What to do when sitter stole all our alcohol?

Hi folks,
I’m a pretty new HO on this site…but had 2 good sits before the last one. When, in the short span of less than 2 days, all of the alcohol in our house disappeared. Which included vodka, rum, and an expensive bottle of Portuguese wine I brought back years ago. And perhaps the worse: a bottle of Czech liquor that was on the third floor of the house…to get to it the sitter had to go into my son’s room and through my son’s belongings. I’m furious. And also sad since this young woman clearly has a problem.

And yet I’m concerned about posting an honest review for fear of retribution. What have others done in similar situations? I called her as soon as I discovered what had happened. She refused to call me back but texted a denial…and then claimed that someone she had over must have taken it all. Even suggested that someone snuck into the house (off the street) and stole all the alcohol. Again, she has problems…

This was such a bad experience I’m unlikely to use the site again. And while I want to warn others of this sitter, I am worried about any repercussions. Advice?

Sorry you had to experience this. The reviews are now blind so you should review the sitter honestly to warn future HOs. You should also contact THS and provide as much evidence as possible and even consider reporting this to police.

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You should post an honest review for others. I would worry if someone had been through my things and certainty stealing is a big concern. As a sitter I am often left gifts including wine but I would never dream of touching anything that hadn’t been offered to me. I did a sit once where the previous sitters had used all the wine in the house and not replaced any so it does happen. I would report to TH as well.

@LHinBrooklyn I wouldn’t recommend reporting this to the police, but put it down to experience. The police will be really busy and likely just take a note of it.
As mentioned the reviews are now blind so, as long as you’re within 14 days of the end of the sit (sooner would be better) post an honest review about the sitter, that way she’ll be unlikely to get future sits and might even be banned from the site. Report this to memberships services

@LHinBrooklyn the repercussions of NOT reporting this serious issue in your review are that another homeowner selects her as a sitter and has the same experience.

The new review system means that the reviews are now “blind” . This means your sitter has to write her review before she can see your review of her. You both have only 14 days to leave a review. After that it’s too late for either of you to submit a review.

When you report it to member services you need to follow the process of raising a dispute ( They don’t always tell you about this - but it’s the only way that they will investigate and possibly suspend the sitter )

In the meantime you could calculate the value of the alcohol consumed and advise the sitter that you want this amount to be reimbursed to you ( this won’t make up for her actions but you can see if she will admit and face up to what she has done ) .

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That is rather shocking. Did they leave the empty bottles behind or just take everything from the house? I hope nothing else was taken. Overall this would be an extremely rare occurrence and if you are using an experienced sitter with good references and set clear boundaries around what they can consume from your kitchen and what is off limits and whether they are allowed to have people over then this really shouldn’t happen again. In terms of retribution, are you concerned about retribution because they are based locally or just getting a negative feedback back. If it’s the later don’t worry too much. Just be factual and if you get a nasty review from her you can provide your factual response. Future sitters will see her feedback for what it is.

Please make sure you leave a factual review about her, she will probably not get another sit then. You could report her, but not sure TH will do anything.

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I once had a young couchsurfing guest who drank herself dead drunk one evening while I was away. Her friend told me that she was an alcoholic and that she had not taken her medicine.

We agreed not to write reviews then because she was clearly vulnerable and publicizing this might lead to other hosts taking advantage. I put her on the train home.

Anyway, we are Facebook friends and I see that she is doing ok.

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I think report to THS member services. If for nothing else but her own wellbeing, she’s clearly not in a place where being arohnd alcohol is a sensible idea. That also sounds like she drank quite a large cash value of booze

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Do we know that she actually drank it? It might be that she removed it for some reason.

This is theft pure and simple and she shouldn’t have had any guests without your permission. Check for other missing stuff. Not only should this be on a review, it should be reported to member services.

