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Child accused of stealing…WWYD update in last post


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Posted (edited)

Some of this is probably my fault. DS11 went on his very first play date with a friend from school. Both boys are autistic and high functioning. I didn’t know parents but talked to Mom for about an hour the day before.  I don’t let the kids over where I don’t know the parents, but he was so excited and literally does not get invited places.

Mom let the boys go to a neighbor’s house to play cornhole.  Neighbor is now accusing the boys of stealing $150–even though she admits that she is pretty sure the boys were never in the room the money was in.  I am 1000% sure my son didn’t steal. Part of his autism is life and right/wrong are very black and white for him.  He doesn’t take a quarter out of my purse without asking. Other Mom says neighbor has accused her husband of stealing a wallet in the past that was subsequently found misplaced. She says there’s no way the boys took anything, but neighbor wants to involve the cops.

If it matters, there is a pretty significant socio-economic difference between this family/neighbor and us.  I could give the neighbor $150 and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But I don’t think I should do that.  
 

I have not asked DS, because his anxiety would go through the roof and be uncontrollable.  I clearly didn’t vet this situation enough and had no idea they’d go to a neighbor’s house anyway. I was so excited he had a friend, to be honest.

Ugh. Help. I don’t know what to do. And everyone in real life will just ask me why on earth I didn’t ask more questions before letting him go.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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Why the heck did the other mom let the kids go over there????  Especially with the past issues.  But if a kid is coming over to my house to have a playdate I am not sending my kid and the other kid to some other house.  

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, mommyoffive said:

Why the heck did the other mom let the kids go over there????  Especially with the past issues.  But if a kid is coming over to my house to have a playdate I am not sending my kid and the other kid to some other house.  

Apparently the neighbor kid was outside playing cornhole and asked the kids over. It’s basically a trailer park and the yards don’t have boundaries.  The kids went over in the yard and played.  They went in the house for a drink and the neighbor kid and my son’s friend say they never left the kitchen.

For the record I am not really neurotypical myself; plus I was homeschooled and rarely went over to anyone’s house without my parents. Play dates and complications are way outside of my comfort level.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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3 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Apparently the neighbor kid was outside playing cornhole and asked the kids over. It’s basically a trailer park and the yards don’t have boundaries.  The kids went over in the yard and played.  They went in the house for a drink and the neighbor kid and my son’s friend say they never left the kitchen.

For the record I am not really neurotypical myself; plus I was homeschooled and rarely went over to anyone’s house without my parents. Play dates and complications are way outside of my comfort level.

OK gotcha.  The money wasn't in the kitchen?  

I am really freaked out that they want to call the cops.   Oh man.   I guess I would try to settle it with the neighbor so that they don't do that.  Although I am not sure what the cops would do?  Would they just try to solve this peacefully?  I think they would right?  Talk to the neighbor and you and then nothing happens?  If that I might just want the cops involved to get some 3rd party in it. 

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Does she have proof?

Have you already gone over there and talked to the mom accusing your son or are you finding info through your friend? I would go over there with the other mom and talk to her. 

I would be apologetic and assure her that my son didn't steal her money. 

I'm not sure if cops will get involved without some sort of proof. Will they?

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1 minute ago, mommyoffive said:

OK gotcha.  The money wasn't in the kitchen?  

I am really freaked out that they want to call the cops.   Oh man.   I guess I would try to settle it with the neighbor so that they don't do that.  Although I am not sure what the cops would do?  Would they just try to solve this peacefully?  I think they would right?  Talk to the neighbor and you and then nothing happens?  If that I might just want the cops involved to get some 3rd party in it. 

The problem with involving the cops is that the cops are going to want to talk to the children, which will freak out the child with autism and severe anxiety no end.  Like, here, that would be really, really, really bad, even if it was a casual conversation with no accusation or threats involved.  

What a nightmare!  I don't think paying the $150 is the right thing to do, but I would do that before I would come down in favor of calling the cops.  

