I'll just start sleeping with my shotgun then...
March 13, 2013 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Boyfriend wants to help lifelong thief friend without becoming a victim.

I live with my boyfriend, who I'll call “Sig.” Sig (30 years old) as a lifelong friend who I'll call “Rob.” Rob (40 years old) is a convicted thief. He was sent to jail and was released many years ago. He was charged with breaking and entering into a business and stealing some minor objects. He has not stolen anything (that we know of) since then.

Rob moved to the other side of the country and has been communicating with Sig over the internet and through an online game for five years since then.

In the last week, Rob was fired from the hotel that he worked at for stealing a small some of money. He started looking for a new job and had a few interviews, then seemingly out of nowhere he decided to seek vengeance by breaking into the hotel and stealing their computer. He used a key that he had, snatched the item, and stored it at his home. The hotel staff saw his car and asked for the items to be returned, which he did. The hotel threatened to press charges, and Rob responded by fleeing the state. The hotel eventually decided not to press charges (or so we have heard third hand).

Rob is now on his way back to our state to move in with his sister. He has asked to stay at our place until the room that his sister has prepared for him is ready. I swung my boundaries hammer at that suggestion and insisted that not only is he not to stay at our place, but is not to be told where we live, as I'm home alone some days and don't trust the way Rob seems to escalate situations when he feels desperate (which is my analysis of the hotel incident) .We discussed this, and Sig has agreed not to tell Rob anything about our home, however, he would still like to help his friend.

I have never met Rob in person, and quite frankly, am very quick to vanquish untrustworthy people from my life, so I am a very poor person to suggest ways in which he could Rob. I'm trying to avoid judging their lifelong friendship while still making sure that my safety is preserved. Thus, I beg for the wisdom of the hive mind:

1) Sig has agreed to give Rob $20 to help him in getting a hotel. Rob was given $200 by his parents, so the total sum should be enough to help Rob until his sister is ready. Is this advisable, or are there any dangers in doing this that we may not be aware of?

2) Is there anything else that Sig can do to help Rob that would be useful yet not put us in any danger?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1. $20? $20! Is this a specific sum that Rob has asked for? It's a weird amount of money to go out of your way to give someone to "help them out." I don't think any drama-rama is worth $20. $20 seems like the tip of the iceberg. I don't like it. If he can mail him the money (drop $20 cash into an envelope) and then be "away*" the first few weeks that Rob arrives, I think that is the best and only way to handle things.

2. A list of social service agencies and their contact info. Put that with the $20.

I don't know that this is really a dire situation in which your safety is on the line but, then again, Rob is an unknown quantity and I see no reason not to keep him and his whole situation at arm's length. Something about the $20 is really bugging me but I can't quite put my finger on it. Like, it's not so much that you're really being put out, but it's just enough to get you involved. I don't like it.

*as in, not really "away" but Rob doesn't need to know that. Sig has a "business trip." This keeps him out of the fray of first arrival shenanigans.
posted by amanda at 7:57 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Man if it were me, I'd just flat put my foot down and tell him that he is not to even contact Rob. He sounds like a sociopath. And he probably already knows where you live, if that's the kind of thing he wants to find out. It's not like it's difficult to look up addresses.
posted by empath at 7:58 PM on March 13, 2013 [11 favorites]

Whooooo boy. Good for you for knowing your boundaries and making them clear. Be sure that you do NOT relent on the limits you've set, either... I'm the FIRST person to say "well, sometimes even a-holes need help", but this guy sounds like a gigantic, Katamari Damacy-style ball of trouble. Normal, healthy, functional adults do not seek vengeance... and they ESPECIALLY do not do this via B&E, then fleeing arrest.

The only issues I can think of are the following:

- Make sure any money you give this dude is cash, obviously - no checks.
- Make sure that he is aware that any money is a ONE-TIME gift (not a loan, not a steady stream of cash).
- Sig might be able to help Rob find a steady gig (assist with his resume, do mock interviews, drive him to apply at various places, etc.) as well as provide a sane, stable influence. There ain't much ELSE he can do, however.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:59 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, why $20? This is a weird amount, too little to make much difference.

Anyway, I vote don't give/lend him anything. It sets a dangerous precedent.
posted by Salamander at 8:00 PM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]

Ps. Oh, and Rob is not a reformed anything. He's a vengeful scumbag, by the sound of it, and your boyfriend is showing questionable judgement.
posted by Salamander at 8:03 PM on March 13, 2013 [15 favorites]

He has asked to stay at our place until the room that his sister has prepared for him is ready.

