My brothers dishonesty really shocked me today [sad]

(51 Posts)
Betternc4this Tue 16-Jul-13 21:14:09

I was out with my brother and his young DCs and his partner today as they were in my area. We went to the local park after having lunch and as we were heading for the swings my brother whom I have always thought to be an honest decent person, suddenly bent down and said 'that'll do' or something to that effect and picked up a mobile phone (a nice modern one so probably expensive) that was lying in the grass (nobody around who it could've belonged to that we could see).

My brother then proceeded to the swings with the phone by now in his pocket and proceeded to push one of his DCs on swing. I sat with his partner and watched him as between pushes he seemed to be going through phone. No alarm bells as yet as I thought he was looking for a number to call to reunite phone with owner. His partner commented in a bemused voice that he was looking at the phone - 'look at him, reading that phone' sort of comment.

So after a while we started to walk off the park to go to my house nearby and as we were walking along I asked him about the phone and he sort of shushed me and was pointing behind him. Not having a clue what was going on I left it till we got to my house a few minutes later.
Then he said: 'You know when you asked me about the phone, well the reason I shushed you was those two girls behind us, I think it belonged to one of them - I saw one of them looking around on the grass and the other one was phoning someone and the phone started to ring so I took the battery out as quick as I could.

I still didn't get that my brother was actually intending to keep this phone even though the owner had walked past him apparently until he made a comment about having to see whether it was locked or not and if so get it unlocked as his niece needed a new phone.

His partner seemed absolutely fine with going along with all this and didn't call him on it or query it at all.

To my eternal shame by this stage I couldn't bring myself to say that I thought this was wrong and dishonest not to mention very mean and unkind and as they were leaving then anyway I just said my goodbyes and that was that. I was like a rabbit in the headlights really I was just so shocked.

When they left I just thought 'Who are these people, I just don't even know my own brother '

sad confused

I have been thinking what to do ever since from calling my brother and asking him to explain what he was going to do with the phone as I don't understand what he was on about and surely he doesn't intend to keep it. Or phoning the police explaining my dilemma and basically grassing him in but ask to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.

I am both angry and dismayed and it somehow seems worse that he openly did this in front of me, on my patch, (where absolutely everyone knows DH and I ) which is quite frankly insulting, the implication being I wouldn't see anything wrong with it.

WWYD ??

QOD Tue 16-Jul-13 21:19:50

Tell him how you feel, what an arse.

Betternc4this Tue 16-Jul-13 21:23:37

Not to mention I obviously feel very sorry for the young girl who will be gutted I imagine as a phone is such a personal item and she may have lots of precious pics and private things on it and may well be in trouble with her parents now to boot.

All because of my apparently horrible, previously thought of as lovely before today, brother.

I actually feel sick. He is my younger brother and I have always adored him and we have always got on so well. But he's a devious dishonest mean-spirited thief isn't he?

joanofarchitrave Tue 16-Jul-13 21:23:47

Jesus.

Well, better not leave anything of yours unlocked around your brother or your niece.

I am the biggest coward in the world but I think I would HAVE to say something,along the lines of 'I'd really like you to hand it in but if you don't I will tell the police'.

TBH I could see it ending really badly as nothing upsets people more than when they know they are in the wrong. You could lose your brother sad but what price your niece's soul sad ?

Betternc4this Tue 16-Jul-13 21:35:51

My DH just said that thief is a bit strong as he didn't actually go out and pro-actively steal someone's phone but he still thinks it was a shitty thing to do and extremely dishonest and is also very surprised as DH and I like the majority of people I am sure wouldn't dream of not handing it in, it wouldn't even cross our minds.
But I think that is thieving - pro-active or not and only a miniscule better than stealing it out of someone's pocket imo.

Beamur Tue 16-Jul-13 21:38:38

It's theft.
Tell him what you've said to us - that you want him to hand it in, but that your opinion of him is irreversibly damaged by his dishonesty. Don't sugar coat it.

Treague Tue 16-Jul-13 21:40:30

It's definitely theft.
I don't know what to say as I have a brother who has done worse, and that's just what we know about.
I choose not to see him, but for a host of reasons and not just the thieving.

Betternc4this Tue 16-Jul-13 21:47:18

Thank you for your replies, the niece is an adult btw and isn't my niece is my brothers by marriage iyswim and I don't think the plan was to tell her where he got it but am not sure.
In a way I already feel like I have lost him tbh ( although I know I must sound a real drama queen, but that's how I feel ) but that is what I am dreading, having the sort of confrontation with him we cant move forward from.
I am thinking along the lines of just expressing my surprise really 'what all that was about as I don't get what happened with that phone thing and surely you weren't thinking of keeping it ', that sort of thing

If he realises how much I am not ok with it , then he has a chance to put things right , I suppose and backtrack without losing too much face and even see the error of his ways maybe <hopeful/delusional> and hand it in or over to me to find its owner from local enquiry.

tribpot Tue 16-Jul-13 21:48:40

He took it and it wasn't his. Even worse, he took it when he knew whose it was and deceived them when they were looking for it. Definitely a thief.

He didn't set out that day to steal someone's phone but it clearly wasn't the first time he'd done it, given he pounced on the first one he saw and took the battery out as soon as someone called it.

I'd be tempted to force the issue and tell him you've notified the police of the 'lost' phone and he should hand it in at [x] police station. When he then has to say 'er I have no intention of handing it in' you can say 'what? Really? Why not?' and pretend you completely misunderstood the stuff about getting it unlocked - if he queries it, you could say you thought that's what he meant he'd do if no-one claimed it and the police said he could keep the phone.

