What would you do if you witnessed someone stealing from a school carnival?

@ladyljs (1303)
United States
May 29, 2007 12:04pm CST
We had our school carnival last Friday. And as usual, I volunteered to help the new President. Well, after the carnival she witnessed the carnival chair person removing unsold items from boxes and putting them into her car. She also witnessed the chairpersons sons stuffing their pockets with toys, candy etc that were left over from the carnival. She approached the chair, who responded that she would be paying for these items, but after several reminder phone calls, there has been no payment. What would you do in a circumstance like this? This is PTA money and the leftover prizes can be used in the next carnival. Apparently, this is not the first time this person has done this.
2 people like this
4 responses
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
30 May 07
Stealing is stealing!!! A person starts with little things, and it goes on to bigger things. Our home owner's association had a lady force her way into being treasurer. The lady that she forced out was as honest as the day is long and everyone loved her, after accusations from the person who wanted the position she quit. So, the woman got what she wanted. From the first day that she was on the job she started stealing funds. It was easy, so she kept stealng until the amount she took was over $30,000!!! Being a bookkeeper myself I spotted the problem the first month and tried to warn the head of the homeowner's association. No one believed me until they discovered that important bills weren't being paid. They did a complete audit and found the missing money. The thief had bought a car, central air conditioning for her home, computer equipment, paid her electric bills (some were over $300 for the month as she ran the air conditioner night and day) and more. She was arrested and pleaded no contest and did 89 days in jail and had to make restitution. Send a certified formal letter to the woman explaining that her thefts were witnessed and that there is money due for the items. She has 30 days to make payment for the items, if it isn't done that the matter will be presented to the District Attorney. The money is going for the good of the children, she is not only stealing from the PTA but also the children. This point needs to be made absolutly clear. I would also approach her to find out if they are in circumstances that are making it difficult for her to make payment in full. If there is, then arrangements so that she can make payment in small amounts until her debt is paid in full. I get the feeling that the new President isn't ready to deal with a difficult situation like this. It is very touchy as you don't want to offend the woman who was observed, and also the difficulties that would be caused for the children; yet you cannot allow the problem to go unresolved. Has the person gotten away without paying before? If so, then it is long overdue that she be removed as the carnival chairperson and not allowed to participate in events where temptation is so prevelant. She needs to also make restitution in full immediately and she needs to be informed that she will not be allowed to participate as a volunteer in the carnivals or other money making events in the future as she has violated the trust of the PTA. As a parent she needs to make a positive example for those around her, and she defiantely not doing this. After the episode with our homeowners association, I have decided that the only way to handle a situation like this is to make it thoroughly known that payment is expected immediately and if not more punitive steps will be taken. It might only be toys, candy and leftover items but it is still a monitay theft!! It shouldn't be swept under the rug and ignored. It is small stuff now, but what about later? Will she go for money next???
3 people like this
@ladyljs (1303)
• United States
1 Jun 07
Wow! You are an awesome bookkeeper! You know, I don't understand how these things can get so out of hand...but they do! Thankfully, there are people like you who can and will straighten it out! Thanks for a really good answer!!!
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Thank you for the best response! It has really added the cherry and whipped cream to my night...I have been picking up odd jobs around my area and just as I was worrying about funds, one of the neighbors called to inform me that all the work I did in sorting his recyclables netted me over $100. I really hope you've gotten the situation cleared up with that person and that they will be making restitution. I have no respect for people that won't stop and consider what they are doing and feel just because they want or need the money they can steal it...As I say, there is always a way to make a few extra dollars, even if it is just picking up aluminum cans at the side of the road. It is good honest work that not only will net them money, but it also helps the environment. The point is, if you want something or need to pay bills, find the HONEST way to obtain the funds. Thank you again for the best response!!! It really has made my week.
@creematee (2810)
• United States
30 May 07
What a horrible woman! I agree with LoveBear 100% on this. Something must be done, because she's stealing, not only from the PTA, but from the school, the children, and if you really think about it, herself as well. (her time, energy and $$ went to buy those treats, didn't it?) Follow Lovebear's advice about sending the certified letter, letting her know that law enforcement will be involved if she doesn't pay up. She should also be fired from her position and not allowed to attend any PTA events, until things are taken care of. Best of luck to you, and the new president on this issue. Let us know what happens.
1 person likes this
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
30 May 07
Someone needs to step up and tell her she cant do this she is taking money away from the school and the kids. The reason she keeps doing it is because she gets away with it! Sorry I can tell this is up setting for you as it should be!
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6520)
• United States
30 May 07
Wow! That is just rediculous that someone would do something like that! It is like stealing from the kids! Well, it is! I would call a board meeting and explain to them what happened and have her removed from the board immediately. There is no excuse for this and she as chairperson should be beyond reproach! It is not acceptable for her to teach her kids to steal, but for her as chairperson in a position of such responsibility is reprehensible. Definitely have her removed from the position. She hasn't even made an attempt to make amends for the theft!
1 person likes this