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She can shove it. 

So basically she is claiming that she left $150 on the counter in the kitchen or whatever and some random kids in the neighborhood coming in for a drink with her own kid took it?  No proof?  None of the children claim any of them were in the room or took it?

I’m betting her own kid took it or she just lost it herself or maybe she just wants $150.

She can call the cops if she wants. Good luck with that lady. Idk about where other people live but where I live the cops are going to talk to all the kids and tell the her she probably shouldn’t let kids in her house anymore. And her kid will probably never be able to get anyone in the neighborhood to go near his trailer again. So I’d call her buff. Call the cops lady. 
 

And when/if the cop came to my door I’d tell him what you have told us here and I doubt he will do anything else. There’s no proof for him to act on. He can’t ransack your house and terrorize your kid just bc some lady can’t keep track of her money in her own house. 

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Something you could do is call the cops yourself and say okay my child is very autistic and has major anxiety.  It was a HUGE milestone thing that he even went over there. And now this lady is threatening to call the cops on him saying he stole money out of her house and I know he didn’t bc he just wouldn’t have been able to handle that thought process.  Ask the cop how he thinks you should handle it and how he thinks he can help resolve this problem. 

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Posted (edited)

I am at work overnight so I can’t go over and talk to anyone and it’s a good 30 minutes away anyway.  So I’m getting this all from son’s friend’s Mom.

Money was in the bedroom but lady claims the kids were the only ones alone in the house with the money. 
I think the cops would roll their eyes and tell the lady to look harder for the money that she probably misplaced.  It sounds like this lady might be a little unhinged. 

my own kid won’t physically touched money because he heard once that it’s contaminated with cocaine and he’s scared to death of drugs.  My cousin is a state trooper here and a lot of my friends are cops, so my son isn’t afraid of cops.  But I texted my cousin anyway to see what he thought.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Interesting that accusations of theft appear to be a pattern with this person. I'll bet she's thinking she can pressure you into handing over some cash.

That’s what I think too. That or she’s mentally-ill herself and paranoid + scatter brained.

I would NOT engage at all with that woman.

I really think the OP calling the cops herself would offer some major stress relief about this. 

Edited by Murphy101
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3 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

Something you could do is call the cops yourself and say okay my child is very autistic and has major anxiety.  It was a HUGE milestone thing that he even went over there. And now this lady is threatening to call the cops on him saying he stole money out of her house and I know he didn’t bc he just wouldn’t have been able to handle that thought process.  Ask the cop how he thinks you should handle it and how he thinks he can help resolve this problem. 

I was going to suggest this - call the police non-emergency line and get ahead of any possible situation. I'm so sorry this happened - the woman sounds like a piece of work!

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1 minute ago, Murphy101 said:

Something you could do is call the cops yourself and say okay my child is very autistic and has major anxiety.  It was a HUGE milestone thing that he even went over there. And now this lady is threatening to call the cops on him saying he stole money out of her house and I know he didn’t bc he just wouldn’t have been able to handle that thought process.  Ask the cop how he thinks you should handle it and how he thinks he can help resolve this problem. 

Yeah. This is how I would handle it. And I would make sure if your son goes over to his friend's house again to ask the mom that they don't go over there again. 

Since you mentioned the social status, I think she wants free money. I think a pp mentioned that. 

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24 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Also—hoping this is your old house and you are moving away from this person soon?

It’s my son’s friend’s neighbor. They’re about 30 miles away from us. 

 

24 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

I would be tempted to call her bluff (I’m thinking your kid and his friend were no where near any missing money). Would it be possible for you Mrs T to speak with law enforcement and ask for proof that there’s actually something missing and to explain your child’s autism prior to allowing any sort of interview?

My cousin the trooper says he can’t imagine anyone is going to do anything but maybe take a report from the neighbor. He said he’d touch base with some of his friends in that county’s jurisdiction though just in case.

