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How far should an upstanding citizen go just trying to do the right thing?

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  • How far should an upstanding citizen go just trying to do the right thing?

    About a week ago a friend of mine came over to my house asking for advice. He had in his possession a government issued greencard that he said he found while searching his ex-wife's garage for some other items while she was out of town. The ID belonged to a british woman he nor his ex-wife(to his knowledge) knew. He discovered the ID in a brown paper bag along with credit cards and a drivers license all belonging to the same person. He had for some time believed his ex-wife might be involved in illegal activities but has never known for certain.

    My advice to him was to involve the police or put it back where he found it and forget he ever saw it. He said he couldn't involve the police because he fears if his wife, who has custody of the children, goes to jail his kids might end up in foster care. He is currently unemployed and going to school and can't support his kids alone. He asked me to help find out who the woman was, contact her, tell her what he discovered and then try and return the items to the woman without getting his ex in trouble and without his ex knowing he found the items.

    We researched on the net and found the person on the ID. I told him I would contact her on facebook and tell her what we discovered and that we would like to help her get her ID back. But he began to get very worried about what could happen to his wife and kids and said he didn't want to contact her. Well the next day I contacted the woman anyway and told her everything in detail and that I was trying to do the right thing here and want to help her get her items back. She replied and said she had lost her purse at a gas station in this last July, and asked if indeed I could help send her items back to her.

    I responded and told her that I could probably get her green card back to her because my friend had it in his possession, but that he was unwilling to dig the rest of her stuff out of his ex's garage. The reason for this is that the ex was now back from her trip and he was no longer house sitting for her and he didn't know any way he could do it without his ex finding out.

    The next day I called him and told him I contacted the woman and promised at the very least to get her green card back to her if I was able to. He was furious. We argued for over an hour about it until I put my foot down and insisted he needs to the the right thing, get all the womans ID and cards out of the garage and we need to send them to her. I reminded him that his ex wife has no right to have that woman's ID's and credit cards in her possession, not to mention that it's probably a felony to have these items in her possession in the first place. He got very quiet and said he would get the greencard to me so I could mail it to the woman it belonged to, but refused to do any more than that.

    The next day I wrote him and urged him to use wisdom and either turn his ex in or get his hands on everything and help me get that poor woman's items back to her. An hour later he removed me from his facebook friends, then deleted his profile. Since then he has not responded to any emails or phone calls from me or anyone else I know that knows him.

    He's a decent guy. I think he just terrified his wife will go to jail and that he'll lose his kids. He also lost trust in me because I contacted the woman anyway even though he asked me not to. He thinks I'm going to call the police as well I'm sure. But I don't want to see him or his kids get screwed over this.

    Added to all of this, his ex-wife is the manager of a gas station. The woman on the ID claims she lost her purse at a gas station. I think perhaps someone turned the purse or items from it into his ex-wife or other person working the gas counter at the time. Perhaps his wife had intended to send the items into their corporate office or send them back to the woman her self. The items were indeed found in a bag containing paperwork from the gas station she works at from what I was told. So it's possible. But that still doesn't explain why this woman's credit cards and ID are in his ex-wife's garage. Something sounds fishy about that.

    In the meantime I have kept the woman these items belong to up to date in messages I sent her on facebook. However she has not responded in nearly a week since she asked if I could send her stuff back to her. I don't know if she might have some crazy idea that I might be trying to scam her or that I want money possibly for helping her or what. Maybe she's just very busy.

    None the less I decided to send a message to her yet again tonight and told her that neither she nor my friend are being very responsive and that perhaps it's time I butt out of the entire thing and wash my hands of it. So I plan too send him an email telling him that I am not involved any longer, that he should contact her him self and if he decides to do the noble thing that is up to him, but I'm not involved any longer.