I bet that since she found the bottle in your son’s room she had rummaged in all the other rooms too. I’m pretty confident that most people imagine that the most precious items are kept in the main bedroom, so she probably had a look there too…
What I’m trying to say is that I doubt that she was expecting to find liquor in a bedroom… :roll_eyes:
Are you sure she only took alcohol?
I don’t mean to worry you even more, however you will need to present all of your findings in your complaint to THS.

I would file a police report. Often you can do this online. Documenting it appropriately may allow you to file a claim with THS.

This is horrible. I can’t imagine anyone being so emboldened or so dishonest. Please give an honest review so that other homeowners will be warned. I would report them to THS who should remove this person from the platform, but I am not sure if they will.

Someone like this should not be sitting anyone’s home or pets, no matter what her problem(s) might be. I suggest that you report her to THS and write a factual review. I’d say that alcohol was missing after the sit and not accuse her directly, because in various countries you might risk libel damages if you say something you can’t prove.

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It is not certain that there was any guest. Inventing this kind of stories is one of the symptoms of addictions.

But yes, it could have been much worse, for example a party where they trashed the place. Or left wine stains. Or where they puked in the couch.

I cannot see how this would be police business. If the guest had been drinking one bottle? Or a bit more?

Hello
So sad to hear that a distrusting sitter took advantage of the sit taking alcohol. Even hunting out in private areas. This is appalling and can reflect badly on all those who sit and are very very trustworthy.
My husband and I have been house sitting for 4years now. We never take anything that has not been left for our use. We take our own bedding and ensure the house is cleaned for the returned clients together with a home cooked meal. It sounds as though it was a single person? Was permission sought from you for her to host outside guests that have not been vetted by THS. This is certainly NOT on for sure. When on a very long sit we have asked if we can have a visitor for coffee or a meal normally especially if it’s family but I would not dream to have anyone else. Our requests to the hosts have only been done with the owners advance permission.
You have to be honest with your review and certainly report it as it’s just not fair on other hosts. Good luck in the future as there are many really good sitters out there. Best wishes.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Unfortunately, I am sure she drank or took all the alcohol. Like hundreds of dollars of alcohol. When I picked her up from the train, she smelled like alcohol…but I ignored it (it was a Saturday evening and I assumed she’d just had a drink). In retrospect, I should have trusted my instincts…

As many of you noted, the reviews are anonymous now…but she’ll know it’s me since I confronted her about this. I’m worried about many different types of repercussions–since an honest review will end her ability to use this site…and she knows where I live. And had keys to the house. When these kinds of things happen, it breaks the trust we have in others…a trust which is the centerpiece of a site like this.

Unfortunately THS was not great when I reported it to them. They had someone call me, but that person then instructed me to do all kinds of investigative work myself. Honestly, I don’t have time for that (pictures, documentation, etc). I’m already out a lot of money, plus my lost trust, so asking me to do more work for the site just didn’t seem ok. My sense was they should have taken the case on, contacted her, and at least blocked her profile until they investigated her.

Again, thanks for all the advice. Not sure I’ll keep using the site after this. But it’s great that this community forum exists!

Reviews are not anonymous. They are “blind.” That is you won’t be able to see each other’s reviews. Since you clarified that other stuff is NOT missing, and you’d previously smelled alcohol, this is clearly an alcohol/addiction issue. I don’t know about the appropriateness of calling out those issues in a public review, but you can say enough to be clear that you cannot recommend this sitter as there are issues you aren’t comfortable with calling out in a review, and you have reported this to member services.

As for THS, I’ve heard here and elsewhere that sometimes it takes many calls and asking how to dispute something and really pushing for them to take action including refunding membership fees, etc.

As combined member paying for a premium membership, I’m kind of appalled they aren’t going to investigate further and/or bar the sitter. Because of the nature of addiction, this can be hard to spot in a video chat, but it would seem to me if on a future sit, something really bad happens (worse than your financial loss) and this information was previously given to them and they did nothing, the company would have some liability.

If you do not write a review saying the sitter stole hundreds of dollars of alcohol . the sitter will go on to steal hundreds of dollars of alcohol from another HO . And this will continue.