Housemate Stole Money - Need Advice :(

Hi guys… have a situation here that I'm not sure what to do.
~

background story

I'm renting a mate's house which he's happy for me to sublet - so I did.

One housemate ( Housemate A ) is a mate I've known for a long time, another one ( Housemate B ) is a guy that contacted me through Flatmates ( website to find rentals etc )

So Housemate B have just recently divorced and is still sorting out his legals ( from what I've been hearing from him ) and because of this he's been a month behind his rent - of which I have been tolerating because I understand that shit happens specially when you're dealing with the court, lawyers and whatnot.

There are no locks for the rooms in the house.
~

problem

In August, I've purchased $900 worth of Japanese Yen in prep for my Japan trip in December. I have a "Travel" section in my room where I put all my foreign currencies, passports, visa requirements etc etc in - so the Japanese Yen goes there.

In late August I had to go to Bali for a mate's wedding, so obviously I had to take out some Indonesian money to take with me - which was when I realized that there are only $200 worth of Japanese Yen left.

Understandably I was very pissed off to have my hard earned money disappear on me like that, but since I have no proof / evidence whatsoever, and it was my own mistake of putting cash somewhere in a place without a lock, I was willing to cross it off as a very expensive mistake and not raise hell with any of my housemates.

But I was determined that this will be the first and last time this happens. So I welcomed a few Xiaomi cameras into my household.
~

climax

So, a few days ago I just came back from a short trip overseas. Went back home and was going straight to work when I noticed that my car seat had been moved from the position it's usually on. Checked my dashcam - boom. Housemate B was driving my car when I wasn't home! ( Footage safe in Dropbox )

Being very pissed off, I went home and was about to confront him when I thought I should just check the hard-working Xiaomis first. Boom. Housemate B was ransacking my room. ( Footage also safe in Dropbox )

With this is pretty darn obvious that he was the one that took the Yen ( he was looking for more on my "Travel" section which is now empty ) - and driving my car… who touches another man's car without permission!
~

need advice on…

Went to the cops this morning with Housemate A.

They advised me that since there is no hard evidence that Housemate B took the yen, they will not be able to charge him unless he admits it ( slim chance )

What I can do though, is charge him for trespassing and stealing ( driving car without permission ) and go to court with that.

That being said, there is no guarantee that I will get the money for the rent that he still owes me even though he goes to court.

I was thinking to use the divorce angle and threaten him that he won't be able to see his kids again if he's charged as a criminal, but I don't even know if this is a thing. ( yes, I know I'm being an arse by doing this to another man… but..! )

If I do that and force him to pay up and admit that he's done what he did, I will be able to recoup the $$$ I've lost - but will that make me legally suable for lying about the above?

What are my options here? :(
~

Update ( 5:31 PM 8/11/2017 )
Housemate A just checked his kitty and it appears that he has also lost around $200 :(
~

Update ( 10:38 AM 9/11/2017 )
Went to the coppers again this morning and they said that the Sergeant that is looking over my area only works on Saturday and Sunday, so it's preferred that I wait until then to speak to him / her to hear his / her thoughts.

Comments

  • +75 votes

    bikies !

    on serious note, just kick him out and cope the loss.

    • +18 votes

      Almost $1000 is too much to "Cope". Submit all the footage to the police with a theft report and leave it at that, let them take it from there but don't expect any money back.

      • +7 votes

        Actually it's probably more than $1000 if we take his unpaid rent into calculation :(

        • +18 votes

          Chances are there was/is no 'divorce' to speak of. He's just conning the Two of you.

        • +1 vote

          Thats not theft though, its a bad debt.

        •  

          your probably not the first person he's done this to , I would say he owes money all over the place.

          did he sign a lease or is it just a handshake agreement , does he pay by bpay or just cash

          write off the money he stole , you cant prove it so he didn't do it.

          if no lease then no rent owed - unless maybe he made regular direct payments for the same amount and then maybe you can prove there was an agreement

          on the good side if no lease then you can kick him out

    • +95 votes

      When he applied to live at your house and put his name down as "housemate b" didn't that raise your suspicions? I mean his name is almost exactly the same as your other housemate!!!

      • +9 votes

        Damn, you should be a Private Investigator!

