My husband and I installed hidden cameras in the public areas of our house after personal items went missing. To our shock, we caught my husband’s 15-year-old niece stealing from us and from our son’s piggy bank. She was also sneaking alcohol. We have been paying her to watch our children for several months now. Her parents refused to punish her and tried to play her theft up as a youthful mistake. We told them that she was no longer welcome in our home and that we wanted her to pay back all the money we gave her. I told her she was lucky we didn’t go to the police, and my sister-in-law snapped at me not to “make threats.” This has led to a serious rift in our family.
I found out my niece is now babysitting for several other families we know. I feel it is our duty to warn our neighbors about leaving their children with our niece. Several of them have very small children, and a drunk babysitter could lead to serious consequences. My husband is worried about making things worse with his sister. I feel that there is nothing we can do on that front, short of my sister-in-law becoming a better mother. What should we do here?
—Caught on Camera