Yeah, I don't think a room is being prepared for him: why would he not just sleep on her couch for a few nights? If he sets foot in your apartment even once it will be a giant PITA to get rid of him, ever. Stand your ground!
posted by ecsh at 8:04 PM on March 13, 2013 [34 favorites]

ecsh scratched the surface of this:

If you let him stay in your home for even a few days, he can become your tenant (rent not necessary!), at which point you need to go through a months- or even years-long process to evict him.

One hears stories like this every few years.
posted by Hatashran at 8:23 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm home alone some days and don't trust the way Rob seems to escalate situations when he feels desperate

Speaking from a fair amount of experience dealing with crime, generally when somebody reaches forty with a lifelong record of thievery but not violence, you won't lose money betting on that pattern to continue: thievery, but not violence.

Having said that, here are some disclaimers. I don't know Rob, and I haven't listened to your boyfriend tell umpteen stories about him, so my Internet-stranger analysis is definitely not more trustworthy than your gut. Also, there are all kinds of exceptions to every rule. Drugs can make people do weird things, for instance. And criminals of one stripe can fall in with others, leading new things to happen. Obviously this is not legal advice. It's not even expert advice, really. It's just what I've seen.

But if you were my friend, it's something I'd tell you. Not because you should let your guard down, but because I'd think that—with your guard up—you should feel a bit safer than you maybe do. Put differently, I'd worry less about loading the shotgun and more about locking the door, depositing loose cash, hiding jewelry from plain sight, etc.

Good job trusting your gut. Keep that up, and good luck.
posted by cribcage at 8:31 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

If he needs a place to stay and his sister is fine with him staying with her, he wouldn't have to wait for a room to be prepared. He's not the Queen of England, he'd be able to sleep on the floor or a couch until "his room was ready". I'm betting that as soon as he was in your house, the sister plan would suspiciously disintegrate. Let his family deal with this. You are right to be protective of your home. Make it clear to boyfriend that there's no wiggle room.

I'm guessing that the $20 is a typo and you meant $200? The only risk with giving money is that you open the door to lots of requests for more money. I've dealt with a similar situation, and the best approach was to let the person deal with the consequences themselves - no money, no place to stay. It may sound harsh, but the friend is in this position because he decided to engage in criminal activity, it's not some tragic circumstance. For me, that eliminates my feelings of obligation to help.
posted by quince at 8:39 PM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]

Oh hell no. I wouldn't give this guy an inch. I wouldn't give this guy fifty cents. I'd say any "help" your boyfriend gives this guy better not involve a home or any amount of money, and definitely Rob doesn't get to find out where you live.

I honestly can't think of any way anyone could "help" this guy that didn't involve financially supporting him, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:42 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

The $20 sounds like a set-up.

I also think Sig needs to bow out of Rob's life for good. This is really unstable. Wow.

Isn't the help with money aiding and abetting a criminal if the hotel changes their minds and presses charges? How do you and Sig REALLY know there isn't a warrant out for Rob's arrest right now??

Sig sounds caring, but naive. If he makes excuses to Rob about not helping, make sure you, as the girlfriend, are not mentioned in any way to Rob.

If Rob thinks it is you keeping Sig from helping him, it seems likely Rob might think it's payback to steal your car/bike/wallet/laptop/tv/whatever. I mean, that's how it works for Rob, right?

Sig! What are you thinking, man?!

posted by jbenben at 9:11 PM on March 13, 2013 [18 favorites]

On the "waiting for the room to be prepared at his sisters", I would bet quite a bit that either her, or her husband swung the boundary hammer as well. They want him staying in their basement with a separate entrance, or room above their garage or whatever and not just on their couch.

Totally just bsing that up in my head, but I'm betting that anyone who's been involved with him before either has very specific circumstances of how they'll deal with him(even family!) or just won't have anything to do with him.

You made an excellent decision by not letting him come to your house, or even know where it is. I've done that to several people.

I also agree on the $20 being a hook/"investment". It seems small, and when he asks for $20 again pr some weird favor it will too. He's trying his hardest to not blow his chance in one shot, and milk you over time.

