Whether it’s at home or the office, nobody wants to be a victim of theft. It’ll make you feel disappointed, angry, and betrayed. Stealing can damage personal or work relationships. It destroys the trust you have for a person, may it be a family member, a colleague, or an employee. How do you catch someone stealing money? How do you confront the person? What can you do to prevent it from happening again?
How to catch a family member stealing?
Someone is stealing from me but I have no proof. We’ve heard it quite often. If you believe a family member is stealing from you, what can you do? You will need to carefully consider the relationship implications before taking the following actions.
- Look for it first. Before anything else, make sure that you didn’t misplace your money, wallet, or item that you believe was stolen. You don’t want to embarrass yourself and damage your relationship with your family by accusing them of stealing when it’s your fault in the first place.
- Set up a home monitoring system. If a family has managed to steal from you, chances are they’d do it again. Install it in areas of your home that you want to keep secure, such as your home office or bedroom. Some home monitoring systems you need to consider are Vivint, Frontpoint, and ADT. This can be done surreptitiously or overtly to either catch or deter the thief respectively.
- Use the webcam on your computer. Your computer’s webcam can serve as a security camera, which can take and store images of people going in and out of the area where it’s installed. It’s an effective method of catching the person who is stealing from you at home.
- Set a trap. You can put marked money in your wallet or room, or copy their serial numbers. When they’re lost and you found them with your family member, that’s irrefutable evidence that they stole them.
- Never use physical force. It’s never a good idea to catch a thief through brute force or by running after them after catching the perpetrator doing the act.
How to confront a family member stealing from you?
You need to address the problem if you have proof that a family member is stealing from you. Talk to the person involved so that it won’t happen again and to repair your broken trust/ relationship.
- Plan – You have to know what you want to say and when to say it. Avoid any form of confrontation if you’re feeling angry or hurt. Take some time to cool down and think about how you want to approach the person. It’s a sensitive type of conversation that should happen when you’re calm.
- Voice out your feelings – Let your family member know, calmly, that you felt hurt and betrayed by what they did.
- Don’t accept their excuses – It’s easy to get swayed by excuses. But don’t let this get to you. You need to let your family member know that stealing is unacceptable and plain wrong regardless of the reason they did it.
- Make things right – Help your family member come up with a plan on how to make things right. They should pay you back if money was stolen. If they took an item, then they have to replace or return it. Don’t brush the incident under the rug because if you do, you’re giving them an excuse to do it again. They should learn to be accountable for their actions.
- There should be consequences – If your family member doesn’t want to make amends, you need to make it clear that there will be consequences. If it’s your kid, you can take their allowance as payment for the money they stole. If it’s a relative, you can tell them that they’re no longer welcome in your home for the time being until they’ve taken responsibility for their actions. In extreme cases, you can file a police report about the incident but this would damage the relationship irrevocably.
- Prevent it from happening again – Always secure your valuables so that no one can steal from you again or be tempted to do so. If you are careless about leaving your cash or valuables lying around you may be culpable of tempting someone to do something malicious which may not even happen if the temptation is not there in the first place.
- Know when to go to the police – If an adult relative is involved, the nature of the theft as well as your relationship with that person will tell you if you should go to the police. If it’s your child, you need to talk to him or her about why they should not steal. You can also get them counseling if your child has developed a habit of taking things that aren’t theirs.
How to catch someone stealing money at work?
Employee theft is so common that 95% of all businesses suffer from it. At least 75% of employees steal from their workplace, and they believe the amounts they pilfer are negligible. Every year, businesses lose about 5% of their revenue from small thefts.
Nobody wants to be a victim of theft. Companies do all they can to protect their business, but it’s sometimes not as easy as it seems.
How to catch someone stealing money at work? You have to be observant. You should install security systems to help you gather information about the incidents of theft in your workplace and seek the help of an expert. Once you’ve got all the evidence you need, it’s time to confront the thief.
