Commentators were outraged after a mother explained why her 5-year-old daughter was accused of stealing money in front of her entire family.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, an anonymous Redditor (aka Original Poster or OP) said she was shocked by the allegations but was able to rectify the situation after additional evidence who had brought petty crime to light were real perpetrators.
Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] for publicly shaming my aunt after she tried to frame my daughter?” The since-deleted post has garnered nearly 9,000 upvotes and 500 comments.
“Last night we had a family reunion at my great aunt ‘Laurie”s house,” OP began. “We were all… enjoying our evening… when Laurie pulls me aside to tell me that my daughter ‘Anna’ was trying to steal money from her bedroom.”
After asking for more details about the alleged theft, the original poster quickly became suspicious after learning her daughter was caught and reprimanded by her other aunt, “Jessica,” who, according to the OP, “has a history of theft.”
“I knew right away that Jessica was trying to steal the money and pinned it on my daughter while she was trying to hide from me,” the OP wrote.
In the midst of her tense conversation with Laurie, the original poster said she began speaking loudly enough for the whole family to hear — and sternly enough to convince her family that their daughter was innocent after all.
“I said, ‘Aunt Laurie, I bet it was Jessica who stole your money,'” the OP wrote. “She was fired from her job for stealing cash…she stole her money [mother-in-law’s] Room…money from my room, and now it seems like she’s continued the pattern. My daughter would never steal money. She hardly knows what money is.”
“Jessica didn’t even deny or say anything, she just started crying and left,” OP continued. “Her husband started crying and … told us all this has happened many times before.
“I just got a call from another aunt’s husband [and] he told me Jessica DID EXACTLY THE SAME TO ME WHEN I WAS A CHILD!” OP added. “I’m fucking angry.”
If catching a relative stealing money is already devastating for families, catching a relative stealing money for slandering a pre-school child is even worse, and a likely indicator of something even more sinister.
Kleptomania, defined as “the recurring inability to resist the urge to steal,” is a serious mental health disorder that, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause severe emotional pain to sufferers and their loved ones.
A rare condition, there is no accurate data showing how many are diagnosed with kleptomania each year in the United States, but estimates released by the National Library of Medicine show that about 6 in 1,000 Americans exhibit the behavior , which is consistent with this disease.
However, Healthline and other online health resources claim that kleptomania is most commonly associated with theft of “unneeded” items, rarely for profit and rarely for financial means.
Stealing money, especially from family, is a different story.
Across the comments section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors slammed the original poster’s aunt for stealing cash from a family member and providing fake evidence against a 5-year-old to cover her tracks — and praising OP for covering the theft brought to light for all to see.
“[Not the a**hole]’ wrote Redditor u/strangespecies in the top comment of the post, which received more than 9,000 upvotes. “She tried to pin her criminal behavior on a child and got a call.”
“She’s been doing this for AT LEAST 20 years and nobody else has said anything?!” Redditor u/Phoenix-Vixen added, receiving more than 3,000 upvotes. “Good for you that you called her.”
Redditor u/Applesintheorchard, whose comment received more than 2,000 upvotes, echoed this sentiment.
“[Not the a**hole]”, write. “She tried to frame your five-year-old for stealing. This is messed up.”
“That’s a reason to be called out publicly,” interjected Redditor u/kylesowl. “The other people in your family also deserve to know that they could be stolen.”
https://www.newsweek.com/aunt-dragged-pinning-theft-5-year-old-barely-knows-what-money-1733089 “I hardly know what money is”