Gonna project here blatantly, but I've had someone "small little amounts I can pay back soon" me out of $500+ this way, and every next little increment seemed like it would both help them, and help me get my money back since it would help them get where they needed to go to work/etc. Eventually I was told to go fuck myself when I asked for it back, and painted as unreasonable and ad hominimed while the person skipped coasts.

How does your partner even know this guy? Are they lifelong friends or something? I would say help him get a job, help him print resumes and shit. Take him to a food bank and help him get food stamps etc. but don't give him any money, and never let him crash at your house.

On preview jbenben also makes a good point. In addition to that, these kinds of people are often great at gaslighting and rewriting stories. I'd bet he'd work on painting you as being unreasonable for not wanting your partner to help him more, etc, in addition to that twisted childish resentment that might lead to fucking with your stuff.

This entire situation is just a pile of ugh.
posted by emptythought at 9:46 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

$20? That's just....why? Give him nothing or give him something that is actually worth the trouble and worry of giving. Not only is that small amount of money not worth your trouble, it's like an insult to Rob. I don't expect someone of Rob's description to be eminently dignified, but I also have a hard time imagining an adult who would be truly grateful for $20 given in such a fashion. It's like grandma 13th birthday card money, it seems patronizing.

A list of shelters or low rent places he could live or counselors seems like a good idea, but I would also never would give that to someone unless they explicitly asked me for it. That, too, could come across as an insult. As you're dealing with someone who most likely feels alienated from others, I would not want to risk making him feel more so by giving him that list of places, for fear it might send another patronizing message.

How about a grocery card or a gift certificate to some place? A gift certificate actually seems like a nice idea, as it's kind of a welcome present that your husband can put in a card and it's not obviously a pity handout, but it can be used practically. I personally would go $40 for a lifelong friend, but I guess that would be up to your husband. $20 in this context seems better to me, as well.
posted by amodelcitizen at 9:51 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think the real question here should be why your boyfriend wants to maintain a relationship with such an ethically-challenged person (or what some people might call a loser) and what you should do about that.
posted by Dansaman at 9:53 PM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]

If it were me, I would not let him stay. I agree that once he is in the apartment, he will be like Eldon from Murphy Brown. Not leaving.

As for the $20, I would actually go the other way. I would give him $100, tell him it is a gift, it is all you can afford, and to contact you ONLY after he starts executing his plan to get help via therapy or some program or some class. I might also give him the contact information for some local social services places that can help him get a job, a place to live and maybe some government assistance to tide him over.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:59 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

If your boyfriend helps him out, even with a small amount, all he's done is prove that he's ripe to be taken, and this scammer will keep hitting both of you up until the well is dry. Don't even entertain it. Unreformed criminals are not your problem and if you make it yours, you'll be the next people he does over. Something tells me this will only be a friendship for Rob as long as he can use you both.
posted by Jubey at 10:00 PM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

"Scammer"? "Loser"? These labels are out of sight. Just because he acted badly does not mean he is this nefarious, scheming character unworthy of having friends. What we know is, he stole something in his 20's or whatever, and then in his 40's he stole a small amount of money/a computer which he returned. To me, this does not sound like a conning character, it sounds like a damaged type with poor judgement. OP is absolutely right in not having him stay or know where she lives, and I agree with every other boundary setting plan, but I do not think wanting to maintain a friendship with someone who has made mistakes is wrong. We hardly have enough information to label him "scumbag."
posted by amodelcitizen at 10:03 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Amodelcitizen, with all due respect, he was offered a job with a position of trust and repaid that trust by stealing from them and fleeing the state. I don't think the OP is wrong for thinking if she also puts herself in a similar position, she may be next. As far as I'm concerned, convincing someone to give you a job and then robbing them? Scammer is absolutely the right word to use. Yes, everybody makes mistakes, but after a stint in jail, this person continues to make them - there's a reason he's being deemed untrustworthy, he's clearly proven he can't be trusted!
posted by Jubey at 10:17 PM on March 13, 2013

I did not say OP was wrong. I did not say he is trustworthy. I didn't say any of those things. "Scammer," however, is someone who schemes to defraud others. That hardly fits this person from what we know of him. Ripping some shit off in middle school fashion, returning it when asked, and then running away does not make someone a scammer. "Loser" is questionable, but what bothers me about these answers is they presume so much. If this thread were to be believed, he is a hardened con with an icepick in his pocket waiting to sink it into some little old lady's skull so he can take her credit cards. Please. Use your imagination.

