By on February 4, 2012


 

Imagine finding your car gone. Vanished. Not even a set of skid marks to document the trajectory of the assailant.

You take a moment to catch your breath. The police are contacted along with the insurance company, family and close friends. Before long you have spent nearly half the day overloading your mind with stressful thoughts and conversations. Two nights follow with little to no sleep.

Three days later the car is found along with the assailant. It’s someone you knew! A young guy who has usually been a good person.  If it weren’t for the “issues” in his life, none of this would have likely taken place.

So what do you do?

A) Press charges. The guy is booked for grand theft auto and the future prosecutions are entirely up to the local DA.

B) Decline to press charges.  The car in question was only worth $1500. An amount that is far lower than the average  unsecured credit card deficiency. You wonder to yourself, “Should a guy go through the rest of his life with a felony on his record for a non-violent act he did in his early-20’s?” A non-violent felony conviction may inflict more long-term harm than good.

C) Call a friend.  You name the person. Call them and thrash out the details. A person should be punished. But at what price damnation?

Think about your answer.  It’s not always an easy thing to do good for others… or for yourself.

 

 

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73 Comments on “Weekend Edition: Lost & Found...”


  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    why did the young man take the car?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Press Charges.

    All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel
    In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate

    Qohelet Raba, 7:16

  • avatar
    caboaz

    D) .45 slug to the back of the head.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Because that how we deal with people who have internal problems that need our help…

      Honestly it’s really a matter of whether they can use the help or not. If this gentlemen is so far down that path then A, if he isn’t then B. C is a sticky situation that can net you a pretty long sentence if not the death penalty if your “friend” takes it too far.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        @Xeranar; Wanna help people with problems? Help the guy whose car was stolen, or the woman who was just attacked.

        As for helping people who choose (yes, “choose”) a life of drugs and crime, go volunteer at a school or hospital or drop-in center where they are *asking* for help. But for the life of Brian, let’s stop trying to reverse the role of criminal and victim when a crime has occurred. This denial-of-personal-responsibility fetish so popular among liberals has been weakening our society for years, and is one of the main reasons we have so many societal drop-outs in the first place.

        (A) Put a bandaid on your bleeding heart, and press charges for the good of everyone involved. The young man will ask for help when he is ready.

      • 0 avatar
        Brock

        don1967

        +1

  • avatar
    Neb

    Hm, tough question.

    From what you wrote, I’m going to assume your losses are mostly emotional (IE the stress and anxiety you felt) and you got the car back. If so, I’m inclined to say c), if and only if you think such a course would be effective as a punishment.

    If not, press charges. If the person in question is so messed up he thinks stealing a car from an acquaintance is a good idea, then he’s probably going to do it again anyway. Better now then later, with a more serious crime.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Better the offender learn a minor lesson now than getting shot in the driveway by a less compassionate car owner who needs his ride to get to his legitimate job the next day. Or maybe he totals the next uninsured ride he “borrows” and now a single mom can’t get to her low wage job anymore.

      Option C is bad; a premeditated assault is a more serious crime than auto theft, and could land you in prison (plus legal bills and a civil suit) while he gets probation for the theft. In fact, if he sues you for the beat down he could end up making a profit from stealing your car. Not worth it.

  • avatar
    ott

    Pull a Clint Eastwood Gran Torino on his ass.

  • avatar
    alan996

    As I am now too old to make much of an impression on his head and torso I would have to call my 6 foot 2 inch, 235 pound son in-law to administer the proper punishment, but I would provide the quiet surroundings and the sticks…

  • avatar
    RayH

    C) Call a friend, if you know the right person who will show proper restraint. Pressing charges subjects this person to being introduced to the American justice system, which is much much too harsh a punishment for a young person. A back alley beating is the merciful thing to do, and gets the point across.
    *If I think this person is a total loser with no hope of rehabilitation, I’ll press charges.

    • 0 avatar
      B.C.

      The back alley beating is much more satisfying as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Lokki

      The beating is a bad idea. If he doesn’t know why he’s getting thumped, it’s pointless. If he does, then his momma wiil try to sue you, sure as rain. Her baby didn’t do nuthin’. You’ll end up paying her off to avoid being dragged into court, and the kid will get the cash and laugh at you.