      •  

        Could be from the same single Mom and she wass too tired to name each of her kids with different names.. and just use their last name to distinguish each pf her kids.

        Don't be so mean..!

  • +43 votes

    Forget about the lost money. You won't get that back. What you can do is make a formal complaint and get him charged with those offences that he allegedly committed.

  • +63 votes

    Does he have a lease?

    If not take $700 worth of his stuff, put the rest outside & change the locks.

    No wonder he is getting divorced.

  • +19 votes

    "There are no locks for the rooms in the house.
    ~

    problem"

    You got that mixed up. The problem is precisely that you're living with effective strangers without locks on your rooms.

    "Housemate B was driving my car when I wasn't home!"

    Why the hell did he have the keys to your car? I mean, the car comes with locks but giving the keys out defeats the purpose a little bit.

    "What are my options here? :("

    He's going through a divorce, sharing a house as a middle aged guy with a kid/kids, STILL behind on rent even on that, needs to raid spare cash for money. Yeah you're not gonna get a dime out of him. Serve him the required notice to vacate, kick him out, and take all this as an expensive lesson learned.

    And go buy some bloody locks.

    • +10 votes

      Serve him the required notice to vacate

      Not worth it unless the house will be occupied 24/7 before he leaves.

      Kick him out, take the key, put his shit on the verge.

      • +10 votes

        Nah, I'd be VERY careful about doing that, especially with a person like OP's dealing with here.

        You've got someone who is:

        1. Getting a divorce - so in a shitty mood.

        2. Getting a divorce - so might think or actually know enough to apply to the tenancy tribunal.

        3. Getting a divorce and seemingly broke - so very little to lose.

        So taking all that together, I'd be very careful to have all my legal ducks in a row if I were OP.

        • +34 votes

          You missed an option:

          4. Habitual criminal who tells lies about being divorced as a cover story for why he has no references from former flatmates and for being late on the rent.

          Since the guy is dishonest, OP should treat everything he says with suspicion. And yes, be very careful when dealing with him.

        •  

          Read above that this 'divorce' could be a load of hogwash story to con OP for sympathy.

  • +3 votes

    Kick him out, take the loss and get a safe for further cash that you want to hold.

  • +44 votes

    As said by the others, get him out of the house and write off the loss. Sounds like the wife knew what she was doing when she kicked him out. She might be interested in seeing the footage, if you can find out where she is. I wouldn've worry about breaking the dude code, this guy is a dick.

    • +19 votes

      I wouldn've worry about breaking the dude code, this guy is a dick.

      Good to know someone agrees with this one :)

  • +4 votes

    Sorry you're going through such pain. At least you have evidence. Just cross it off as a loss and learn from it, which you have.

  • +8 votes

    Don't feel bad man. He has taken advantage of your trust and needs a wake up call. He's not a very good role model for his kids anyway. Don't be a dummy and let him take advantage of you again.

  • +2 votes

    Thanks everyone for the replies… looks like there is only one way this can go :(

    One thing I'm worried about is that if I kick him out, he might come back for revenge and vandalise the house…

    Is there any way that is legally acceptable to prevent this? ( as it's not my house and I don't want my house owner mate to get sucked in on this problem )

    Build-wise, he's a bit bigger than me or my other housemate, but we should be able to get rid of him if we work together.

    • +80 votes

      Be nice about it, show him the camera footage and tell him you could've gone to the cops but you haven't because you know he's down on his luck, but he can't keep living there. That'll serve a few purposes:

      1. You're showing that you're trying to be as nice as you can.

      2. You're showing him you could've screwed him over and didn't, but if he does something you still can.

      3. If he DOES try something, you'll likely catch that on tape too.

      EDIT: Also tell him you know he took the money but you're not going to chase it because, again, you know he's down on his luck. Honestly that's because he probably can't pay it back anyway, but still a way to score some free goodwill.

      •  

        OP can still go to court after doing all the above AND got him out of the house, can he?
        I mean, I presume that Housemate B doesn't have to stick around the house for the cops to come in for the arrest - that's not what happens in the movies.

        •  

          Oh for sure, but from OP's perspective - the cops aren't going to take this too seriously (without video evidence), and even if they did, if the guy has no money (which he likely doesn't if he's behind on rent on just a ROOM in a house and stealing cash to boot, OP still won't see a cent of the missing money back anyway.

