Reader Question: Friends stealing from friends

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Question:

I received an ipod as a gift from my older brother on my birthday in November 9th, 2007. That Friday night I left the ipod in my dining room cabinet. Monday morning I could not find my ipod anywhere. But I was informed my brother brought one friend over that weekend. I didn’t accuse the friend immediately, until I found out he has stolen many ipods, even from people I have known. Two years have passed, and my brother hung out with this friend again, and he had the same type of ipod that I had, and even some songs that were unusual for him to have as a guy (ex: Britney Spears songs that I clearly remember uploading in my ipod). I want to know what I can do about this! Thank you!

Answer:

Unless there is proof that the friend stole it, there’s not much you can do at this point. If you didn’t have some distinctive markings on the ipod (initials, name, etc) or you know the serial number where you can positively identify it as yours, there’s no absolute proof. Another problem is that it’s been so long.

If you are close to your brother, I’d have a talk with him explaining your suspicions. Maybe your brother can ask to "borrow" the ipod from your friend to examine it closer. If there are still distinctive songs that you loaded on the ipod (not just one Britney Spears song, he may actually like Britney Spears) and several of these songs are still on the ipod 2 years later, it becomes more than a coincidence that it could be your old ipod. But again, 2 years later causes some problems and it’s still not enough proof to just take it back. If you see a lot of the same songs on the ipod that you loaded 2 years ago, I’d see if your brother can squeeze his friend a little to see if he admits that it is yours.

In the meantime, keep your valuables in a safe place where someone cant be tempted to take them. I know you said it was in a dining room cabinet but that is still an area where anyone visiting the house could have had access to. I’ve seen "friends" steal money, CD’s, electronics etc from their own "friends" or even other family members because the opportunity was there and temptation set in. Better yet, carve or engrave identifying information such as your initials, name, driver’s license number etc on valuables when you get them. Then there is no question as to who they belong to if they get stolen and it greatly increases your odds of getting your valuables back. 

Mark
Coptalk.info

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