      Better , IMHO, to go to said momma and ask her what her son could do to keep you from pressing charges, with restitution in mind. Then insist on a written document admitting guilt and agreeing to pay a set sum under set conditions. Of course sucha document and deal is really worthless. He’ll never pay and you’ll never press charges, but his momma will give him hell about the whole thing for years.
      NOTE: If momma does’t agree to rhe whole deal, you have to be prepared to press charges. No bluffing.

      NOTE.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        I think this is the best solution I’ve seen here. It gets across the seriousness of the issue, gives the offender an opportunity to reflect on the turn his life is taking and back it up with hard action should his mother not take things seriously.

        Some people will get the message. If he is one of them, pressing charges wouldn’t do him any good.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Nice. What you’ve done is called “blackmail,” which has greater penalties than beating the guy up in the South 40 when no one’s looking.

        Now, if you have a frank discussion with momma and the perp and advise them that you are not going to press charges if you are satisfied that our “victim of society” is going to remain so no longer, that’s o.k.

        But don’t ask for anything of value in exchange for not pressing charges, please. And if momma or the boy offer money or services to persuade you of his change of ways, turn them down flat.

      • 0 avatar
        Tree Trunk

        1+

        Gives the kid the option of fixing his mistake, but then the contract has to be clear and actually be enforced.

        Get a job/attend school for a given year, do the lawn every weekend what ever is reasonable otherwise the little contract is going to the cops…

        Hard to call that blackmail.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Well, if I don’t know the absolute truth, and I’ve got the car back, I guess I’d decline to press charges. I hope the young man can straighten himself out. If he does not he will have plenty of opportunities to learn about our criminal justice system.

  • avatar
    RyleyinSTL

    Everyone has “issues” to deal with in there life. Press charges, this is not a difficult decision. Once people start steeling they are beyond repair.

    Side note…Folks who steel cars are by default, complete idiots, so how the hell are steeling them? According to the owners manual of my car, assuming you wanted to start it without the key, you would need a laptop, a background in C++ and even then you might still need a tow truck.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    What is the purpose of Law and what is justice?
    – punishment of the guilty.
    – removal of the delinquent or dangerous from free society.
    – restitution for the aggrieved.
    – prevention of future crime by the convicted and/or by others contemplating similar crimes.

    It is been said that by the time a person is approaching their teens, they already know right from wrong, have a fully formed character, and are more or less only struggling with impulse control.

    By the time someone like our fictional criminal is in their early 20s they should have at least a moderate grip on the more personally restrictive and/or painful points listed above. Early 20s persons are no longer children and need to stand responsible for their behaviors as any other adult would.

    As a private citizen, I wouldn’t overstep my privileges under the law by going vigilante, nor would I abdicate my responsibility as a part of society by letting him slide.

    Therefore, I would call him to stand responsible for his actions and call the authorities to file charges.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Currently, the primary purpose of the Law is to provide cushy jobs for cops, lawyers, judges, regulators and other tax feeders; and to provide cheesy, pathetic excuses for why it is cool for the well connected to harass those less so.

      Beat the snot out of kiddo, then tell him that if he squeals, you’ll have him charged for car theft, drug whatever, and anything else you can drum up to destroy his life once and for all and as thoroughly as possible. Him dragging gommiment into it, would be a much worse offense than him stealing the beater in the first place.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    The question is, would pressing charges now prevent something more awful (such as armed robbery) in the future? Is this the moment that some future family would have wished this person in jail instead of killing their child for their money or possessions? Otherwise a good old-fashioned ass beating outside of the law may suffice.

  • avatar
    turtletop

    If this individual is worth the effort (a judgment only you can make), a “Come to Jesus” meeting may be in order.

    Do a little research beforehand on what type of charges could be brought for the theft, what direct punishments the criminal justice system might inflict for a conviction, and what limitations being branded a felon would places on one’s life. Point out in no uncertain terms how close they are to having this process set against them, with repeated emphasis that once it is put into motion, it will grind relentlessly on. Bonus: perhaps you can find someone who’s been through the process already and can lay it out in all its ugliness?

    Option C, as tempting as it may sound to some, will only perpetuate the cycle. Vengeance is not justice, and will only serve to place you at the same level as the thief.

    • 0 avatar
      Hildy Johnson

      +1 on all points.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      This would be my approach as well. The circumstances might be different if the car was worth a considerable amount of money. As it stands, is it really worth branding this “friend” a felon for the rest of his life, over a $1500 theft, which was later recovered? I think he needs some guidance, tlc.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I choose B: -If the car was returned more or less as before, I wouldn’t press charges. maybe have him help pay/fix any damage caused by the theft (locks, a window?) But let him also understand that he doesn’t get any more chances.

