What would you do,

If you caught an employee stealing.

Part “A”

This may become a controversial thread, but suppose you caught your, or a partners employee stealing, RED handed?

When you have responded some I will post question part “B”

Please no input from the moderators, yet, give it a couple of days.

Yes this is a real situation, and a test.

This will be telling.



First, the police would be called to arrest the employee, and the employee would be fired. The police report, even if the DA decided not to pursue, would keep unemployment from kicking in. We would definitely press charges! (I have had experience with employee theft while working at a car dealership and have absolutely no tolerance for it, even while the tears are running. Besides, those metal bracelets look good on some people!)

We don’t want anyone working for us, or in our name, who we can’t trust.

This scenario is still playing out…

I have zero tolerance for thieves and liars.

Yet, everything is not always as it seems, nor black & white.

I will keep you posted, on both boards

Part “B”

I partnered up with a couple of other guys, as some of you know to sell 100 mobiles in a park that is closing.

We have 9 left.

We have been robbed nearly blind by people stealing a/c units (24), now appliances, & awnings.

Due to this happening, we have had to reduce the price of the homes top move them, some drastically.

As you know reduced price = reduced profit, & there wasn’t much to start with.

I have several national ads out, & have been showing the homes, as I get inquiries.

I had an investor in town on Saturday, from one of my ads, to look at remaining homes.

I got to the park a few minutes early, & pulled up just in time to see a guy with a truck, pulling a 6’x 10’ trailer full of aluminum awning pans.

Probably a couple of hundred bucks worth.

Can you see my blood pressure rising?

I stopped the guy & asked him where he was going with MY aluminum.

This turns into a confrontation, and him calling me a liar & I start to call 911, when he said that he worked for my partner, & had permission to get the aluminum.

Well I call partner, & he says call the law, OK, then “let me talk to him” well the guy lies his a$$ off & says the right things to “partner”.

Partner now says “I don’t know what the big deal is, the guy is just scrapping”

Fine get out of here.

I show homes, fairly rattled, & find that 4 awnings(about what was on the trailer) gone.

Also now appliances missing, & a/c units missing from homes with no sign of forced entry, & all doors locked. Hmmm, investor even says “looks like an inside job”. Duh.

Blood pressure rising again.

Email partner, turns into a circus, because he actually is an employee(over 4 years), didn’t have permission, used bosses trailer without permission, & lied about it all.

Now this morning “he is soo fired”.

He returns 12, or 13 panels, out of about 64 (4-10’x 20’) that are gone, & bosses trailer & allows that “it is all that I took”.

It gets better, or worse.

It turns out that this guy lost a daughter fairly recently(last year?) in a parasailing accident on the coast, & his other daughter was seriously injured.

Partners had to loan him money for the funeral.

Apparently surviving daughter has had to have long term medical care, including therapy.

Now his wife is diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes, & needs an immediate mastectomy, & lymph node removal.

I call partner back, tell him that James clearly needed the money, or he would not have done it.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I told him that Jesus says, “if we cannot forgive our brothers, our Father cannot forgive us”.

This is a crucial time in this mans life, & if ever there was a time to minister to someone, clearly this is it.

Partner says “I want to cry”.

I say " find James, & cry".

Please pray for this family.

That little money won’t make me or break me, but my reactions will.

I also told partner to hire him back.


No doubt things are bad for this man. HOWEVER, everyone has things happen in their life that are bad. Not everyone chooses to become dishonest to “compensate”.

You may be able to not be monetarily broke by this man’s choices. I guess that is the bottom line: no matter what, they were (and are) choices. Yes, the story is sad. We hear sad stories every day, but if we incorporate them into our business, our business will ultimately die. (i.e. every tenant has some hard-luck story when they don’t pay their rent - how many times have you heard that “the kids are sick and we had to take them to the Dr.”?) We currently have a woman in our park who we filed eviction on in October. She is still here, but we are still pursuing it. She just got out of the hospital and has told others here that she is going back for another 30-day stay. She stepped on a barrette, and being a diabetic, this turned into a nasty issue. Are we in some way responsible for supporting her and her family by keeping them here? I think not. Besides that fact that she owes over $3,000 from the prior park ownership, she is now 6 months with no payment to us! Choices? What choices did she make in the past? Whatever they were, it has not changed her behavior.

What if this man had stolen $1,000,000 from you? Would that make what he has done/is doing any different? Who is his next victim? What will he decide he should steal from you next, because you are a soft touch and thereby an enabler? It is bad enough that he is stealing, but stealing from people who have already helped him is over the top.


I immediately suspected part B after reading part A.

My first reaction was that I would want to sit down and ask the individual what is going on in his life that he needs extra money. Then I would ask why he thought it necessary to steal rather than ask for it.

I had a lot of tools stolen from my truck from my driveway just before Christmas. At first I was in shock, then angry. I made a police report. Then I thought, I have been well taken care of by the Source, apparently the thieves feel they are not and needed my stuff. So now they have it and I have all new stuff again.

Rick, in your story, the thief was known to you, mine was anonymous. If his story checks out, he needs lots of help. Some people appreciate forgiveness and change their future choices, others don’t. Those who don’t will end up consulting their public defender.




If someone is down and out they better ask me for help not steal from me.