She did call the cops before when she accused friend’s stepdad of stealing her wallet. Then it was found right in her house.

I wouldn’t allow an interview and I greatly doubt any police officer would push it once I pushed back. But the other mom is very much freaking out—but they are a black family, low SES, and son is autistic with mental health disorders. So I get where she’s coming from.

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Do not give her money.  She’s not going to call the cops. She has no evidence of anything except that she’s irresponsible with money. If she’s ever called the cops before she’s done it half a dozen times and they all know this about her. The cops aren’t going to insist on talking ti an 11 year old about money in a place he never was. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

It’s my son’s friend’s neighbor. They’re about 30 miles away from us. 

 

My cousin the trooper says he can’t imagine anyone is going to do anything but maybe take a report from the neighbor. He said he’d touch base with some of his friends in that county’s jurisdiction though just in case.

She did call the cops before when she accused friend’s stepdad of stealing her wallet. Then it was found right in her house.

I wouldn’t allow an interview and I greatly doubt any police officer would push it once I pushed back. But the other mom is very much freaking out—but they are a black family, low SES, and son is autistic with mental health disorders. So I get where she’s coming from.

If you weren’t working I’d tell you to go to her house and call the police to file a harassment report. This is the second time the neighbor accused this family of stealing money? That’s a problem and I’d want to help her put a stop to it. 

Edited by Katy
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If she calls the police and someone contacts you or the other parents, I would say something like, "She falsely accused Mr. (Stepdad's name) of stealing her wallet but she found it in her own house.   She should look in the same place before accusing our children.  And are there any penalties for making a false police report?"

 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

She can shove it. 

So basically she is claiming that she left $150 on the counter in the kitchen or whatever and some random kids in the neighborhood coming in for a drink with her own kid took it?  No proof?  None of the children claim any of them were in the room or took it?

I’m betting her own kid took it or she just lost it herself or maybe she just wants $150.

She can call the cops if she wants. Good luck with that lady. Idk about where other people live but where I live the cops are going to talk to all the kids and tell the her she probably shouldn’t let kids in her house anymore. And her kid will probably never be able to get anyone in the neighborhood to go near his trailer again. So I’d call her buff. Call the cops lady. 
 

And when/if the cop came to my door I’d tell him what you have told us here and I doubt he will do anything else. There’s no proof for him to act on. He can’t ransack your house and terrorize your kid just bc some lady can’t keep track of her money in her own house. 

Totally agree.

 

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4 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Apparently the neighbor kid was outside playing cornhole and asked the kids over. It’s basically a trailer park and the yards don’t have boundaries.  The kids went over in the yard and played.  They went in the house for a drink and the neighbor kid and my son’s friend say they never left the kitchen.

For the record I am not really neurotypical myself; plus I was homeschooled and rarely went over to anyone’s house without my parents. Play dates and complications are way outside of my comfort level.

My understanding is that a parent can refuse to let the cops question a child.  
 

I found this.  

https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/felony-offense/can-cops-question-my-child-about-a-crime

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6 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

She can shove it. 

❤️ you, Murphy.

And I'm so, so sorry Mrs. T. I know this is the last thing you need. Praying it all blows over quickly with no further trouble.

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So sorry this has happened.  It sounds very stressful.  What does the parent of your child's friend think/want to do?  Since it is her neighbor and she let the kids go over there, I would let her handle it.  I would not be too concerned about the threat to call the police.  Does this person even know who your son is?

 

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I agree that even if she does call the police, they aren’t going to do much. They would take her statement and write a report on the “missing” money. They might talk to the kids, but they might not even bother with that. If they do want to talk to the kids, there must be a parent or a social services type adult (I don’t remember the correct term) with the child. 
 

Based on what you say about your child, it sounds highly unlikely that he took any money, so I would just ignore the whole thing unless you happen to find evidence (find the money) in your child’s possession. In the future, I would plan play dates with that family in a neutral location such as a park or a fast food playground.