    ‘A:’ would certainly put him in contact with other more experienced criminals, and make him an enemy of the law, and myself. I can see no way this would lead to anything good at all, as long as he didn’t hurt neither me or anyone else yet. this could off course depend on what else he’s up to, but as stated, I don’t know.
    ‘C:-could easily have me peer pressured into beating his ass in a dark alley,or cause rumors to be spread, that somehow leads to percussions similar to those in alternative ‘A’, both for me and him.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Call the authorities, have him arrested– then give him the junk car when he is released.

    He will have what he needs to rebuild his life. He will be reminded of his misdoings every time he drives– or fills out a job application. He will have no further contact with the compassionate person he wronged. Because you will have no further dealings with he, or with those he associates with.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Call the authorities, have him arrested– then give him the junk car when he is released. He will have what he needs to rebuild his life.”

      The last thing that a felony conviction would do is to help his situation. Once he gets into the system, he’s probably going to be stuck in it. If the goal is to rehabilitate him, then a jail sentence is only going to interfere with that.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        Bullshit.

        My Father went to prison and still managed to have a 32-year career, buy a home, a business– he put me and my two siblings through school and bought us all new cars at graduation.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        It’s very unlikely that this would result in a felony anything, unless the guy has a record of priors as long as your arm.

        If he doesn’t have a record, if the car has been returned to its owner undamaged, he’d likely be asked to plead to a misdemeanor, with probation. A condition of the probation is that he keep his sorry ass out of trouble. Depending upon the state, it might be possible for the record to expunged after a certain number of crime-free years.

        Except when it comes to drugs, the “system” is not as stupid or as harsh as some here would have it be. And, in the case of drugs, it’s not “the system,” it’s legislators who score points with voters by having simple possession of certain drugs, regardless of quantity, be a felony with mandatory jail time.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I would have to think long and hard about pressing charges and frankly it all depends on too many things to enumerate here.

    Getting him in the court system is generally ungood. However, you might be able to work out something with the courts to drop charges after he had made good.

    20 years ago it would have been the back alley. I have changed. Not the circumstances.

  • avatar
    dregueiro

    It needs to be A. or B. based on what you know about the kid. C implies that you will compromise your principles. Your willing to break the law (assault) because someone else broke the law (stole the car). Can’t do C. Cannot compromise my principles because someone compromised (or not) theirs.

  • avatar
    improfound

    A felony can wreck a person’s life. A felon has to check off the “felon” box on any job application, so is unlikely to be able to get a job. A felon usually cannot get public assistance, which means if they don’t have a job, they don’t have any other way of supporting themselves, either. Felons are usually barred from getting professional licenses, further hampering their job chances. A felon cannot live in public housing. In some states, people in public housing cannot associate with felons, which means if a felon has family in public housing, he cannot visit them. In many states a felon is disenfranchised.

    Some people think that a felon “deserves” all this. (Digression: in many states, possession of a small amount of pot is a felony.) That’s up to you, but if you’re deliberating morally, it’s important to get clear on what the consequences are.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I think it’s really depends on the perpetrator involved. Now that he’s caught, how does he react? Does he apologize to you? Show genuine regret on what he has done? How likely is he to do that again in the future? Does he have a future, i.e. a good, law-abiding, contributing to society kind of future? It certainly seem harsh to rob someone of possible good future over a $1500 car, unless he doesn’t really have that future anyway, as the case with many car thieves/hardened criminals.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If he has remorse and can be redeemed, then I would do a bit of horse trading: you drop the charges, in exchange for him making an effort to get his act together. If possible, do this in such a way that he gets to have and keep a clean record if he stays on the straight and narrow. (This would require a DA and court that are both willing to cooperate.)

    If he’s beyond hope, then throw the book at him. If he refuses to clean up, then helping him is just a way of enabling him.

  • avatar
    OurChineseOverlords

    This is tough. It is easy to say throw the book at someone, but I think it’s very important to take a long view of things. If this guy has shown himself to be a good kid in the past, what personal issues would push him to commit a felony? People need to be responsible for their actions, but in the long term the goal is to prevent further crime AND rehabilitate the offender so that they aren’t a long term drain on the system (prison is expensive, and a system which encourages recidivism is even more so). As such, IF drugs are the underlying cause, an ultimatum of a full course of rehab OR pressing charges might make the most sense. Give him the chance to prove this was uncharacteristic/he wants to get better, and if he doesn’t, then he should be charged.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Does he have any attractive and grateful friends or family members?