        • +2 votes

          the cops aren't going to take this too seriously (without video evidence)

          @0blivion: just FYI that I do have video evidence on him rummaging through my stuff in my room :(

        •  

          @seibzehn: But as you say,

          They advised me that since there is no hard evidence that Housemate B took the yen, they will not be able to charge him unless he admits it

        •  

          @bluesky: that is true :( :( :(

        •  

          @seibzehn:

          Yup sorry, I was referring to this bit (someone else quoted as well):

          "They advised me that since there is no hard evidence that Housemate B took the yen, they will not be able to charge him unless he admits it"

          And again, just because he's charged doesn't mean you automatically get your money back. If he just plain doesn't have money…. can't get blood from a stone unfortunately.

        • +3 votes

          @seibzehn: Just my opinion … Get him out of your life, get him to move, consider the yen lost… anything else may involve more cost to you (time, heartache …).

          I chatted with an Uber driver when overseas, divorce situation, super depressed, tried suicide … I do not know your housemate's situation. But if he is depressed, not thinking straight, he could hit back/retaliate, commit suicide, etc. All of which may not be what you want, even the latter, which could weigh on your conscience.

          I agree with 0blivion's comment to give him a way out, but let him know you know, ideally have someone present when you confront him.

        •  

          @bluesky: who gives a shit if a lowlife scumbag thief tops himself?

        • +10 votes

          @niggard: his kids might… he's brought them over before and honestly, before this shit hits the fan, I used to think of him as an OK dad. His kids probably thought of him more. Which is why I'm still contemplating. Otherwise it's gonna be straight to the court.

        • +10 votes

          @niggard:

          who gives a shit if a lowlife scumbag thief tops himself?

          There is a thing called proportionality. He is already reaping the consequences of his stealing - i.e., being found out, and about to be evicted and shamed. Be a bit careful, and not push a guy (esp one under tremendous stress) over the edge to suicide is all I am saying. All hypothetical of course, we don't really know the mental state of this person.

        • +2 votes

          @seibzehn:

          You have video evidence of him rummaging through your room.

          You DON'T have video evidence of him stealing anything.

          To prove a charge "beyond reasonable doubt" in your specific situation you need video of him taking the property or admissions.

          Police will not charge without a reasonable prospect of conviction. Police will take your report and can interview him, but charges are unlikely if he throws up any number of stories to create the reasonable doubt required to avoid conviction.

        • +4 votes

          Not true at all. Can you imagine how many people would get away with offences if the whole act itself had to be captured on camera? In the absence of any other footage of any other people with keys to the house rummaging through his room, he'll be charged, whether he consents to an interview or not.

    • +4 votes

      Restraining order based on the criminal charges, should keep him away from house and you.

      •  

        No! Terrible idea! The point is to de-escalate the issue, not escalate it. The stolen money's a write-off anyway.

        •  

          read my comment at bottom pf page first, This answer was purely about OP's question what can be done to prevent retaliation further damage once he has managed to get him out, if he feels there is a danger of it happening.

        • +2 votes

          @Toons: I still disagree, and lightly veiled threats like telling the guy you've taken a copy of the evidence to the cops isn't going to help either. And relying on the cops and restraining orders to "prevent" damage isn't smart - they can only act AFTER something's happened, they're not going to guard the house 24/7. The best way to "prevent" any damage is to de-escalate. That's it.

          A guy who's the same size as OP and his friend put together is going to do some damage if he wants to, restraining order or no. So you work around that by making him not want to do damage, by being civil, nice, understanding - or at least appearing that way until the guy's gone and out of OP's life.

        • +1 vote

          @0blivion: He has been feeding off OP being a nice guy i don't disagree to make it as civil as possible.

          There needs to be a point where enough is enough though and sounds like OP has reached it

          I don't think he will get any of the money back either the point of the restraining order like i said is post, if he comes home to find house has been ransacked police do actually go looking for him as a credible person of interest, otherwise it's just deal with insurance which is just going to cost more money for OP.

        • +4 votes

          @Toons:

          Again, my (personal) take on this is, prioritize getting the guy out of the house and OP's life. That means, if OP has to be, or pretend to be, nice and civil? Do that. You can be civil, polite but still firm.

