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Mom Presses Charges After Son Steals Her TV And Tries To Blame It On His Daughter

Man holding TV set
Andrei Sauko / EyeEm/Getty Images

Most parents don’t enjoy disciplining their children.

For one thing, parents love their children more than anything in the world, and don’t enjoy it when they’re angry with them.

Then there’s the fact that the reason they are disciplining their children is owing to the fact that they did something bad, reckless or even dangerous.

Something no parent enjoys hearing their child has just done.

Redditor grandma_rosie didn’t feel too compelled to discipline her 4-year old granddaughter after it was revealed she caused a fairly major accident.

However, when the original poster (OP) found out that the accident was a lie her son concocted to cover up his own mischief, she wasted no time in ensuring he got the discipline he deserved.

A very severe punishment indeed.

Worried that she may have gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for pressing charges against my son?”

The OP explained how upon discovering that her son tried to use her granddaughter as a scapegoat, she felt there was only one thing to do.

“My son (28) was visiting us for a couple days and was at my house alone babysitting my daughters kid.”

“According to my son, the other day my 4-year-old granddaughter (his niece) pulled down the TV and broke it.”

“My son told us that he took the TV to the dump as it was shattered and useless.”

“My daughter and son-in-law, my 4yo granddaughters parents, felt very bad for what had happened and paid the cost of the TV that day.”

“My husband was watching our security cameras and our son’s story doesn’t hold up.”

“We never see our granddaughter breaking the TV.”

“All that we see is our son taking away the TV that is not shattered.”

“We asked our son about this and he said that the security camera must have cut out the part that shows our granddaughter breaking the TV.”

“Eventually I got a call from my son’s girlfriend that lives with him.”

“She said that she knew what was going on and felt guilty.”

“She basically told us that our son had made up the story about the TV breaking and stole it and took it to their house to watch.”

“I filed a police report and his girlfriend let the police into their house to get us our TV back.”

“We do plan on pressing charges against him.”

“He stole our TV and made my daughter pay for it.”

“That is messed up on so many levels.”

“AITA for pressing charges?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, they generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for pressing charges against her son.

Nearly everyone agreed that what the OP’s son did was blatant theft, and filing a police report was the only thing to do, particularly after he tried to place the blame on the OP’s granddaughter.

“NTA at all!”

“If you don’t press charges, he’ll think he can get away with stuff like this!”

‘Not cool!”

“Frankly, you’re not only not the a**hole, you absolutely did the right thing and should be praised for it!”

“I’m glad his girlfriend had the integrity to come clean!”

‘If it’s his first offense, he can plea down to a misdemeanor and get some community service, and hopefully learn his lesson before does something that gets him years behind bars!”- 3Fluffies


“I usually don’t agree with involving the police in family disputes but in this case, it was warranted.”

“He blatantly lied about and to a child, forced the hand of your daughter to pay for the replacement cost of the TV, and stole the TV.”

“If confronted, the situation could have escalated, so filing the police report was the right thing to do.”

“What I’m wondering is what his long game was?”

“Like, you would come over to his place, see your old TV and not notice?”- educatedvegetable


“He stole from you.”- thisislikemy10thalt

“NTA he needs help.”-Insanityrocks68

“Family or not, theft is theft.”

“You have every right to press charges against your son for what he did.”

‘If you don’t do anything, he’ll have this mentality that he can get away with anything when it comes to you guys.’

“NTA.”- excalibro_umbra


“It’s understandable that you feel guilty for taking such drastic action, and for ‘bringing outsiders into a family matter’ but those are unhealthy ways of thinking.”

“They may be common, but you are doing the right thing.”

“He completely disrespected and disregarded and exploited several members of your family with no sign of remorse.”

“His actions were also breaking the law.”

“Those two things closed the door on the option of dealing with it personally by talking to him.”-Violets42


“I am more disturbed by the fact he lied on a kid.”

“I don’t know if I would press charges as it seems a bit much.”

“I think the embarrassment of having his sister and BIL finding out what he did should be punishment enough.”

“How did they react?”

“This is crazy, but I come from a large family and I used to have to pretend to not be at home when my mom was at work because my family members would always steal something when I wasn’t looking.”

“Good on the girlfriend for fessing up.”

“I wonder if this is the first time he took something from you or the first thing you noticed.”-Hesh_Smurfed

There were a few, however, who wondered if the OP did, indeed, go too far by calling the police, and felt this could have been handled within the family.

“I think it’s within your rights to do so.”

“But pressing charges in a situation like this feels extreme.”

“Have you ever had serious issues with his behavior in the past?”

“A prison record will fundamentally ruin someone’s life the majority of the time, and I don’t think a stolen TV is enough to justify that personally.”

“I would only pursue this on my own child until all other avenues, such as counseling/therapy, have been exhausted.”

“If OP’s family have already tried to get help for the son, then fine, report them to the cops.”

“For me that would be the absolute last straw to protect the rest of my family.”

“Further, the brother was entrusted with the caretaking of a child.”

“I find that strange if he did have a history of erratic or damaging behavior.”

“It just strikes me as totally disproportionate to subject someone to the hell scape that is the criminal justice system for something like this.”- mrbrinks

“ESH just because I think calling the police and pressing charges against your child should be a LAST resort, not a FIRST choice.”

“A lot of steps need to come before involving the police.”

“You clearly trusted him since he was alone in your home babysitting his niece.”

“You don’t go from Trust to Charges without first hitting all the steps in between.”

“You know: talking … banning him from your home … insisting that he return your tv … that sort of thing.”- WritPositWrit

“So who was watching the grandchild whilst he stole the TV?”

“I certainly wouldn’t let him watch a child again.”

“I’m assuming the child wasn’t told off for breaking the TV in the beginning?”

“Also, the must be trust issues in the first place if you felt the need to check the CCTV.”-AGMum1691

“ESH that seems like an extreme jump in this case.”

“Not defending the son in any way.”

“He is definitely an a**hole.”

“But is this worth severing the relationship with your son?”

“Is there other problems he is having that would make him do this?”

“Would an apology and repayment not suffice?”

“If not, why is that?”

“Is there more to this dynamic?”- tommy-two-toes-

While a few felt the OP definitely overreacted, and went too far by calling the police, especially since they did end up getting their TV back.


“You’ve put charges on your son for something that could have been handled within the family.”

“Sounds like your son is probably going through a tough time to get to the point of doing that.”

“Why don’t you be a parent and figure it out between yourselves.”- schnapps267

“YTA for pressing charges if you got your TV back.”

“He’s TA for stealing, but the police don’t ‘teach people lessons’.”

“That was your job as a parent.”

“Take your property back and figure out why he stole and set boundaries.”

“Don’t get him a criminal record for something that’s been resolved.”

‘You want to leave his fate up to a judge?”

“It sounds like you want him jailed on principle, like that’ll help him in any way or help your relationship with him.”

“Obviously the consequences are on him for stealing, but again, you have your stuff back and he’s your son.”

“Just move on.”- cheesefries44

The OP certainly didn’t have to call the police, and could have confronted the OP on her own instead.

However, the OP’s son did indeed steal her television, and the first person you call after you’ve been robbed is the police.

One also can imagine, the OP’s son won’t try any further nonsense like this ever again.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.