  • avatar
    skor

    If you hadn’t left your car keys where Jack Baruth could find them, you wouldn’t have this problem now. Blame yourself.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    If it is drug related, go ahead and get him into the system. A lecture will be a waste of breath. He might learn from his first brush with consequences, or else he’ll at least be a big step closer to a penalty that will protect the public from his problems.

  • avatar
    pdq

    “Issues” is kind of vague:

    If he’s he’s being physically or sexually abused and was running away, then I’ll feel compassion and urge the authorities to pursue whoever has been abusing him.

    If he’s a “good kid” aside from the fact he’s stoned all the time then he has no promising future ahead of him and he should be prosecuted or put into rehab as the court and DA sees fit. He won’t clean up his act on his own and it’s obvious his family hasn’t been able to achieve anything. Next time this “good kid” could break into my house.

  • avatar
    87CE 95PV Type Я

    If this person stole the cheap vehicle I really really care about then throw them in the brig I say and throw the book at them since auto theft would piss me off to high heaven. If no damage was done I could forgive them and probably even if some damage was done, but their actions are unacceptable as well as insulting.

    If they stole the cheap and/or expensive vehicle I do not care about as much I would probably not press charges, but put them on my shit list and the cop’s shit list too I guess.

  • avatar
    tedward

    A is out of the question. That’s the path of least resistance, and you will be ensuring the ruination of his life. It amounts to just pushing revenge off on an indifferent third party and that third party has a much better track record of ruining people than any drug ever has (you are aware of what real prison does to people correct? there is no coming back for the vast majority). If he had threatened a love one or represents a continuing threat to your safety it would be another matter.

    B will haunt you, although not as much as A would if you had a conscience. Playing the victim really does screw up your emotions, don’t fall into this trap, it will make you a worse person (although, again, not nearly as much as choice A).

    C is really dangerous. Go “D”, man up, and do it yourself (not implying a lack of manliness here). Catch him in his driveway or invite him over, then deliver the safe beating that only someone who doesn’t do this for pleasure or pressure can provide. Don’t break his occipital, or his knees, but make him vomit and ruin his nose. He presses charges…well, so do you then. And guess what, as a grown adult running his own life a first offense assault with no permanent damage isn’t really a situation you need to worry about Talk to him after you do the deed.

    Hope that doesn’t sound to bloodthirsty, its not meant to, but its the only way to not be a monster or a victim.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I couldn’t disagree with you much more. Better check your local justice system before you administer a beating too. In California for example, a grown adult with resources that commits an assault is a pinata for a legal system looking to fund its unions. I met a local business owner who said he was jumped in a parking lot by two guys that underestimated him. I don’t know if that part is true, but the charges were consistent with first time assault and it cost him tens and tens of thousands of dollars to stay out of jail. D being a sucker’s bet, I recommend A because B leaves you on the hook for his subsequent victims.

    • 0 avatar
      redrum

      This is perhaps the worst advice I’ve ever read. Not sure what is “man up” about sucker punching and/or beating someone up under false pretenses, nor do I think a drug addict (if that’s the case here) is going to kick their habit (and the need to feed it through thievery and any other means possible) from a simple beating (if that even works…we know almost nothing about the thief, he could very well be much tougher than the victim…worse yet, the thief could beat up the victim and legitimately claim self-defense).

      If this truly would “never” have happened except due to extraordinarily bad circumstances in his life (obviously this a judgment call), and he seems to show legitimate remorse and is taking corrective action to improve his circumstances, I would go with B. But if he seems to be on a downward spiral with no end in sight, I would have no problem with A. Jails are so overcrowded these days, I highly doubt a first time offender (this is his first time, right?) would do much time at all, anyway. I had a guy break into my house while I was at work a few years ago, he was caught thanks to a neighbor’s vigilance. Turned out he had a long, long rap sheet of petty crimes (theft, assault, drug possession, etc) and had never done more than a couple night’s in jail. It was his break-in at my house that finally broke the camel’s back (he’d just been put on probation a few days earlier for B&E and assault) and he was sentenced to a few years.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Had my 1987 Cutlass Supreme stollen in 2000. Cops found the stripped chassis about 28 days later but never found the theif as far as I know.

