Am I Wrong for Reporting My Cousin—A 15-Year-Old Kid—to the Police for Stealing My Bike?

Recently, a Reddit user sought advice online regarding a situation involving his cousin, a 15-year-old, whom he wants to report to the police for stealing his bike. The OP expressed his concerns and sought advice from others. Discover his story below, and feel free to share your insights and recommendations with him.

«At 31 years old, I am the proud owner of a high-end road bike. It’s my go-to method of transportation, and I believe the investment was well worth it.

More accurately, I owned.

My bike was unfortunately stolen last week. Luckily, the security cameras at my place captured the thief in action. Regrettably, the culprit turned out to be my foolish cousin Brad [15M]. Can you believe it? When I finally noticed the bike was missing, I reported it to Brad’s parents, and they confronted him, only to find out the bike had been stolen from Brad. They live just 10 minutes from me. How absurd are the chances that someone stole it on the way to their house?

I asked for Brad’s parents to simply cover the cost of the bike, and I’ll move on from the incident. I believed this request was fair since they’re very wealthy. My uncle, who is in his 50s, holds the position of CFO at a company of decent size. I wouldn’t be shocked if he earns around $300k per year or even more. Therefore, the cost of my bike should not be a concern at all.

But little did I know.

It seems that Brad’s family has been facing some financial challenges recently. In 2023, my uncle lost his job and has been struggling with alcohol and gambling addictions ever since. They have a lot of debt and are spending all of their funds and assets just to pay their bills. According to Brad’s mother, he acted out by stealing because he was having trouble adjusting to his new lifestyle.

Okay. Guess what? It doesn’t bother me. Brad and his parents have consistently behaved as if they were superior to the rest of the family, which may come out as harsh. As a child, I remember hearing my uncle make fun of my parents’ jobs because they were not as rich as they were. I feel no sympathy for my uncle whatsoever.

I presented my uncle with a choice: either he pays me back in full for my bike, or I go through with an insurance claim, involving the police and providing evidence of the theft. I set a deadline for him to pay me by Sunday midnight, which was an hour ago. Payment has not been received. Tomorrow, my first task will be reporting my cousin to the police.»

Reddit users shared their perspectives on the matter and supported the OP in this difficult situation:

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