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Old 09-10-2010, 11:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,046 times
Reputation: 14
Default is prank calling a crime?

looking for some advice, my son was involved in a prank calling to a bakery along with four other kids my son and two others admitted to being involved the owner says shes out 450.00 for the order they placed and now wants to press charges of Theft by Swindle. We said we would be willing to pay a fifth of what she claiming she lost but since the others are now saying they had nothing to do with it and their not paying anything my son is now being singled out and they will charge him alone.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:39 AM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
1,834 posts, read 2,486,496 times
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Well that sounds like a crime. If the other kids admitted being apart of it and are now denying it, then well they should be paying too. Not sure what to do about that.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Limbo
4,778 posts, read 2,173,815 times
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Calling and just harassing someone on the phone isn't a crime per se (depending on the level of harassment), but I think making a fake order with the intention of not paying might be.

Theft by Swindle seems like a very serious offense, I doubt the court would see it as this heinous of a crime:

Theft by Swindle (http://www.mntheftlawyer.com/accusations-theft-swindle-criminal-defense-lawyer-minneapolis.html - broken link)
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Home in NOMI
1,635 posts, read 744,353 times
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You need to make the punishment age appropriate. How old were these kids?

If they were 7 or 8, I'd negotiate a reduced payment to the baker, then sit the kids down with that 450 dollars worth of bakery items and make them eat it all - right now. (I might also publicly question the baker's honesty and integrity, that she would claim to believe an obvious prank call from a bunch of kids intent on mischief, and fill such a big order without double checking with an adult first).

If they were age 14 on, I'd not question the baker, just make the kids pay with their own money, and ground them for a month.

Here's more appropriate pranking of shop owners. As kids (in the 1960's), we'd go into the tobacconist shop:

"Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

- "Yes, we do."

"Better let him out! Bwah Hahahahaha....!!!" , and then we'd run away.

Last edited by audadvnc; 09-10-2010 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:21 PM
Status: "there are no kings inside the gates of Eden" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
9,640 posts, read 7,098,439 times
Reputation: 11699
^ha ha ha, real funny. my last name sounds an awful lot like a famous monster but it's prononced "STEEN" not "STINE" and I'm sick and tired of you dam kids calling me up and asking if the monster of the house is home!

And no I don't have sixteen pound balls neither!
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
4,391 posts, read 5,041,580 times
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What did they order that cost $450?
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:33 PM
 
336 posts, read 499,344 times
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Did she call the police? If so, they would come talk to you. Your son could tell them who else was involved. You can't lie to the police. Yes, how old is your son?
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Victory Neighborhood Minneapolis
1,775 posts, read 3,335,697 times
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If the bakery is offering for you to pay for the items without involving the police, you should thank them for doing so and pay up. You do not want them pressing charges because by the time you get through all of the court/legal fees, you're going to be well over $450 in costs and then have to pay restitution of $450 (or whatever amount the court decides based on a variety of factors).

Plus, depending on the age of your son, you do not want a "Theft by Swindle" or similar charge going on his record- regardless of how little the punishment or minimal the charge, any type of theft does not look good and could have repercussions for him when he gets older (especially if he is an older juvenile- these cases are easy for employers to get a hold of through background checks).

Since you're son's already busted, it should be easy enough to get him to tell you the truth about exactly how much they ordered from the bakery which would then allow you to check out their website (or request a quote over the phone) to cross-check if they're being honest with their $450 pricing.

Being courteous/nice in a situation like this will get you everywhere- if you talk to them about the situation and are apologetic for it- you could offer to pay up a portion now and ask if they will allow you to get the rest of the payment directly from your son (assuming he's old enough to do chores for neighbors for money, etc.) on a payment plan. This might be a good compromise- you as parents aren't out as much and your son continues to learn his lesson for some time to come. If the other kids are denying involvement- have you called and talked to their parents directly about the situation? (and/or how sure are you that your son wasn't the only one on the phone and instigating the whole thing?). Even if you or the bakery is unsuccessful at getting anything from his friends, there's some other great lessons for your son to learn now: (a) be careful of who your friends are, (b) just because he was the only one "caught" doesn't make him any less responsible, (c) yep, it's unfair that his "friends" are getting off scot-free, but guess what, life's unfair, and (d) he's a better person than his *friends* for being honest and admitting to the wrongdoing (something he'll understand more when he gets older).

I'm not sure how likely it is that the bakery would press charges, or that the police would move to press charges if there was a way to amicably resolve the situation without involving the courts. However, if there is any chance of charges being pressed (and I've seen some crazy charges pressed on youth for very minor things over the years)- I think you're going to be extremely regretful if you decide to make a point of not paying for it- not only could things turn out much worse for your son/family, but you would fail to teach your son some valuable lessons about being respectful and paying up for mistakes/debts.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:54 AM
 
166 posts, read 211,718 times
Reputation: 75
nip it in the bud
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:01 AM
 
2,031 posts, read 1,197,043 times
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As others have pointed out, the issue is not a prank call but falsely entering into a verbal contract (ie, 'make me this product and I'll pay you $450' and then attempting to not pay the agreed-upon obligation $450.

But they way you present the issue with the title of this thread suggests that you are trying to minimize the issue. I don't think doing that will serve you well if you try it with the bakery, their attorneys, law enforcement, or the judiciary.
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