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Man Asks if He’d Be Wrong to Report His 15-Year-Old Cousin to the Police for Stealing His Road Bike

If you’ve ever been the victim of theft you’ll know how upsetting, frustrating, unsettling and inconvenient it can be. But imagine if you found out that the person who stole from you was a family member! One man has taken to Reddit to ask for advice after discovering that his main mode of transport, his road bike, was stolen by his 15-year-old nephew – who apparently had it stolen from him not long after. To add insult to injury, when he approached his aunt and uncle to tell them about what their son had done, they made excuses for him and didn’t think he or they should have to make amends. Faced with no other option to recover the cost of his bike, the man was considering filing a police report so that he could claim for his beloved bike on his insurance.

I [31M] own an expensive road bike; it’s my preferred mode of travel so it was worth it to me to spend the extra coin.

Or rather, I owned.

Last week my bike was stolen. Fortunately, my place’s security cameras caught the thief. Unfortunately, the thief was my idiot cousin Brad [15M]. But fucking get this: by the time I realised the bike was gone, reported the theft to Brad’s parents, and his parents confronted him, the bike was somehow stolen off Brad. The mother fucker lives just 10 minutes from me. What are the fucking chances.

I asked Brad’s parents just to reimburse me the cost of the bike, and I’ll just forget it happened. I thought this was a reasonable ask because Brad’s parents are very rich. My uncle [50s M] is the CFO at a decently sized company. It would not surprise me if he makes ~ $300k per year if not more. So the price of my bike should be an absolute non-issue.

Or so I fucking thought.

Apparently Brad’s family has been having financial issues lately. My uncle was made redundant in 2023, and has since developed a crippling alcohol and gambling addictions. They’re heavily in debt, and are burning through their savings and assets just to keep their mortgage. Brad’s mum believes the theft was Brad’s way of acting out, having had to adjust to his new lifestyle.


Okay. But you know what? I don’t care. That may sound harsh, but Brad and his parents have always acted as if they were better than the rest of the family. I grew up listening to my uncle belittle my father and mother for their working class jobs. So I have exactly zero sympathy for my uncle.

I dealt my uncle an ultimatum: he either reimburses me for my bike in full, or I file an insurance claim (which will require that I report that the bike was stolen to police, handing over all evidence I have of the theft in the process). I gave him until Sunday midnight to pay me—which was an hour ago. He has not paid. So first thing I’ll be doing tomorrow is reporting my cousin to the police.



Commenters agreed with the man’s chosen course of action, pointing out that by ignoring his request, the boy’s parents had left him no other option.

NTA You gave them the option to escape this. They could have tried to negotiated a payment plan, or sold something or whatever. Instead they ignored you thinking you were bluffing.

You deserve compensation and your insurance will get it for you. The consequences are on their heads.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brad sold the stolen bike. That seems more likely than it being coincidentally stolen again straight after. (kurokomainu)


It would appear that Brad never learned the ABCs of life = Actions Beget Consequences. Mom and Dad may be too late to impart that knowledge – if they even have it themselves, but the police and courts should have no problems in educating Brad.

It must be devastating for your uncle to have lost his job, but his coping mechanisms are only causing larger problems, Brad’s behavior possibly being one of them. Brad is old enough to know stealing is wrong, but made a conscious decision to steal your road bike. This is not your responsibility or burden to share.

NTA. You offered your uncle a very generous solution to this problem and told him the consequences if your offer was not met. Actions beget consequences. Your uncle doesn’t appear to care that his actions are essentially throwing his son under the bus. I suspect there will be unsettling repercussions for the entire family.

Make the insurance and police reports with a clean conscience. (Shattered7done1)

Many people agreed that it was high time Brad learnt that actions have consequences, because clearly his parents hadn’t taught him that lesson.


Why on earth should you be without your bike while the thief has no consequences? I’ll bet your nephew sold your bike for a nice bit of $.

He needs to learn an important lesson here…FAFO. And boo hoo to his mom…’he’s just acting out.’ She needs a reality check. If he isn’t straightened out damn quick, there will be a next time and his actions and subsequent consequences could be exponentially more severe.

Report him. (Pleants_Test_6088)


Honestly, maybe getting in trouble for this more minor crime is the wake up call that stops him from progressing to more significant crimes. His parents don’t seem to be setting limits and consequences appropriately for him, so there’s a chance this teaches him a long overdue lesson. (Gunnersgottagun)

Commenters were also not buying the teenagers story that the bike was stolen from him. It was clear, many people believed, that he had stolen it for the purpose of selling it to make some money.

NTA. Brad sold your bike – it wasn’t coincidentally stolen minutes after he stole it from you. Go ahead and make the report. Actions have consequences. (Ok_Conversation9750)

Commenters also thought that it would be wise to fill other family members in on what had happened so that Brad and his parents didn’t go around making OP look like the bad guy in the situation.


You tried to play nice, you tried to keep it in the family, and those avenues failed. Going to the police is the next logical step.

Should any family members complain, or try to tell you to drop the charges, ask them when you can expect Them to purchase you a new bicycle. (DrTeethPhD)


It would be best to control the narrative and make sure relevant family knows that

    1. There is no question he stole your bike
    2. This is your main mode of transport, and not just some random Schwinn
    3. You need to be made whole
    4. Filing the police report is not punitive, but required by the insurance
    5. You gave them the option to replace the bike, and they declined that option.

Make sure your parents and any other aunts and uncles know this, so that when the cries and screams of ‘he is tearing our family apart over a simple mistake and he wants to punish us’ come, you can say, ‘No, I have no desire to make things worse for you, but through no fault of my own, my bike is gone, and I have to replace it’ (AdAccomplished6870)

What do you think? Is going to the police the right course of action?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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