Travel Incidents



Oldtown


Toronto, Canada
Member: Jun 2014
Gender: Female
Age: 28 years
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
GOOGLE TRANSLATION Private Apartment

"Thieving Flatmate"

While on a long stay working holiday in the U.K, i rented an apartment in Edinburgh with two students. I had rented before with 'strangers' both while travelling and back home with no major problems. The place had 4 bedrooms and when one of the other occupants moved out we interviewed for another flatmate. We ending up choosing this young Scottish boy, he had visited with his girlfriend, she looked quite sweet and he said he had a job at a local bar. To cut a very long story short - this guy ended up totally ripping us all off. Unknown to us he was getting up early and getting our mail and going through it to take anything of interest. He ended up getting one of the girls new credit cards and then days later her new pin number! He took quite a bit of money out of her account. However, she didn't tell any of us (as she didn't know who was to blame - she just moved out and we only found this out later).

Still thinking he was the good guy, he offered to pay the household monthly bills, as we were all going quarters is was easy to just give him the cash and let him take care of it. None of us thought twice about this and i think we even appreciated that he had offered and was taking care of it for us. Over the next few months i noticed some strange behaviour from him, it seemed he was no longer working, he wasn't as friendly and even started eating dinners i had pre-cooked for myself, for when i came home from work - with his excuse - he had drug munchies.

Then my camera went missing from my room (with all my photos from New York still inside) and the other flatmates were visiting London at this point - so it could only be him. He wasn't around at night for me to approach him at this time and i worked during the day, it was hard to tell if he was even there as he locked his door (something i should have been doing!!) I ended up giving notice (although my other flatmates doubted my story). I also reported the theft to the police. I was very shocked when the police pulled out a folder of photos for me to view and there he was - wanted for holding up a convenience store! They said if they caught him there was a good chance i would not get my camera back or be reimbursed for it and would have to wait for the hearing which would be months away (and i was heading home).

A few weeks later i was contacted by the other flatmates to say not only had this guy left unannounced, he had stolen all their computer equipment, ipods etc AND hadn't paid any of our bills for months, he had been collecting all the utility reminder notices in our mail - so we wouldn't know they hadn't been paid. Wow what a piece of work! We all ended up chipping in again for these.


Traveled August 2013, #Solo   #GirlsTravel   #Backpackers  
TIP : I've never had a locked door, my belief would be, if you think you need to, perhaps it isn't safe and you shouldn't be there. However, perhaps getting a door lock could be an option in this instance, getting better personal/work references for potential flatmates and always asking for a copy of receipts if others are paying for bills - even whoever pays leaves a copy on the fridge, it doesn't have to be formal. People on drugs, without a job, can get desperate for money - who are you living with?

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