If $20 is the most generous gift you are able and want to give, OP, then go ahead and do it. I still might put it in the form of a grocery card so as to avoid giving straight cash, but whatever.
posted by amodelcitizen at 10:24 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sig can't afford to help Rob out. That is the truth.

$20 is a generous gift. The fact that he can barely afford to gift this amount is Sig's way out of this, should further favors be asked.

Like Dansaman, I also question why Sig wants to be involved with this person. I know in certain social groups this kind of loyalty is expected, but in the long run, it really really does not help any of the parties involved.

Shouraku, I wish you the best in navigating this, keeping things great with your guy, and completing your graduate studies!
posted by jbenben at 11:04 PM on March 13, 2013

Add my +1 to cribcage. As cribcage said, this is "Not because you should let your guard down, but because I'd think that—with your guard up—you should feel a bit safer than you maybe do." It's not like there are two kinds of people: good people and lying stealing stalking violent murderers. And just like stealing doesn't necessarily mean he's violent, stealing a computer doesn't necessarily mean he'd steal from his lifelong friend. Maybe he would, I don't know. To me it's an open question.

I just want to spend a few minutes on the fact that this is his friend. Loyalty and love aren't always deserved, or even rational. And being generous to those we love, even when they're making bad decisions and screwing up their lives, is something a lot of us have done at some time in our lives. This guy is your bf's longtime friend, and in my opinion, you're really asking something significant from him when you say he can't, for instance, invite this guy over to dinner or to play video games together or whatever. (I mean... never? The guy moves back to his home town, lives with his sister, hangs out with his old friend... but can never ever know where that friend lives? I'm probably misunderstanding the situation or something.)

My point is that in our lives, we sometimes end up with connections to people that we want to give to or help -- right or wrong, deserved or not -- and if this guy is someone your bf really wants to give to, it could be asking a lot to say "don't," to say "override, stuff down, ignore your love for him and your sense of brotherhood for this guy, and don't help him even as you see his life get really hard."

To be blunt, I probably wouldn't let a bf/gf tell me not to help a friend the way you're doing unless deep down I knew they were right. For example, I don't know how you and your bf handle money, but if someone was telling me which of my friends I could and could not give my money to, that'd register as controlling. I'd call out the boundary surveyor. And if they were banning people from my/our house more than like one or twice a decade, I'd start to think about living apart. Again, maybe he'll say "you know, I have a feeling that what you say is right," but what if he says, "this is my longtime friend, he it's not going to steal from us or put you in danger, and it's important to me to help him?"
posted by salvia at 12:36 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just want to spend a few minutes on the fact that this is his friend...This guy is your bf's longtime friend, and in my opinion, you're really asking something significant from him when you say he can't, for instance, invite this guy over to dinner or to play video games together or whatever. (I mean... never? The guy moves back to his home town, lives with his sister, hangs out with his old friend... but can never ever know where that friend lives? I'm probably misunderstanding the situation or something.)
posted by salvia at 19:36 on March 14 [+] [!]

You are putting words in the OP's mouth. This is not what they are saying at all. Nothing in their question alludes to a desire to stop the bf from helping his friend since the OP explicitly asks:
2) Is there anything else that Sig can do to help Rob that would be useful yet not put us in any danger.
posted by moody cow at 1:34 AM on March 14, 2013

Okay, we don't have to label or judge Rob to answer this question.

You have heard third hand, not from Rob, that the hotel decided not to press charges, so he's not on the run as far as you know. Is there any agency with which you can double check this?

Because I don't quite get why he can't just go straight to his sister's. I'm questioning whether he's even going there. Can you ask Rob's sister directly? If they're lifelong friends your BF must know Rob's sister, right? You could ask when Sis is expecting him.

I would assume that Rob knows where you live already, or can find out. I still would keep that information secret and I also agree that you're right not to want him in your house. If Rob were your lifelong friend, I'd say it's up to you. If Sig were living on his own, I'd say it's his choice. But since Sig is living with you and Rob is someone you don't even know, Sig should understand why you don't want Rob getting too close.

As for what more you can actually do, I'm not sure. Wouldn't it be more Sis' job to figure out social service options for Rob, since she is family and she knows his situation?
posted by tel3path at 3:37 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Because I don't quite get why he can't just go straight to his sister's.

Pretty obviously because he hasn't actually asked her. This is an aspirational plan. His sister is probably already through with him.

