Social Question

rockfan's avatar

Would you still be friends with somebody if they stole money from you?

Asked by rockfan (3037 points ) August 19th, 2012

My best friend (who I’ve known for eight years) has been going in and out of rehab programs for the past year, and he was planning on going again next week. He stayed at my house for a few days, and over a period of 4 days he stole 10,000 dollars from my house to buy drugs. Today is the first day he actually confessed to doing it. The worst thing about it is that he stayed with me for three days last week, knowing how upset I was that a thief came into my house. Well he’s going to rehab tomorrow. If you were in my position, would you still remain friends with him if he gets clean?

By the way, I’m not pressing charges, but if I did, how long do you think he would be sentenced for?

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18 Answers

creative1's avatar

Nope never, they are choosing drugs over your friendship. I wouldn’t care if he got clean or not what is done is done and I need to be able to trust my friends and I would never trust him again

Pandora's avatar

Unless I was Bill Gates, I would have a problem with 10000 dollars. Unless you are talking yen or something like that which is about 100 more or less (depending on the current exchange rate). But I probably would even have a problem being friends with a junkie in the first place. To a junkie his only best friend is his dealer. I simply don’t have the patience to be friends with a liar, and junkies don’t know how to be honest when they are in between fixes. I guess it really would depend on if he really means what he says and can stay clean. If he checks out early than I would not bother.
But that is me. If you do decide to forgive him, I believe there are groups to help family and friends learn the warning signs of when they are back sliding and to help you decide to do what is best for you and how to learn to make the best decisions for you and the person you care about.

DrBill's avatar

I would remain guarded friends with him as long as:

1. He remains clean
2. He does not steal again from anyone
3. He actively works on paying back what he took.

wilma's avatar

No, not under those circumstances.

gailcalled's avatar

Sentencing is never cut-and-dried.. He might get probation with obligatory rehab, community service and an obligation to pay you back, or he might get slammed right into the slammer.

Do you expect some form of repayment? I don’t see how you could consider continuing the friendship until the present circumstances.

JLeslie's avatar

Probably not. However, I have had some bad experiences with alcoholic friends, but nothing involving theft. I told her she could not visit me unless she was dry while staying in my house, but that I would love to see her. I also have a relative on my husband’s side who has taken money from family, but no addiction, and I ignore what he has done. We even loaned him so money fairly recently, and I decided in my mind if he did not pay it back I would forgive him and still behave the same, except never ever give him a penny ever again, ever. He did pay the money back.

So, maybe if the friend was a life long friend, and they were going to get help and pay me back. Maybe eventually with time we could be friends again, but it would be tough.

But, what bothers me is $10k. US dollars? How the f!!!?! Do you just have $10k lying around? Why do you have so much money lying around? I have to say it makes me suspicious of you.

susanc's avatar

1. An addict’s commitment to friendship is a distant second to his commitment to the fix. This isn’t a moral failing, it’s a physiological reality.
2. If you had a friend whose legs were damaged and who had to use a wheelchair, you could not share a third-floor walk-up apartment with them. There would be limitations.
Therefore,
3. When this guy who took your money gets out of the slammer, sure you can be friends, but you can’t let him near your stuff.
4. Getting paid back is not going to happen. See 1. above.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Seriously, junkies are hard to trust. It’s hard to trust them because they can’t even trust themselves most of the time. I would cut ties with him immediately. He will only deteriorate your life as his is plummeted. 10,000 is a bunch of money! Good grief and it’s not even invested in anything as far as material is concerned for you to get it back. I would leave him be and enjoy my own life had I a junkie buddy.

jca's avatar

No. Knowing what I know about addicts, I would feel sorry for him, and realize that it was probably beyond his control, but my personal feelings would be in the way of any kind of friendship.

I would also want him to try to pay me back.

Who keeps that much money in their house? I would never keep that much around in the first place. Problem # 1. I would be partly blaming myself for that. I would feel I should have known better. Just curious – was it cash? Was it hidden? How did he access it?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Friend = Trust. No trust = No friend.

bookish1's avatar

I’d have trouble reconciling with any ‘friend’ who stole money from me… But $10,000??? That’s almost as much money as I make in a year…. So hell no.

downtide's avatar

Under those circumstances, absolutely not. If a friend stole a few quid off me to buy food, I would probably let it pass. But if they stole enough to impact on my ability to buy food for myself and pay my bills, you can bet I’m pressing charges.

Shippy's avatar

If one can separate the behavior from the person yes. Drugs have a mind of their own. However limits are he pays you back and the friendship only exists when he is clean. Other than that you become his en abler.

ucme's avatar

Until they paid me back in full, yes I would.
Although “friends” probably isn’t the right word, more like cash cow.

Symbeline's avatar

@bookish1 Yeah, me too. I mean if they stole 20 bucks from me, okay…the principle of the matter may remain the same, but 10,000?? I’d also never keep that huge an amount in my house.

He obviously has problems and needs help and guidance, but it does remain that he knew what he was doing. (or so I assume?) That’s a very big amount of money, which you probably need to live. I’d find it hard retaining the friendship, especially if he knew how stealing money could potentially fuck someone up when it comes to paying for every day things like food and bills.

jca's avatar

The OP pm’d me and told me it’s not cash, it was in valuables. I asked him several times to put those details on the thread, but he has not yet (not sure why not, as it’s been more than a few hours since his pm).

Symbeline's avatar

Aaah, valuables. Well, then my answer, knowing this doesn’t really change. Maybe having material possessions stolen causes ’‘less damage’’, but it’s still theft from someone you trusted. Being a simple minded person without much depth, I say; that sucks. Someone made off with my TV, PS3, all my horror movies and my Goth boots I paid ridiculous amounts of money for, they could munch on my ass after that.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m gonna say no. And I’d press charges too. Just because this person is an addict, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t understand that stealing is wrong. He wasn’t stealing food because he was starving, which would be an entirely different event in my opinion.

You were an easy target and he took advantage of you. He’s no friend of yours.

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