Author Topic: What to do in the event of a theft?  (Read 1995 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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What to do in the event of a theft?
« on: May 15, 2015, 11:00:52 AM »

First time victim here so I figure turning to a group of intelligent internet strangers is a good step. Yesterday, I had two contractors come to my house for some HVAC work. This was a larger install so they had been to the house supervised and unsupervised between 12-14 times previously. Yesterday was the last day and I cut the final check. This morning when preparing for work I noticed my watch, which holds extreme sentimental value, not to mention a very unmustachian (still 3 figure) price.

I first assumed I misplaced it and given the sentimental value took today off work to turn my house upside down to look for it. No luck. Fortunately there is a very unique engraving on the back, so it would be identifiable if found.

I had previously research this guy before I hired him and didn't find anything suspicious (probably because I searched the company). Today, I googled his name and hometown directly and found a few disappointing court dockets over the years (1 A&B from 5 years ago and some driving related offenses,  1 possession). Naturally I feel like a complete idiot for letting this guy in my house even though he "seemed nice" in person. (face punch x10)

I filed a police report and supplied the officer with pictures and appraisals of the watch and information on him. The cop was optimistic given the uniqueness of the watch and a new system they have in place with local pawn shops. I think I'm glad that I avoided my first instinct which was to call him and ask about it (figured he could've blamed his helper).

Aside from asking for general advice, my specific question is what to do with the check I gave him yesterday. It is not cashed at this point, but it's for $1000. Should I put a stop on it until this whole thing is figured out? My ego says to cancel it, but my brain says that would put me at risk for a small claims lawsuit, since he did do the work and I don't have proof he or his helper took it. Further, I really just want to watch back - for once I "don't care" about the money. 

Sorry for the lengthy post, it just helps to write it out.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: What to do in the event of a theft?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 08:46:45 PM »
Jtat, I'm sorry that this happened to you. Its always awful to lose something with sentimental rather than monetary value.

With regards to the cheque, I guess it depends how risky you want to be and how little you care about the money. Given that the cop was optimistic abotu finding your watch, I would say that your best chance of getting it back is to do nothing. If you don't clue the contractor in, he will have no reason not to try and pawn it. That's also the best option for him to face justice.

If you are feeling risky (which I really don't recommend) I would advise getting more creative than just cancelling the cheque, like emptying that account and pretend you're having casflow problems. Make like a non-mustiashian and stall. Again, I really don't recommend this. Yes, it sucks but from what you said I do think your best bet to get your watch back is to do nothing.

In either case, I would be trying to find everything on both the contrator and the helper that's available on the web, so that you know what they're up to. Extra information is always a good idea in bad situations but, in this case, you never know what leverage it might turn up to help you get your watch back (note, that's not me advising blackmail or anything like that. Just... consider that you might need a bit of a stick to resolve the situation).

Best of luck.