This is an adult we're talking about here. We don't even need to be giving an adult social service options -- they're fully capable of finding that out on their own. What they need is boundaries and no more co-dependence.

"Scammer," however, is someone who schemes to defraud others.

I dunno -- would you prefer "pathological liar", maybe? This is a person who is likely telling different stories to everyone. He's found a way to commit an unforced error and screw up his life badly enough that people think they need to help him, but further help is likely only going to have blowback in their own lives, if not endanger (at least) their property.

If this guy gets himself (miraculously) into some rehab/therapeutic context, that's one thing, but right now I like the Katamari Damacy image. He's pushed himself off a hill and is merrily bouncing down it. It isn't the role of the OP to try to stop that, and even if they had more resources they probably couldn't.
posted by dhartung at 3:53 AM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

You don't have to "judge their friendship" to exercise self-care here.

Accessory after the fact anyone? How do we know that the hotel theft is the only one he's committed recently? Do you want to be the one who's talking to cops about this?

Tell the boyfriend you don't want to hear any more about Rob, ever, and whatever he does with Rob is his responsibility. Also, Rob is not to stay at your dwelling, ever, nor is he welcome. Stand by what you say. Leave the room if he starts talking about Rob. If boyfriend doesn't comply, strongly consider getting the hell out of dodge.

Also, lock up your personal possessions when you're not at home in case boyfriend decides to invite Rob over for a visit when you're not around. Make sure your laptop or tablet is password-protected.
posted by Currer Belfry at 5:14 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

He's probably violating his parole by leaving the state. You might want to call the states parole office to check.
posted by empath at 6:00 AM on March 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

He's not really a thief. That's just one aspect of how he presents himself. He's an angry person who feels shortchanged in life and has difficulties with his relationships (understandably). As you said, he "seems to escalate situations when he feels desperate." I would add when he feels wronged.

How this plays out in his relationship with your boyfriend (and vice versa) I don't know. Does he have no other friends? What happened to those friendships? Did they "blow up?" I imagine your boyfriend feels he has to be the loyal one who values people over circumstances. I also imagine that you admire his loyalty on some level.

So I imagine, Rob will quickly figure out that Sig is withholding things from him (though Sig could blame you for that) and feel shortchanged again and resentful. Sig doesn't want to be that withholding person. Rob will argue that he'd NEVER steal from you guys. This is so much like the start of a noir movie that I can't see how this won't lead to disaster. (Also, how can Rob not figure out where you live if he really wants to?)

I think in order to help him, you (or really Sig) needs to drop the fantasy that Rob is having a rough patch and will get through it with a little help and everything will then be OK. Rob probably shares this fantasy. The kind of help Rob needs isn't financial and short term.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:04 AM on March 14, 2013 [10 favorites]

Thieves need boundaries. I had some family members with that penchant, and they were always fine when kept at arms length. But once they were allowed access to things like car keys and house keys, all bets were off. They aren't sociopaths, they are just desperate people who don't have boundaries like the rest of us, and get single minded with rage or addiction and nothing else matters.

You and your husband need to walk a fine line between being human and decent to a sort-of friend, and not opening yourselves up to becoming victims. You don't want to create an enemy of a nut like this.
posted by gjc at 6:37 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

He has not stolen anything (that we know of) since then.

Except that he has, at least twice. Right? He stole money from the hotel he was working at and was fired. Then, in retaliation for being fired, he broke into the hotel and stole a computer. That's why he's fled to your state, isn't it?

I certainly don't believe that any of us is defined by the worst thing we've done. But a person like Rob will not be saved by continued enabling. He has a pattern of untrustworthy, unstable, and impulsive behavior. The type of help he needs, you can't give. Moreover, if he can get $200 from his parents, he doesn't need your $20. I think it's great that you put your foot down about having him stay with you. I suggest that you and Sig talk this over in terms of how to minimize Rob's impact on your life and safety, not how to maximize helping Rob. You and Sig simply don't have the resources Rob needs to effectively help him, but you do have resources he'll want. Plan accordingly.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:07 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Look into affordable counseling and assistance for recovery. If all you can contribute is 20, then give it as meal or gift card for meals/ coffee (Dunkin Donuts for coffee, Panera, Friendly's). My guess is that this guy has coasted through life, taking advantage of others, and not taking any responsibility. If Rob believes he can get Sig to take care of him, he'll push it, so you and Sig are wise to have good boundaries. I wouldn't worry about your personal safety, but about your tv, money in your wallet, prescription drugs, etc. Given the size of the chip on Rob's shoulder, emphasize your relative poverty, and be super friendly. Rob is likely to move on to lean on people with deeper pockets. Meanwhile, Rob might need work clothes, bus fare, sandwiches, etc., which are reasonable, and might be a good use of that 20. Rob could work for a landscaper, stocker at a big store, etc. Pretty much anywhere he works, he'll have some access to stuff to steal. Big employers like Walmart know this, and tend to have a lot of safeguards in place, one of many ways Rob ruins life for the rest of us. Sorry to be cranky, but I've had a few of these people in my life, and they made me feel like crap. I applaud your generosity.
posted by theora55 at 8:11 AM on March 14, 2013

