I think one of my co-workers is a thief. She was in my cube to talk to me about a work issue, and when she left I noticed that my purse (sitting on top of my desk) was open. I’d turned away from her to look for a file and am pretty sure that my purse was closed before I turned around. After my co-worker went back to her cubicle, I realized that money was missing from my purse. (I had withdrawn $40 from the ATM that morning and it was gone).
Do you think this is a police matter or should I just tell human resources?
Oh, I don’t know – why don’t you just write to an advice columnist instead?
The person who really needs advice is your co-worker. Everyone knows that you are supposed to leave some money behind when you steal from co-workers. They’ll be confused and you won’t be suspected.
Go ahead and call the police without first talking to one of your managers or human resources department. Law enforcement officers love a good laugh as much as the rest of us.
— Evil Skippy
By all means, let your boss or another manager know that you suspect a theft took place at work. However, unless you have clear proof, don’t make accusations against a particular individual. The money might have been taken before your co-worker ever set foot in your cubicle. You might have lost the money between the ATM and your office. Another co-worker might be the culprit. Then again, your suspicions might be correct even though you did not hear your co-worker rummaging through your purse when your back was turned.
Yes, there might be a thief in your office. There might not. For all you know, there have been other reported incidents. By informing your management, they can review the situation, investigate as needed and take appropriate action. They should ask you when you first realized money was missing, so you will be able to tell them that it was immediately after your co-worker’s visit. That’s not an accusation. It’s a fact.
After that, start keeping your purse in your desk drawer at all times or booby-trap it with a loud alarm.