A man is being dragged after he decides he’d rather give his stepson his new car for his 16th birthday.
The original poster (OP), u/Guilty666, shared his story on the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, garnering over 6,200 upvotes and 600 comments on his post.[Am I the A**hole] for calling a man for stealing his stepfather’s birthday present?”
“Jake,” the son of OP’s cousin, “Vanessa,” just turned 16. Vanessa and Jake are very close to OP, Jake even calls him uncle. Vanessa called the OP last week, saying she was going to get Jake a car for his birthday, but it was a little short – and he immediately agreed to help with the cost. After talking with his husband, OP decided to reach out to Jake to see if he likes the idea of OP contributing to the car fund, or if he would prefer something else.
Jake said he would prefer a gift card because his grandmother had already bought him a new car. Confused, the OP kept asking questions and discovered that the new car was already there. However, Jake hadn’t had a chance to drive it since his stepfather had been using it since his grandmother used to drive it. When asked why, he said his stepfather had taken his car.
“A little background…stepdad is a blue-collar worker with masculine taste. He thinks he deserves all the best because he’s the man of the house. He didn’t even buy that house, he moved into that house that my cousin he already had. I was at their house for dinner once, and he asked for the biggest steak because he’s the man of the house… that’s what we’re working on here,” u/Guilty666 wrote.
The OP then calls Vanessa to get the scoop and she repeats that her husband totaled his car and since he didn’t have full coverage, he was taking Jake’s car. Instead, Vanessa would buy Jake a used car. The OP got mad at this, and told her that he wasn’t buying her husband a car and that it was “bulls*t” that she told him she was going to contribute to buying a Jack.
He called Jake’s grandmother to let her know what had happened, and she was similarly furious. The ownership of the new car had not yet been transferred from her name and she told Vanessa that her husband was not allowed to drive the car.
Jake later told the OP that his step-dad was “so upset” that his step-dad had the “newest, nicest car” and started driving Jake’s car. The OP initially thought the step-dad totaled the car “on purpose” as it would explain why the insurance wasn’t paying for anything.
However, it turns out that no cars were destroyed. The stepdad just sold his old car after Vanessa gave him Jake’s car, saying it was “hard for her husband lately and he needed the ego boost,” adding that “no 16-year-old needs for such an expensive car”.
“I asked her if she needed help to leave her husband and she insulted me. Saying that I don’t understand the sacrifice needed for a relationship like this and I don’t know how to deal with people. who suffers from depression. Her husband needs the car and Jake doesn’t. Stepdad bullies Jake. Stepdad can’t help her because he has no one but her to help him. Jake doesn’t make it easy for Stepdad,” she wrote OP. .
Jake’s grandmother gave them an ultimatum: the car had to be returned to either her or the OP by 8pm, or she would report the car stolen. Besides, Jake will be staying with OP for a while, and they’re working on getting him out of the house.
Stealing a car is a big deal – and just because someone is family doesn’t make it any less of a crime. However, part of this depends on the goal. If the person taking the car intends to return it, they may run afoul of toll laws, depending on the state. Some states, like Florida, consider any taking a stolen car under the Paul Toland Act, but in states like Massachusetts, if the person who took the car can prove they intended to return it, they can face a much harsher sentence. small.
Toland describes the difference between stealing and joy. Joyriding, for example, could involve a teenager borrowing their parents’ car without permission and intending to return it before they notice it’s missing, or if a vehicle is abandoned by the side of the road in worse condition. Theft, on the other hand, would be if the person tried to sell the car, if it was found in a chop shop, or if the person kept the vehicle for a long time.
While car theft can lead to sentences like 15 years in prison depending on the state, Toland says a rider could face a sentence of community service, fines of up to $1,000, a suspended driver’s license or even a sentence of imprisonment for up to three years.
Reddit was certainly on the OP’s side, calling out the stepdad for stealing his stepdad’s car.
“[Not the A**hole] – you stopped a thief from stealing something big, you did the right thing! I also think your cousin was just as much of a thief, and I bet her son has lost a lot of respect for his mother,” u/Kellymargaret wrote in the top rated comment with 9,100 upvotes.
“What’s your nephew’s banking setup? Does his mom have access to his account? Maybe it’s time to set up something his stepdad can’t get his hands on,” suggested u/mongooses. “[Not the A**hole]”
“[Not the A**hole]. One must hold a position for 16 years. The man of the house must manage and own up to his mistakes, including car theft. Your cousin should ask you to help buy a car with false claims,” u/This_Cauliflower1986 wrote.
“[Not the A**hole] – You and grandma handled this like bosses. you are a great role model for that child. his mom and stepdad are so useless trying to pull it over all your heads,” u/MyFriendsCallMeEpic wrote. “She called you for financial help, instead you helped morally/ethically, which is the kind of help she really needs if she pulled what she’s trying to pull imagine in a few years when the kid has no contact for this bs.”
“You’re a great uncle and that’s all that matters now. [Not the A**hole]”, wrote u/Best-Watercress-8887.
Newsweek I reached out to u/Guilty666 for comment.