I'll give you a bit of practical advice if he does ever stay at your home, based on my friend-trusting experience (actually, it was family, but same idea):

1. Be aware of stuff that you don't use often which is stored away on shelves that you don't look at very frequently, but it might be of value to pawn. Cameras, jewelry, small appliances in a box, tools, etc. could all disappear without your notice.

2. if you still keep a checkbook in the house, flip through it occasionally to make sure there aren't any missing checks in the middle of the booklet.

On the plus side, him getting arrested for check fraud and going to jail is one way to get him out of your house.
posted by CathyG at 8:48 AM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

You are putting words in the OP's mouth. This is not what they are saying at all. Nothing in their question alludes to a desire to stop the bf from helping his friend

To be more specific then, I still think that stating "don't help him in THIS way (housing)," and "don't help him in THAT way (if she were to listen to comments advising not to give $20)," and "don't let him know where you live," (which rules out other ways to help like having him over for dinner) could add up to the net effect of leaving him with so few options about how to help his friend that she can't think of any (and i can't either). So if the OP does want to support her BF in helping his friend, she might look at not just whether each single request makes sense but the total impact of them together. She might still be justified or even have little option, but I'd just be aware of what she is asking of him.
posted by salvia at 9:08 AM on March 14, 2013

To put one's foot down with your partner is a serious thing, not to be taken lightly. If I were your partner I would pay attention to what you are saying: Rob scares you. You are not required to be the one who defines him. His actions do that.

Having Rob steal something is one thing, personal safety is quite another. I think you are correct to be concerned about your personal safety. Sig isn't required to completely agree with your assessment of Rob, but since he's your partner in life, he ought to consider how you feel about this--scared. You may be asking him to make a choice between you and his friend.

As for Rob, I would worry about being co-opted into his drama. This has been mentioned upthread. $20 is a help, to be sure, but it's also a gesture of complicity, giving Rob access to your world. I suspect it will play a role in the future. You might help Sig deal with this touchy situation by going along with this gesture, which Sig views perhaps as a gesture of compassion, but as you have indicated, make it clear how you feel about future interaction with Rob.

Online games? This is maybe even more complicated than you've indicated. I'm sure Rob knows, or can find out, where you live. It's not fair to demonize Rob, but his pattern is clear. He may not be the worst guy to come strolling down the pike, but he comes to you with drama in both hands, and maybe he's dangerous.
posted by mule98J at 10:28 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

If Rob didn't just decide to leave the state but rather is running from the law, then your boyfriend could be in trouble for giving him cash or helping him. Something seems a little fishy about him saying the hotel dropped the charges against him once he fled the state. Even if those charges are dropped, he may be violating his parole for the earlier robbery by 1) leaving the state 2) committing other crimes and 3) failing to maintain steady employment.

Helping fugitives or parole violators by giving them money or allowing them to stay with you when there's a warrant out for their arrest is a crime in a lot of places. Fines and prison time are possible but unlikely, although you really don't want even the hassle of police questioning you about this guy or showing up at your school to talk to you about finding him. It might be worthwhile for you to check with the police in the city or county where the hotel is located to see if there's a warrant out for Rob's arrest before Sig goes to meet him.

I think it's great that you want to be supportive and non-judgmental of your partner, but it doesn't sound like Sig really knows that much about what's been going on with Rob. There's a lot of stuff Rob might not be sharing over whatever online game they play. At the very least, I would have Sig call the sister or the parents to see what's up. They may also have ideas on productive ways that Sig could help, if Rob is actually on the up-and-up.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 11:15 AM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

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