          But getting the money back? Or some kind of karma or revenge? The first one just plain isn't going to happen, and the second is pointless.

          Don't get me wrong - I'm pissed too that the guy got away with so much, but putting emotions aside, the most realistic best case scenario here is that the guy leaves without any more drama. Veiled threats, etc, only add to the drama. Might feel good for OP to get it off his chest, but not going to be productive.

        • +2 votes

          @0blivion: Oblivion is wise.

          Nothing to add. Be civil and remove him asap. Cut your losses and take it as a lesson.

    • +10 votes

      I would strongly advise you to lodge a police complaint first and ask the police to charge him for the offenses committed.

      This is to safegard you in case things turn nasty (like the guy vandalising your house).

      Always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

      • +3 votes

        I would strongly advise you to lodge a police complaint first and ask the police to charge him for the offenses committed.

        I have went to the coppers and have an Incident Number lodged, they are now waiting for my decision on whether I will press charges or not. Is this what you meant?

        • +4 votes

          Press charges - you have given this guy enough chnaces. Then confront your mate and ask him to leave your property.

          You can always drop the charges later if if he agrees and shows signs of remorse.

          This protects you because if he retaliates. It is also a strong deterrent.

    • +1 vote

      A brick, a short drive and 2 broken knees…

    • +3 votes

      Maybe bring some other friends round when you do kick him

      or just one big friend

    • +7 votes

      "One thing I'm worried about is that if I kick him out, he might come back for revenge and vandalise the house…
      Is there any way that is legally acceptable to prevent this?"

      MORE XIAOMI'S!

    • +1 vote

      When you kick him out you will unfortunately need to get the locks changed. Who knows how many copies of your keys he has.

  • +24 votes

    Show that $%#& the footage and demand the return of said lost money orelse you will go to the cops with it and post it on social media.

    After the money is returned, go to cops and post it on Social Media.

  • +9 votes

    Kick him the (profanity) out NOW. You probably won't be able to get your money back so like other's have said chalk it up as an expensive lesson.
    Change your locks as well, the dick might have made copies and will ransack your house again.

  • +5 votes

    Some people just need to be out of your life, seems like you have been more than fair with him. longer he is there more you will lose unfortunately.

    Is he aware that you know he took your car or the camera's ?

    Tell him you want him out the house immediately ask him for keys and tell him he will need permission to enter to collect any belongings at an amicable time. If he tries screwing you around have a print out of the shots of him ransacking the room and driving the car, have Housemate A or you're mate who owns the place there, evidence and support if things go nasty when you confront him, have the Xiaomi set up to record the conversation.

    Tell him you want him out, say the police have a copy of the evidence you printed out, and he has the choice to go quietly and repay what he owes, and if you and he haven't come to an amicable agreement for him to vacate immediately, you have been instructed to call the police to confirm if you want to proceed with the criminal charges, that can be applied, if he didn't know about camera's which i'm assuming he didn't, mention that while you had been away valuables had also been taken from the house and once charges are pressed the police will review all the evidence to determine the extent of the full charges to be applied. (he may admit to taking the money it's a small bluff) and you will have it on camera and a witness.

    • +1 vote

      Is he aware that you know he took your car or the camera's ?

      Not that I'm aware of - I've been trying to act normally since yesterday. He did angle the dashcam up so I'm sure he's aware of the existence of the dashcam, but I can still hear his voice anyways.

      • +1 vote

        Sorry you have been left in the position you're in, i hope whatever path you choose works out without too much more mess or financial losses to deal with.

        I think it's clear you need him out, wouldn't mind knowing how this eventually turns out if you care to share, it might pay as a useful guide for anyone else who lands in similar situation.

        Maybe there are some guidelines or advice on the service that was used to initiate the agreement in the first instance

  • +6 votes

    Just so you know, criminal charges will not in any way prevent his children from having contact.

    The rights of the child trump anything you might be considering here.

    So if you do want to press charges go right ahead. I'd still give it a shot and see if he is willing to pay you back everything if you agree to take it no further for now. Criminal charges might stillbe undesireable for other reasons.

