Yes, It Is Personal!


I remember about 10 years the apartment that I was living in was burglarized. It was right before I had David. I was very pregnant and very tired, so I sent Sam to check the mail. Unbeknownst to me, he left the keys in the mailbox.

Obviously someone found them. They knew exactly whose keys they were since they were found in #9’s mailbox. However, being the dishonest jackasses they were, they did not return the keys. Instead they used my own keys to come into my house and rob me blind while I was at the doctor with David for his one week Well Baby appointment.

Who did it turn out to be? One of my neighbors who I spoke to everyday. In fact, one day I came home to her playing a CD- that she’d stolen from my house. She was steps from my apartment playing it. Can you believe her nerve?
I was P.O., but what could I do about it? Someone told me that they did not consider it personal. It was just business to them. It was, however, personal to me. I was the one who didn’t feel safe anymore. I was the one who felt violated. You damn straight it was personal to me.

I do not understand how someone who steals could not think that the person who they stole from would take it personally. I am experiencing this situation for the second time. I didn’t write about it because I just forgot about it.

Here’s the story. I bought 30 Hot Wheel cars for prizes for my students. I gave away 5. I know about how many there were because I checked on them during the first week of January when I returned early from vacation for staff meetings. I know that there were at least 20 in there. Fast forward==- 1.5 months and I have 6 cars left.

Yes I said 6. One of my students stole almost 20 of the cars. The killer part is that I keep them right in back of my desk in a plastic box. She is almost never at my desk. I don’t know when she could have possibly stolen them. I just don’t.

Everyone kept telling me that this particular student, who I’ll call Stickyfingers, did it. Though I did believe that she did it, I did not have proof. I said that I wouldn’t say anything until I had proof. Well, I got my proof today. She was showing off one of the cars to another students when I saw it.

“What do you have?” I asked.

“Mine,” she said. It’s mine.

“Well, let me see it if there’s nothing to hide,” I said.

She reluctantly gave it to me. I didn’t make a big deal out of then because I didn’t want to embarrass her, but I did discuss it with her later. At which point she agreed to bring back the rest of the 18 cars she stole.

I have heard stories around campus that most of her family steals too. They are all very good at what they do because no one ever sees them do anything, but they always do it.
I know that she’s just a kid, but she understands perfectly well what she’s doing. I am so mad at her, but I know she doesn’t see what all the fuss is about because it isn’t personal to her. Well, it’s personal to me. I need a way for her to suffer some kind of consequences.

Does anyone have any ideas?

3 thoughts on “Yes, It Is Personal!

  1. Be sure to teach her to tell the truth and not become a better liar…
    I have wondered about this same issue myself:
    http://malcoreteaches.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/teach-them-to-tell-the-truth/#comment-27
    If her family has a history of theft (can we ever be sure about this rumor?), there may be a reason for it. Be sure there isn’t a “need” at the bottom of this. Of course, few kids “need” toys, but perhaps the kid is crying out for something fun. Teach them how to earn things honestly – and don’t make it too difficult at first.

  2. Yes, they were sure. No one ever saw them do it, but the evidence was almost always found on them. One time she stole some cookies. Of course, no one saw her do it. However, the Oreo covered teeth gave it away.
    It was the same with her brother. My assistant put some York peppermint patties on the desk, turned her head for a couple of seconds and the bag was gone. The only thing she saw was papers thrown on the floor. Once again the teeth were checked and sure enough, the chocolate covered teeth gave it away.

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