite him having stolen £200 from you. Proper baffled.

latticechaos Tue 01-Sep-20 18:44:06

CooperLooper

Honestly baffled why you're still planning to get him a birthday present, no matter how small, despite him having stolen £200 from you. Proper baffled.

Imo not getting him one wouldn't help. If you normally spend £200, but instead spend £20, you make the financial point.

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