The Heist


Dear Dharma,

I know your disclaimer says you are not a lawyer, but maybe you can point me in the right direction.  I live with my boyfriend and we have been together for just over a year.  For a while I had been sensing he is probably not “the one”.  Things that I didn’t pay attention to before are looming larger as warning signs.

For example, he works in construction as a subcontractor.  Except that he isn’t the guy who fixes stuff like on the TV shows, they are the guys fixing his crappy work a year later. He believes in doing a “good enough” job instead of a good one.

It all came to a head last week when he was working for a general contractor on a big job, and pulled his normal stuff.  The boss got mad and reamed him out good.  Rather than take it as a sign to shape up, my boyfriend decided that the boss “owed” him.  He kept all of the contractors’ tools in his truck and said it was his bonus. I heard that the boss thinks it was a break-in, and that there were hundreds or even a thousand dollars’ worth of gear taken.

This is a huge step from taking a pen from the stationary cupboard.  What do I do? I know we are done, but now he is a little scary to me.  Should I just break up and walk away or turn him in to the boss or police?  What happens if I don’t say anything and he gets caught?

Lovebird, Not a Jailbird

Dear Lovebird,

There are actually two separate issues here, and as far as I can see, one needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later… which is getting you out of this relationship.

A whole lot of red flags here – you already know he’s not the one, he’s a thief with entitlement issues and most importantly, you no longer feel safe.

It doesn’t seem as though there is a lot of emotional entanglement to work through (although I am sure there’s more than what this letter displays), so yes – break up and walk away as soon as you can get it arranged.  If there is a short term solution you can come up with, as in, somewhere you can stay while you sort out your accommodation, that’s what I would recommend.

Once you’re settled somewhere safely and the likely drama has played itself out, then you can decide what to do about the stolen tools.  Going to the police seems like a better option than reporting it to the boss, as you lose the option of being anonymous with the latter.  The last thing you need is him to know you’re the one who ratted him out.

Then again, if the tools haven’t been reported as missing or stolen, I’m not sure the police will be able to do anything.  I don’t know these things, because you’re right, Dharma is not a lawyer.  Although once upon a time, she did think about it – how great would that have been – ‘Your honour, I object!’

Anyway, your safety and well-being come way before the tools, so get that taken care of and then evaluate if you still want to pursue the law.



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