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A Thief in the Family

Updated on July 10, 2012

When Things go Missing

If you have ever been the victim of a burglary, you will know just how bad it feels. You feel violated, some stranger has rifled through your personal belongings and you feel like it is a personal attack on you. Being burgled affects some people so badly that they have to move house.

When things start to go missing from your home on a regular basis the horrible realisation soon sets in that someone in your family is stealing from you.

The cookies that you bought for an after dinner treat, your favorite pen, or even a dollar from your purse.

The stolen Items may not be worth much and they may not be valuable but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially if the person who stole the item knows that you would probably have given them it had they just asked you.

What do you do when you suspect one of your family members of stealing from you?

Who Done It?


Sherlock Holmes

You need to be like Sherlock Holmes to discover your family thief
You need to be like Sherlock Holmes to discover your family thief | Source

Who Dunnit?

One of the people you trust more than anyone else in the whole world is stealing from you is like a kick in the teeth, you would do anything for that person and this is how they repay you.

You feel guilty because you suspect everyone in your family but at the same time you cannot think who or even why anyone in your own family would do such a thing.

Finding out who the culprit is becomes your first priority.

If you ask the members of your family who took the items, you will soon realise that the perpetrator is not only a thief but also they are also a liar.

You cannot punish everyone until the thief owns up, because that will only make the innocent parties resent you and make you feel even guiltier.

Turning Detective

It is time for you to turn detective and find some evidence that will lead you to the thief, a search of bedrooms is the best place to start.

Look for wrappers, crumbs from the food, or even a new toy that you did not buy, look under mattresses, behind radiators, check in drawers and wardrobes anywhere that evidence can be hidden from view. Children are not that good at hiding evidence and 9 out of 10 times doing a room search will give you the evidence that you are looking for.

Of course, you may not find any evidence in the children’s bedrooms but there are still other places that you can look. The garden is a good place to look but even if you find any evidence there or anywhere, else in the house it is still a question of who put it there in the first place.

Before you confront your children and ask them if they have taken anything it may be a good idea to try to catch them out first by using a hidden video camera in the room where most of the items have gone missing.

If you confront your children before you have gathered any real proof the chances are that the thefts will stop for a few days making it more difficult to track the thief down.

The main thing is to stay patient, your family thief will eventually make a mistake and get caught out at some point.

A Thief in the Family

Have you ever been the victim of a family crime?

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Why are You Stealing from Me?

When you discover which family member has been stealing from you, you cannot jump in and punish that person before you find out why they have been taking things; there could be a reason for their mini crime spree. The stealing might just be a cry for help from a child who is in much more serious trouble.

Are they stealing food because of an eating disorder?

Are they stealing money because someone is bullying them or even worse to buy drugs?

Are they stealing just for the sake of stealing? Talk with your child and try to find out what is behind the thefts, remember shouting screaming and threatening will get you nowhere. Stay calm and keep the tone of your voice non-confrontational.

Unless your child is stealing just for the buzz of it, you might need to get some professional help


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    • momster profile image


      7 years ago

      I can lay a $100 on the table knowing that it will be there for days. My kids do not steal money unless it is a quarter for the toy machines at the store. My husband and I have taught them to work for their money. If they get caught stealing, it is hours of lectures and hours of unpleasant chores.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      7 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Important hub on a scary topic, one that most people would prefer to ignore and not discuss. Thanks for your courage. Voted up and interesting.

    • breathe2travel profile image


      7 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Your admonishment to parents to stay calm and not yell should prove helpful when discussing the theft.

      Voted up & useful.

      Best regards~

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've found candy wrappers in my 4 year old's room before after telling him it's the last time for snacks and hearing him say he's not hungry. Although he is young I think it's important that at a young age kids understand boundaries and what it means to take things from others. Interesting hub voted up and shared Kelley

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      7 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      If the theft is of money or things that can be pawned it is fairly common when there is a drug user in the home. Money is needed to support the habit, and the home is an easy target. It could be the first real sign that an older child is developing a drug habit.

    • cloudy_cool profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Shamelessly so, I used to 'steal' coins from my parent's moneybox to buy chocolates! This was when I was a kid... They later 'diagnosed' me as a kleptomaniac or a juvinile delinquint, and to make matters worse, called me names and constantly punctured my self-esteem. Very rarely would they accept that they themselves were responsible for my actions (they would constantly fight at home in my presence, and sometimes beat me up when wanting to release their frustrations)...

      Many years later I realised that I was not really a compulsive thief after all! I got married and now have two beautiful kids, and since there is love in the family, there is no reason for looking for 'comfort' in small things by stealing. When my children need a hug, they just come and ask me for it which they immediately get! They don't have to suffer like I did for trying to get attention in one of the most self-destructive ways you can think of, by stealing.

      My request to parents is to please understand yourself first, have you given enough freedom to your child to seek your unconditional love whenever they feel vulnerable or confused? How much effort do you give in spending quality time with them as much as you do with your spouse? Kids are really shut like a clam during their growing up years as they are so unsure about everything...they just need to always be aware of your unconditional love regardless of anything and sooner or later they will come and confess to you and be your best friend!


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