    I got involved for many reasons, but most of all because I have been the victim of credit card fraud three times. I have also lost my ID and credit cards before too, so I know how messed up something like that can be. I also am concerned that if her items ended up in the wrong hands it could be used to steal this woman's identity and that's a very bad thing. I am a person who gives a damned to put it bluntly. But I wonder should I have not even gotten involved in the first place? What should I do? I may have lost a friend over this. I have been stressed out about it. And now I feel bad because I can't keep the promise I had made to that lady to get her green card back to her.

    Thanks for any suggestions and advice in advance

  • #2
    Contact the police. I'm not in Ca., but what you describe would certainly be felony charges in my neck of the woods. The ID and CC's would get a felony charge for each one.

    She is in possession of them with no intention of returning them.
    It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
    Paul "Bear" Bryant

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    • #3
      Thanks very much for responding. I think that answers my question bluntly and leaves no room for me to do anything but what I was dreading you folks might suggest. I don't know the woman at all. Never met her, so it's not going to come down to some personal problem with a friend where she is concerned, and it angers me that my friend doesn't realize how serious this is by ignoring his responsibility to report this him self. And I'm sick and tired of people who screw other people over like this so casually. If she wasn't intending to break the law she'd have no reason not to return these items to the woman they belong to or pass them on to someone who could. Again thanks for your time. Much appreciated, especially since it was such a long read.

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      • #4
        Your friend doesn't want to own up to it because he was going through his ex-wife's stuff at her house while she was out of town. That initself is a felony.

        What do you want to happen? Decide that and take the course of action. You do realize how difficult it would be to contact LE, tell them what you know and expect them to be able to do much about it, right? It's not like they can walk into the ex-wife's place and find it.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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        • #5
          I have been living in a fog bank or something. I had no idea that something like this would be a moral dilemna in what to do.

          Try putting yourself in that woman's shoes. Imagine it was your property. Imagine you were a legal immigrant to this country and someone took your identity papers from you. This can be fixed without even in involving LE...as Smurfette pointed out. I highly doubt she lost her purse at a gas station. More than likely it was stolen. His ex wife committed a crime or is involved in a crime. He even suspects his ex of being a criminal herself and he is worried the state will take the children?

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          • #6
            Sounds like your "friend" really isn't. He was snooping when he found the items and doesn't want the ex to find out. All the justification he comes up with is BS. You haven't lost a friend, rather you have gained some insight as to his strength of character.
            "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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            • #7
              call back the British chick and give her your friends name and address as well as his wifes information. SInce your "friend" doesnt want to be involved and has since cut you out of his life due to this, let her contact the POlice and go from there. When the Police call you then tell the truth about what he told you.
              ID theft is a huge problem and so is a POS who is willing to let it occur for fear his ex-wife will find out he went snooping around her place
              "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
              The Tick

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              sanitizer

              "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
              Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

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              • #8
                Even if the property isn't "stolen", the ex-wife keeping it is a violation of California law, specifically 485 P.C. missapropriation of lost property.

                Your "friend" gave you bs about not wanting his wife to go to jail. Well guess what with this type of behavior it's bound to happen sooner or later. Your "friend" should get his life together and get custody of those kids before the law gets involved. Do YOU want a criminal raising your children?
                Today's Quote:

                "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RoadKingTrooper View Post
                  Sounds like your "friend" really isn't. He was snooping when he found the items and doesn't want the ex to find out. All the justification he comes up with is BS. You haven't lost a friend, rather you have gained some insight as to his strength of character.
                  ^^^^This.

                  Your "friend" certainly has his priorities screwed up. He'd rather his kids stay with a criminal mother then a nice foster family for a short time while he gets back on his feet? I'm guessing your "friend" isn't entirely innocent here either....
                  Originally posted by kontemplerande
                  Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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                  • #10
                    Wow, you officers are too cool. Taking the time to read this very lengthy story. I appreciate all the help and advice you've given me on this. I'm going to send a link to this thread to the lady who lost her cards so she can see what you all had to say too. You've all been a huge help in guiding me in the right direction with this troubling problem. You're all very decent people to spend your time assisting people here on this site in your off time considering the hard work you all do in your regular jobs. Thanks again

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