    • +2 votes

      Given the way he behaves it would be in the best interests of the child to not be associated with him. God knows how he behaved with the wife. I bet he had some sob story about that. I wonder if she got Sexually Tranmitted debt from him. I wish the wife all the best, sounds like she is much better off without him.

  • +28 votes

    I'm surprised with the commenters saying the money is a write-off. I'd tell the guy that he has to make everything right - pay back all money, pay rent, and move out - or you'll go ahead with the charges you can prove. You don't need to lie or make threats about his kids or any of that - the consequences are his problem and if he wants to find out what they are likely to be, he can do that. Keep it simple. He can take or leave your offer. If he doesn't like the offer, go ahead with the charges, and give him notice to vacate. That's what the law is for.

    I don't even think you need to be aggressive. You can even be understanding but still be firm, "I know you've had a hard time but what you've done is really not on. So I'm giving you a choice…"

    • +1 vote

      OP's already been to the coppers:

      "They advised me that since there is no hard evidence that Housemate B took the yen, they will not be able to charge him unless he admits it"

      And honestly, to the cops this isn't going to be on top of their "to-do list". Unfair? Yeah. But it is what it is. I mean the guy could even WANT to pay it back, but just look at the guy: Getting divorced, sharing a house, CAN'T PAY RENT, stealing cash. Chances of him even HAVING any money are slim to none. And that up against the chances that he can make more drama and cause more harm? Not worth it. It's a probabilities game, and to put it simply - OP shouldn't want to get into a competition of "who has more to lose" with this guy. The other guy could well lose, get charged, convicted, jailed, all that - but it helps OP none if the house gets messed up and OP still doesn't get money back at the end of the day.

      • +7 votes

        The cops said that they could charge him for trespassing and stealing (but not for the yen). If the guy doesn't have a criminal record, that's a pretty big deterrent.

        I'm not talking about a competition - I'm talking about what normal people do, if sometime steals from them, they go to the police and have them charged. Also, stealing money and not paying rent does not necessarily mean that they are completely desperate. Thieves aren't always broke. Maybe he was a thieving a**hole before he was divorced?

        What are the consequences of not doing anything? There's a thief living in the house. On what grounds can they ask him to leave without telling him they know he's a thief? Will he leave willingly? Will he stay and never pay rent again now that he knows he can get away with anything? That course of action is not without its risks either.

  • +23 votes

    Sleep with his ex wife. That's how you do payback!

    • +4 votes

      Not really into MILFs unfortunately… ಠ~ಠ

    • +60 votes

      Chumlee has got the right idea, but you could always take it a step further:

      • Reach out to the ex-wife, offer her lunch or coffee and explain the situation.
      • Show genuine concern for her side of the divorce and empathise now that you have been burned by her ex too.
      • Thank her for her time and stay in touch with ex-wife.
      • Be in "the neighbourhood" a couple more times over the coming weeks.
      • Be one other's relief in this difficult situation.
      • Create a romantic spark.
      • Make love to her.
      • Fall in love with each other.
      • Propose to her and start planning your wedding.

      Inform your delinquent housemate that you will be moving out to live with your fiancee.
      Break the news to him about knowing of his theivery and deceit.
      Tell him that he will not be invited to any of your family barbeques and to see your step-children unless he pays his debt.

      • You get your money back.
      • You take his wife.
      • You control the visitation of his children.

      Your entire life has now been reshaped to spite the man who wronged you.

    •  

      And what should OP say when he's asked "how do I taste?" haha

  • +5 votes

    We obviously don't know what this guy is like and you'd be the one who knows him best out of all of us. Were you friends with him this whole time or was he just someone that you said hi and bye to every day?

    If you think he can be a reasonable person, then perhaps you could try sitting him down with Housemate A and having a talk to the guy.

    What's done with the car is done and nothing you do can get you back the usage.

    Money-wise, you may be able to get it back, if not now, then one day.

    The cops aren't going to do anything, as you already know. So your best option is to just ask him to leave without any threats or verbal abuse. There really is no point to any threats etc, especially if he's really got no money.

    Having him charged with theft and trespasing really isn't going to help anyone. If anything, it'll guarantee an angry and perhaps vengeful person - one that you definitely don't need in your life.

    Here's the softer side of me - does he have a job? he could've simply been completely desperate and didn't have anyone else to turn to and just did stupid things that are perhaps out of character?