Life choices and integrity come into play here and the above mentioned thief needs an education about both.

Rick Ewens

Many good responses, on both boards.

Some may be missing the point…

and the lesson…

Moderators would you care to add anything?

This saga continues

but what i find incredible is your reaction; not revenge or hatred or spite but forgiveness. Probably a lesson there somewhere, eh?

For those that don’t know, that same weekend the Owner of the park found a guy in a blue truck removing an awning from ANOTHER unit that he owns. called the law, they said hard to prove, blah, blah. Sunday, the 4 Sago Palms in front of the office (30 years old and beauties) had been DUG UP and carted off. All this in one weekend. Didn’t you suggest a security gate and detail in October?? They caught an A/C thief in the Park one weekend with several uniots in his truck. Got tag number, called police, no arrest if I remember right.

The fear now is with the Park totally empty, the thiefs will start stealing alum. siding and copper wiring, sink, bathtubs and roof overs. Where does it end? Gainesville is a fairly safe, low crime area.

This employee has worked on the set up crew for over 4 years and keeps to himself Says this was his first scrap trip up there…I am trying to get records from the local scrap place, but they will not release info to us. There were no stacks of pans in their yard Monday, but he might have taken them elsewhere.

Maybe this is one of those “teachable moments” we hear about, eh?

My fear is if we can’t secure the remaining homes, there will be nothing left of these homes in a few weeks. Locking doors does nothing, they pry em open or throw a block thru the window. So far, doors have been stolen, apps, a/c’s, copper wiring, awnings, copper a/c pipes.

We are going to ask this employee to go to the scrap yard with us and see if he has been there before…

This is really not that hard, but it can be.

Every one of us has made mistakes.

And every one of us has been given second chances.

Trying to “finish this guy off” will do nothing to improve the situation, it will not undo the economic damage to me, it cannot make me whole, it will not actually do any good at all. Oh yeah “it’s the principle, business is business” have fun with that.

This is a human being, hurting. trying to get even only hurts us.

There is not one of us who would not go to extreme measures, under extreme circumstances, for our families & loved ones.

Do not get me wrong, I am not approving what happend. “But let those of you without sin cast the first stone”.

This was shared, because we are in a people business. It’s not cut & dried. It’s not always black & white, or right & wrong.

The only right answer that I see is forgiveness & compassion, ministry, & help.

I told you that this would be telling.

I hope this matters.

I told my partner, that I have battled having a temper for my whole life.

I do not like resolutions, but that is the best name for resolving to change. I resolved to keep my temper, & I have been tested, Hard, yet I have found a very peculiar very enjoyable freedom in knowing that I do not have to get mad. But what is even better, I mean waaay better is the freedom, & enjoyment (read JOY) that I have recieved, & am still recieving from forgiveness. WOW!

I only met James once, on Saturday afternoon, for less than 5 minutes.

It may not have been the first test, but it is a big one, & I hope that it changes my life forever.

I do not intend to go “soft” & give all my money away, or go looking to get taken. I have had enough of that, to last forever. But I really feel free about this, I think that I can move on, and cannot wait for the next challenge, I am pretty sure that I have finally passed this test.

Learn if you can or Flame on, if you can’t.

Ricky Lee


Hey Greg,

I did not know that you are Rick’s partner in this deal when I posted on CRE. From the original post I mistook it to mean the partner was putting pressure on Rick to not press charges and to personally take the loss. I know you to be a very ethical and generous person, and that you are an excellent partner. I hope that no offense is taken by you.

best wishes,


no interest in hurting James farther. we need to know the extent of his theft. How can we make up the difference without knowing extent? I know he didn’t steal 24 A/C’s, but could that have been his second trip up there that day? What else has he stolen?

This has got TJ crazy…he is thinking of not renewing set up license in august…quit that part of the biz altogether. He won’t even talk about it…I’ve never seen him like this.

James has been a changed man since Amber was killed. He was her Dad since she was 4 year old. I will try and see him this weekend.

I like that idea

“But let those of you without sin cast the first stone”.

Kinda says it all…

he is the first one to forgive this guy. We are still trying to find out the extent of this theft. It could be thousands.

No one tells you when a Park closes down, the owner’s seem to lose all interest in keeping things secure. We started losing copper lead wires, A/c Tubes, A/c’s apps, now awnings. It has driven us crazy…i almost got arrested for getting in a fistfight with a 30 year old rolling a cart out of the Park with a door, a light, and a shelf out of a unit. Police wrote him a trespass ticket.

TJ is my business partner and james is his employee on the set up crew. He wants to make me and rick right with his employees theft. He is sick about it…we have lost tens of thousands of dollars of equipment there, and to find an employee stealing is harsh.

You take care Anne,


Learn, that life is not always cut & dried.

I hope that everyone doesn’t know so much that they cannot learn, or grow.

Maybe James will change, maybe not, but I have.

Anne, you didn’t know it was Greg, for a reason, now that you know, you are distracted.

Greg chimed in on his own.

This really is a test, and it really is telling.

We all have the opportunity to do whatever with this, it is just information.

It can be much more.

Ricky Lee

How do I know Greg?

and help me sell the last nine homes!!


Suggestion, Call Frd Balke and cut a deal on these remaining 9.