Betternc4this Tue 16-Jul-13 21:54:27

I think I need to attempt to get the phone back basically somehow - first of all.

Then just give my brother and his partner a very wide berth.

sad but I just cant bear dishonest or unkind people and he has ticked both boxes today..

Selba Tue 16-Jul-13 22:37:29

I know someone who was charged with theft of a phone under almost identical circumstances.
tell your db he did something shitty and needs to reunite the phone with its owner or you will call the police

Betternc4this Wed 17-Jul-13 16:54:35

Well if anyone is still interested, I phoned my brother this morning to make arrangements for tomorrow as l am sitting for his DD, my niece for a few hours.
So after that was sorted I said 'Just tell me again why you wanted to shush me when that girl went past , I have kinda lost the plot about this phone business'

So he repeated that it was the girls phone and that was why. He sounded a bit more uncomfortable today though - I must say. So then I said 'So you weren't going to hand it in then ?'
'Nah' he says very coolly (or maybe just trying to sound it ?)

So then he just went quiet and l went quiet and there was an uncomfortable silence till I said 'Rrrr-i-g-h-t' in that prolonged thinking out loud way iykwim.

Before I could say anymore (e.g. like l thought it was a bit of a crappy thing to do) he suddenly said he had to go as he was now driving off or something and he would call me back later.

That was around nine this morning - I am still waiting.

I think he knows you know, that I am not impressed.

Will see if he calls back, if not will decide what to do but either way I definitely want to get that phone off him and I will hand it in myself or get him to hand it in. I will update whatever happens.

georgedawes Wed 17-Jul-13 16:58:43

I think you should've told him to hand it in or you're going to tell the police. It is theft, of course it is.

Clearly you need to nick his phone next time you meet up with him. Let him taste his own medicine a bit.

Purple2012 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:07:18

There is an offence of theft by finding. He is guilty of this. I hope he changes his mind and hands it into the police

Abra1d Wed 17-Jul-13 17:11:14

I'd tell him that he either hands it back to the girl or to the police or you'll be ringing them to say you witnessed a theft.

Reiltin Wed 17-Jul-13 17:13:42

Well done for broaching the subject - so brave! If he doesn't say anything further, I'd take the phone when you're babysitting and hand it in to the police.

WeAreEternal Wed 17-Jul-13 17:17:11

I would be posting a 'found phone' advert on all of the local stuff for sale Facebook pages.
When the owner contacted me I would tell DBRO I had found the owner and ask if he wants to drop off the phone or should I give her his address so that she can collect it.

If he refused I would give her the address anyway.

Betternc4this Wed 17-Jul-13 17:17:16

Yes it is , you're right and that's why I am so upset - he is my only sibling left now aswell.

I doubt he has done anything irreversible with it as yet because of my interest in it more than anything, so I will give him till tonight, then phone him again.

Yes exactly he should get a taste of his own medicine though I couldn't do that but yeah it's a funny thought. Tbh that's one of reasons it upset me so much - my DD lost her phone the other week and she was in tears in the public high street sad because I had just treated her to it the week before as hers was old and knackered and she thought it was great and really appreciated it. Also it had the numbers of anyone who could possibly help her in it so had to walk home three miles to ring from her landline. It also had precious pics on it. I phoned it in the end and it was found , in a shop that DD had been back to enquire three times and been told definitely not there !!

gamerchick Wed 17-Jul-13 17:17:54

Go round and ask for the phone. Put the battery in and ring back the last received call to tell them you have the phone.

Better that than find my phone being activated and the police knocking on the door.. Or maybe that would be better.

Your brothers behaviour is pretty appalling.

Betternc4this Wed 17-Jul-13 17:22:32

Good idea about advertising - l could put his mobi no. on it. Or l could say (as we have lived here forever basically!) that it turns out DH knows the girls family so he will have to hand it back. That would make him sit up

sameoldIggi Wed 17-Jul-13 17:28:10

Everyone has different levels of what they view acceptable re finding things. If I found a tender on the street I would keep it. If I saw the person who'd dropped it, I would run up and give it straight back. If I found a wallet I'd take it to the police.
Finding a phone and deliberately concealing it from the person who lost it is theft. If you don't want to upset your brother too much, why not say something about how you've heard people can track phones they've lost and you're worried he might get into trouble. And offer to take it to police for him.

Betternc4this Wed 17-Jul-13 17:53:40

Good idea *sameold DH and I were having that very conversation last night about 'levels' of honesty and wondering if we were being hypocritical. We both admitted if we found a tenner in a busy public place we would both more than likely just keep it, on the grounds it would be nigh on impossible to establish whose it was etc if there were a few takers. But like you if we saw someone desperately scouring the ground or slowly retracing their steps or whatever we are both sure we would say something.
Also a phone or a wallet or purse is something personal and something easily traceable usually to its owner and something that causes great distress and /or inconvenience to the loser.

But then again so might that tenner on the ground that many people would see as fair game.........

<head hurts>

rockybalboa Wed 17-Jul-13 18:04:38

Just tell him that you are going to call the police at x time and he has until then to hand it in. Altho you will need to double check somehow that it has been handed in because he sounds like such a shit that he'll tell you he's handed it in and hasn't. Picking up a random phone is one thing but getting the battery out so it didn't ring when the girls were looking for it in the grass and were trying to call it is beyond disgusting behaviour. In fact, maybe you just need to call the police anyway without giving him any more time. Horrid position to have to be in but I can't see how you have any choice.

chubbychipmonk Thu 18-Jul-13 00:13:00

Don't know where in the country you live but in Scotland he could very easily be charged with Theft by finding with you as a witness.

It is an actual real criminal offence.

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