How to approach a klepto

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by akmom, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. akmom Newbie

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    A few years ago, at my father's funeral, the officiate gave each of his children and children-in-law a special trinket. It did not have much monetary value, but it was personalized and very special to us.

    I had set mine on my seat while I greeted people, and between hugs I noticed it was gone. The only reason we ever found it is because one of my children saw a woman swipe it and was able to describe her enough that I knew who she was.

    I was so broken and desperate to have it back that I made up a story that I had dropped it, and I called and asked her if she had possibly come across it. At first she said no, but I persisted and said someone was sure they'd seen her with it. I asked her to double-check and see if she could find anything of the sort in her car. She finally "found" it, but quit answering my calls and messages when I arranged to pick it up. I showed up at her house unannounced and she finally gave it to me. I was angry but just so relieved to have it back.

    Fast forward three years to another funeral, same officiate. He gave trinkets to the deceased's family and lo and behold, one of them went missing when lady who had it was carrying flowers to her car. She was devastated. The same klepto attended this funeral. I had not seen her in three years, and the first thing I thought when I saw her was "oh, there's the klepto that takes things she has no business even wanting." So when she was asking around if anyone had seen it, I told her I had not, but that the same thing happened to me at my dad's funeral. I told her that Robin had "accidentally" swiped it from me and what it took to get it back.

    There have been two other "misunderstandings" in this church, where people have described their property mysteriously ending up with Robin in a private conversation. No one outright accuses her of stealing. And I know no one really admits to stealing if they don't have to. So how should a person go about getting an item back? The most recent victim is much less bold than me. I considered stopping by Robin's house for a visit, and just seeing if it happened to be on display. All the trinkets are engraved, so there would be no confusion about ownership. But my husband advised me not to, and it does sound like a lot of work and planning for dubious results.
     
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  2. Ancient of Days Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "There have been two other "misunderstandings" in this church, where people have described their property mysteriously ending up with Robin in a private conversation."

    At that point the pastor of your church should confront her head on.
     
  3. akmom Newbie

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    The pastor has offered to bring up the missing trinket in the Sunday service, in hopes of convicting the technically-unknown thief. I doubt she'd even be there, though. I rarely see her.
     
  4. ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    If she is a member of the Church, it would not be inappropriate for the pastor to approach her. Though it should be handled in a careful way. The important thing is not really the trinkets, but whatever fault this woman has that drives her to do this. For her sake it should be dealt with. Ideally.
     
  5. akmom Newbie

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    I don't know. A trinket is a trinket, but for some reason it seems like so much more when you're grieving. Mine means little to me now. I'm a minimalist, I don't keep things for sentimental value. But when you feel you've just been robbed of a loved one, and someone gives you some token of acknowledgement, it's somehow comforting. And it's really hurtful to have it stolen. It makes you feel vulnerable rather than understood and valued. It's such a terrible thing to do. I probably should have confronted her when it happened to me, about how terrible it is to do that to someone when they're grieving, but at the time I was too emotionally delicate to wage such a confrontation.
     
  6. ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Oh I don't mean to make light of it.

    Actually, you hit on a more important aspect. The material value of the trinket is not much of a concern. The hurt caused by stealing it from a person who is already grieving is a TREMENDOUS thing by comparison.

    This is one of the main reasons it should be addressed. She is committing very unloving and hurtful acts against grieving people. Surely the monetary value of the thing pales by comparison. The real sin here is the pain she is causing.
     
  7. DavidFirth Saved by the blood of the Lamb Supporter

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    The pastor or an elder should confront her about it. She's stealing things from grieving people, taking advantage of them all while pretending to be a concerned Christian. This is a heinous thing to do and should be stopped immediately. She's actually using her church connection - of which Christ is King - to steal. Paul said not to associate with such people until they repent.
     
  8. Spikey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds to me like she needs help, compulsions can be hard to resist but if she's prepared to do this to grieving people then she really has a problem.
     
  9. akmom Newbie

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    Who approaches her and how? And who brings it to this elder's attention? I brought it to the pastor's attention.

    I mean, the incident with me was passed off as an accident. The most recent incident is just a suspicion, with no proof. The other incident I know of was mentioned by an infrequent member in passing. I feel like this issue is still very much in the dark. What can be accomplished if she simply denies doing it? She already knows it's wrong. Everyone knows it's wrong.

    I have many vices, but stealing has not been one of them. I have never been compelled to take anything. So I do not understand her mindset at all, and therefore have no idea how to approach a kleptomaniac. I feel like I've struggled with enough sins that I often DO know how to approach a person in the wrong. But not for this one. I know that people will sometimes steal food from the church pantry, and no one has ever confronted them. We all understand the motive, and have always tried to discreetly provide for that person upon realizing it. This is not the same thing, I don't think. I don't know what secret need she might have that, if addressed, would quench that urge to rob the bereaved. I imagine being called out on it would cause shame and likely deterrence, but not if she feels she can just deny it. I don't know... maybe even knowing that she is suspected would be shame enough.