    I don’t know what path to take. Your guy is not a professional theif obviously so it’s hard to say. He likes to steal? Maybe he should take up politics.

    • 0 avatar
      happycamper

      Not sure why the value of the car keeps getting mentioned. He stole a vehicle, it doesn’t matter if it is $1500 or $15,000. A store doesn’t give you a break for shoplifting because it was a five dollar item, they prosecute regardless of the value.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Yeah, but why would I evaluate my own actions by the standards of a store? Do ethical decisions really get boiled down to “what would CVS do?”

        There’s a really strong argument to be made that sending this kid to jail is morally acceptable but ethically indefensible. If we had a softer criminal justice system, or if the perp was a true stranger (hence unpredictable), I might feel differently.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    I’ve known and hung out with lots and lots of potheads and druggies. Most of them have had irresponsible or reckless moments, and a couple of them actually have serious life issues (one was addicted to coke, went and crashed his car in a semi-suicide attempt, the other ended up homeless after graduating with a mathematics degree – apparently he was doing heroin?), but the only people I met that would steal my car were universally scum. That homeless guy? He wouldn’t steal from me. That (former cokehead and oxycodone addict) wouldn’t steal from me. If you think taking drugs alone will make someone do things like steal cars, you’re wrong.

    Basically, the type of dude who steals a car is almost always a real douche, and almost always should be behind bars. These are people who don’t care that you’re a friend, they will steal from you… and a car is not a petty theft, even if it’s a cheap car. Some of my friends shoplifted drugstore items when they were young, and I met people who shoplifted around me (and promply stopped hanging around them), but there is a step between that and stealing from a friend. The type of person who crosses that line is almost never a “good person with troubles”. They are usually somebody that can’t be trusted, ever.

    The few encounters I’ve had with this type of people are enough for me to know that everyone else is better off when they aren’t around. I would press charges.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      Best response here.

      Reminds of this douche dude, “Beeper” I knew of a long time ago. Stole his parents car.. stole from his family.. In jail now for rape.

      Yes, these type of people are best when they are not around. Off to jail.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I have to agree; pressing charges is the right thing to do. If they’re stealing from a friend, it’s likely they’ve already stolen from people who are not friends.

      Giving them a pass at this point doesn’t help society; it only enables their criminal behavior to continue down a worsening path.

  • avatar
    George B

    A. Press charges. He took the car and didn’t bring it back. I could see option B if someone “borrows” my car, but later returns it on their own. Since the car wasn’t damaged or sold to a chop shop, maybe he can plea bargain down to a lower charge.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    It’s kinda funny to read the comments from the uninitiated on here arguing that taking option A is going to doom the miscreant to a life of crime. Some of you seriously think that this kid is going to prison for stealing a $1,500 car? Ha. Not going to happen.

    If he really has “usually been a mostly good person” as postulated in the original post, then he’s getting either pled out to a misdemeanor or sentenced to some kind of diversionary program. Period. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to go to prison in this country for stealing a car the very first time they do it. I don’t care what backwoods, hick jurisdiction you’re in.

    Short of rape or murder, you’re not going to prison for your first Felony offense, no matter what it is. Nobody does. You. Will. Be. Pled. Down.

    If the suspect really is a “good kid” with a substance abuse problem, as is implied by the original post, and this really is his first Felony level offense, then prosecuting him is the last, best opportunity for him to get one more chance to straighten up under the court’s supervision. You want to really make sure he goes to rehab and has a chance to get his life in order? Put him on probation through the courts.

    In reality he’ll probably still get a couple more bites of the apple before he comes close to suffering any severe punitive consequences for his actions. Go sit in the courtroom during preliminary hearings in any courthouse in the country and count how many people are on probation and still pleading guilty to new offenses. Even though the new guilty plea means they might have to serve some of their backup time, 90% of the time it doesn’t. As long as you commit only low- level property crimes, you can stay on double and triple probation pretty much indifinitely. Yeah, you might have a judge get fed up and you might spend a night or two in jail at this stage of the game, but that’s it.