    Whatever it is, let the anger inside you settle first before pulling your first move. There's a possibility that you could make things worse for yourself and Housemate A if this situation isn't handled properly.

    • +1 vote

      Were you friends with him this whole time or was he just someone that you said hi and bye to every day?

      Pretty much this - we did have beer together every now and then and small chats about his ex-wife and kids

      If anything, it'll guarantee an angry and perhaps vengeful person

      Well… there is one here typing a reply at you. I mean, sure, I don't really need another one - but I hate being on the suffering side and actively choose to not do anything when I know I'm right and I should really come up top in this.

      The Sergeant that's looking over my area only works Sat and Sun, so I'll sleep on this and hopefully have a clearer head this weekend.

  • +29 votes

    I say don't let him know. Put some money in your room, in $5 notes so there's heaps of them and he thinks he has a chance at taking some without being noticed. Just bullshit it's some sweepstakes for your work or some crap and leave it on your bed or somewhere obvious. When he takes any at all, you've got proof he's a thief and will help build your case.

    • +2 votes

      ^ this

    • +3 votes

      I like this idea too

    • +24 votes

      Get some convincing fake Yen that you had to get to "replace the Yen you lost".
      Wait for him to take it, tell him he now owes you $900 worth of Yen and you have proof.

      When he gives you back the fake ones, go to the cops again telling them he's trying to pay you with fraudulant currency.

      •  

        This idea then do what old mate said above and approach him reasonably with the fear of him getting a criminal conviction. If he doesnt take well to that kick him out (well dot his either way) and charge him on what you can and take him to court on a matter of principle if nothing else.

        Good on you OP for having the sense to ask friends (us) rather than bite the bullet on a questionable decision, best of fortune and keep us updated.

    •  

      Plus record the serial numbers of it all and report it together.!

    •  

      forgot to mention a hidden camera might help with this haha

  • +9 votes

    IMPORTANT READ IT!!

    1. Make a formal complaint with police . if you don't and take the case to court first thing JUDGE will ask where is your police report and if its months after the incident he will say why so late and that does not goes well with JUDGES .So make police complaint don't press charges as yet but make a complaint .

    2. Confront your Housemate and FILM IT AS WELL !!! Try to tell him you have recordings of him stealing (dont tell you dont have yen recordings) try to record him admitting else just try to make him admit in general.

    3. you can take restraining order and it will make him go off easily BUT this kind of shit does not go well with JUDGES as you are trying to kick the housemate without going to court first and twisting the system and taking things in your hand . Judge will ask you the application of trespassing and will read what you have written in it .

    4. if you don't want to deal with this SHIT , show him the video make him sign that he is leaving voluntarily and forget the loss and tell him you already went to police etc etc

  • +1 vote

    By the sound of this story I'm guessing the guy still had no idea whether or not you have video evidence of him taking your money that one time. You might be able to use this as leverage against him.

    Show him the latest footage you have of him and play it like you also have video recording of him taking your money. However, you didn't confront him that one time due to your respect to him as a friend and that you pitied his situation so you just let it pass. Tell him that the latest incident was the last straw and you can't take it anymore.

    Now give him the choice to make it right by repaying everything he stole or you will take this evidence to the police and show it to his family and friends further ruining his reputation. He might be too scared to even take a chance at this possibility and repay you everything. Many people will try whatever it takes to protect their reputation even if it means giving up their own life.

    •  

      even if it means giving up their own life

      … or taking another…?

      •  

        Well that's just a little bit of my imagination. There are many ways to approach this. You can even set him up by showing him the footage and try to offer him some help as a friend. Set up camera and a voice recorder and have him admit guilt to taking your money, value and also date and time. That's enough evidence to convict him.

  •  

    twist

    If he struggles when you try to kick him out, make sure you and Housemate A grab his … and give it a good twist.

  • +5 votes

    What model of Xiaomi cameras have you got that uploads the feed to Dropbox?

    PS. Not associated with Housemate A or B

    • +1 vote

      I use the Mijia Pan Tilt to save the footage onto a specified folder my NAS and from there I have a scheduled task to upload updated files to Dropbox :)

      And no, I'm not affiliated with Xiaomi thank you.

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