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17 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

She can shove it. 

So basically she is claiming that she left $150 on the counter in the kitchen or whatever and some random kids in the neighborhood coming in for a drink with her own kid took it?  No proof?  None of the children claim any of them were in the room or took it?

I’m betting her own kid took it or she just lost it herself or maybe she just wants $150.

She can call the cops if she wants. Good luck with that lady. Idk about where other people live but where I live the cops are going to talk to all the kids and tell the her she probably shouldn’t let kids in her house anymore. And her kid will probably never be able to get anyone in the neighborhood to go near his trailer again. So I’d call her buff. Call the cops lady. 
 

And when/if the cop came to my door I’d tell him what you have told us here and I doubt he will do anything else. There’s no proof for him to act on. He can’t ransack your house and terrorize your kid just bc some lady can’t keep track of her money in her own house. 

QFT. 

I would not give her money, and I would not speak to her.  And if she does go as far as calling the cops I would not allow them to speak to my son.  Period.

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I’m sorry you are in this position, but I totally wouldn’t worry about it. I do feel for your son’s friend’s family, I’m sure she must be very nervous and then has to continue living next door to this nutball 

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In random bizarre news, I have two dresses that were hanging in my downstairs closet go missing. They are expensive rent the runway dresses for an event next week and I cannot for the life of me imagine what happened. They were there yesterday morning.

But I’m not going to go accusing my son’s friend that was here of stealing my dresses. 

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1 minute ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

In random bizarre news, I have two dresses that were hanging in my downstairs closet go missing. They are expensive rent the runway dresses for an event next week and I cannot for the life of me imagine what happened. They were there yesterday morning.

But I’m not going to go accusing my son’s friend that was here of stealing my dresses. 

Well now I really want to know about the dresses! Keep us updated! 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Would any of your kids have tried them on and then left them in their room or closet? 

Mystery solved. I didn’t consider it at first because my daughter is gone this week at camp.


They were found off the hangers, out of the bags, obviously worn and lovingly folded in my six year old son’s closet.

Along with three other dresses, four shirts, two necklaces and two pairs of heels that I’ve also been missing.

At least he has good taste.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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In your situation, I would do nothing.  In the unlikely event the woman actually calls the cops and the cops contact you, you can then explain that your 11yo never had $150 and is autistic and would never take $150 and no they do not have permission to freak him out by questioning him.  I'm pretty sure they can't force you to let them question him, without some pretty good evidence.

The most I'd do is maybe ask your son whether or not they went into the kitchen - but only if this is needed to calm your own doubts (if any).

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, SKL said:

Also, who leaves $150 lying around on the kitchen counter?

It wasn’t even on the counter. It was in another room entirely.  I told the friend’s mom to tell her to call the cops and have them call me lol.

I really do want to be sensitive to the fact that the friend’s family has different feelings and experiences with law enforcement than I do though and I understand why Mom is so worried. 

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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I hope the friend’s mom decides to stop allowing her child to go into the neighbor’s house. The neighbor obviously has some issues.  I wouldn’t let my kid go inside anymore.

Nothing will come of the missing money.  Seriously, she misplaced it or something, but even if it’s not found … the whole thing is a reach, on her part.  
 

And … Too cute about the dresses!  

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7 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

It wasn’t even on the counter. It was in another room entirely.  I told the friend’s mom to tell her to call the cops and have them call me lol.

I really do want to be sensitive to the fact that the friend’s family has different feelings and experiences with law enforcement than I do though and I understand why Mom is so worried. 

I have been thru a very similar situation before. I didn’t replace the money because I believe my kid more than the stranger. 

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  • Mrs Tiggywinkle changed the title to Child accused of stealing…WWYD update in last post
19 minutes ago, kristin0713 said:

So glad this has been resolved! I would definitely ask this mom not to let your son go over to the neighbor's house again. 

The Mom already told the neighbor that her son was no longer allowed inside their house as this is a pattern.  

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