    If he really is a “good kid” then this will be the thing that scares him straight. If not, then he’s going to be headed to prison one day anyway. Might as well start the paper trail on him sooner rather than later.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Uninitiated? I’ve been through this myself (on the receiving end of the theft of course, a junkie aquantance stole my meds after a major bone break) and seen people go through the courts on felony charges. YMMV when it comes to judges, but either way his permanent record relegates him to scumbag status if you play by the numbers. You do get screwed for GTA, not so much for fighting…just don’t catch a kidnapping charge or really hurt anyone in the process

      Option A is easy and impersonal, but pretending you aren’t responsible for the consequences of your actions to justify it is simply putting blinders on. No matter the situation, what you cause, you own…applies to the thief as well obviously, but he’s not asking the question here.

      edit: the context here is he likes the kid, that’s why what happens to him matters. Like I said before, stranger status makes being aggresive back with the police an easy answer.

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        I’m sure someone who stole a car to pay for drugs would accomplish such great things in life that a felony record would otherwise hold them back… The problem with our society is not that we don’t forgive enough, but that we allow animal-like behavior to go unpunished because forgiveness makes us feel better about ourselves and more enlightened.

        We have a whole system set in place to blame the victim and make the criminal feel like some casualty of a society that doesn’t understand him and “forces” him to break the law.

      • 0 avatar
        Dukeboy01

        Sorry, tedward, around here a first offense Theft By Unlawful Taking- Felony (Auto) charge by a suspect with no other Felony record gets pled down to a misdemeanor 99.9 times out of 100. The suspect takes a TBUT- Misdemeanor or Unathorized Use of a Motor Vehicle plea and gets probates. If he stays out of trouble then he can have it expunged from his record in 5 years. There’s no permanent “Mark of Cain” following him around… unless he continues to be a miscreant and accumulates new charges.

        If the guy really is a “good kid” then prosecuting him for this offense really won’t hurt him in the long run.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    On the matter of option A, who decided to ruin his life? Not me, not you, him. Harsh, yes, but that is what a law abiding society is based on.
    Lawyer soapbox aside, here is what I would do. If family and local LEO are willing, press charges with the most severe misdemeanor you can, with the option for GTA at a later date. Then once he has paid his debt to society, he gets to work for you, at minimum wage, until he has paid off the $1500 he stole. That way his life is not ruined, he learns a skill, and you get free labor. And if he doesn’t show up for work, throw the book at him.

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Press charges.

    Messing with another man’s wheels is beyond the pale.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    No brainer. You press charges.

    Stealing a car is when you dip your toes in the Big Leagues. The person is also a lot more likely to beat their addiction if they’re in the “system” rather than beating it voluntarily.

    Society suffers as a whole when we allow people to get away with crimes like this in the name of compassion. It’s an over used cliche, but it’s called “tough love”.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    B.
    If you don’t know why, I can’t tell you.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    a. It helps the rest of us most. It leaves you not feeling on the hook for his next adventure if you let it slide. Option C is a great way to give him the choice of A or B for you.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Did you really have two sleepless nights while the car was missing?

    Why?

    While I havent had my car stolen, if my car was stolen, I doubt I would think too much about it, other than being concerned that my name is on the registration.

    Maybe I would feel differently if it actually happened to me, but I dont think so.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Unless he stole the car to take his dying mother to the hospital, he’s not a “good kid.” I love how we rationalize crimes against our person. I personally don’t care if it’s a lawnmower or a 150k Bentley. It’s the mindset that needs to be addressed.

    Either way, he won’t do hard time. Our overcrowded jail system and liberal activist judges will let him off free, and even convince him it’s YOUR fault he stole the car because the world isn’t fair and he’s part of the 99%.

  • avatar
    DarkSpork

    People who decide they need to steal, then decide their friends are easiest to take advantage of are not friends. They don’t respect you and they will never be your real friend. So if I change “acquaintance” to “random junkie” I’d go with option A: press charges, let him rot.

  • avatar
    Dr.Nick

    Press charges. You don’t screw with someone’s car.

  • avatar
    JohnTheDriver

    If you don’t press charges then this guy, or six of his friends, will be back up in your driveway “borrowing” whatever else you have. After all, now they know you wont press charges. That’s the way the world works.

  • avatar
    rickp

    I’d play it like this:

    *IF* the guy genuinely is a “good guy” and just has some exceptional circumstance happening (and it’d have to pretty goddamn exceptional), then I would take option A as the compassionate move. With no other major blemishes on his record, he wouldn’t suffer lifelong branding as a criminal unless that is the path that he chooses. If he really is a “good guy”, this should scare him on the straight and narrow.

    Any other circumstance, however, is not such a happy situation. You no longer qualify as a human being once you start to steal. I will not condone or discuss illegal activities as part of comments on a website, so I would just classify my response as “D”.

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