- Look for changes in employee behavior. If you pay attention to your workers, you can easily spot changes in how they act. Look for unusual patterns like changes in their work habits and their lifestyle. For instance, one of your employees bought a new car although you didn’t give them a raise. Or perhaps a suspected employee comes to the office too early or works later than usual.
- Set up or improve your security system so that you can collect proof that someone is stealing from your business. Install CCTV cameras, video recording devices, and alarm systems.
- Take note of the theft trends so that you can track the thief’s behavior. How much was stolen? Do you notice a specific time when the theft usually happens? How often does this occur?
- Call in an expert for a fraud audit. An in-house or outsourced investigator will check your books and notify you of any discrepancies.
- Investigate as thoroughly as you can. Stealing should stop. You need to reprimand the person involved if proven guilty. However, do this fairly. Never allow hearsay to dominate the investigation. Consider the facts and don’t rely only on what other people say.
- Interview witnesses. Get as much information as you can by letting them explain what, where, and how it happened. You should also find out what they saw or heard and the names of the people who were involved.
- Once you’ve gathered enough proof, you should interview the suspected employee. Present your evidence.
- Determine your next course of action. Do the circumstances of the crime warrant suspension, termination, or a lawsuit? What disciplinary action are you willing to impose on the perpetrator? Will you report the theft to the authorities? Your employees need to know that stealing is punishable, regardless of your tenure or position in the workplace.
What you should not do if you suspect an employee of theft?
- You must not restrain or detain an employee who’s been suspected of theft. You can be sued if you falsely detain or imprison someone, and you don’t have any valid reason or evidence to support your action.
- Don’t resort to workplace defamation too. Your employee can sue you for slander if you malign him or her publicly, especially if you have no proof that the person stole from you.
- Don’t threaten to sue if you’re unsure whether to take legal action or not. Filing a lawsuit costs money, time, and effort. Carefully consider your position and decide if a lawsuit is your best course of action.
Is anti-theft powder effective?
An anti-theft powder is an effective tool for keeping your valuables at home or the office safe. If you suspect that someone is stealing from you, you can apply the anti-theft powder to knobs, registers, locks, and more. Once it comes in contact with the skin, the powder will turn into a visible stain that can last for a few days. Anti-theft powders are generally non-toxic, making them safe to use at home or in the office.
What are the other steps to secure your home or workplace?
To protect your home from theft:
- Lock all the windows and doors before you leave your home.
- Consider installing a home alarm system.
- If you’re planning to go on a vacation, find someone who can handle the maintenance so that your home will look like someone’s living in it even if you’re not home.
- Consider buying a home safe. Always secure your valuables and store them in a secure place.
- Never leave your bedroom door unlocked, especially if you’re not at home and you suspect someone is stealing from you.
- Install security cameras with mobile apps so that you can monitor your home in real-time. They can often store the videos, making it easy to access them when needed.
To protect your workplace from theft:
- Always be alert to signs of a possible theft at work (e.g., changes in work behavior and lifestyle).
- Impose close supervision to deter employees from stealing from you.
- Schedule unannounced internal audits.
- Restrict access to computers, safe, or registers.
- Always check purchase orders, business checks, and cash receipts.
- Install security systems, especially in areas where the money is kept or stored.
- Train your employees. Let them know that your company doesn’t tolerate theft. You need to make them understand that anyone who is caught stealing will be dealt with accordingly.
- Always perform a background check before hiring new employees. It will help you determine if the potential new hire has a criminal record.
What to do if you catch someone stealing? If you notice that your money is missing at home or work, there are steps you can take to find out who took it. But before you proceed, you need to make sure that it’s not your fault why you can’t find it. Once you have established that someone is stealing from you, you need to gather evidence. When you have enough proof to support your claim, you can then confront the person involved in a calm but firm manner. Whether it’s an employee, a friend, or a loved one, stealing is an act that shouldn’t be tolerated.