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Is Your Neighbour Stealing from You?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 28 Nov 2023 | comments*Discuss
Neighbbour Stealing Theft Wifi Gas

Theft is a real problem in the 21st century – and we don’t mean stealing the milk from your doorstep, it’s more serious, sometimes invisible things that you should look out for.

Of course, most neighbours are not problem neighbours at all and they wouldn’t dream of helping themselves to your property – but the lines do become blurred for some people about what is acceptable and what isn’t, and some are downright blatant when it comes to misappropriating what isn’t theirs.

Neighbour Stealing your WiFi

Most people have some sort of WiFi these days and unfortunately, some people don’t think they should have to pay for it. If your neighbour ‘piggybacks’ your WiFi, they could cause you all sorts of connection problems, slow down your broadband speed too - but more importantly they can steal files from your computers or infect your network with viruses and malware at the same time. It’s not just rude, it’s illegal, and potentially they could be prosecuted under The Communications Act 2003, which says a "person who (a) dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and (b) does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service, is guilty of an offence".

If you notice intermittent problems with your connection, or your broadband appears to slow down at certain times every day, you could have a problem with someone stealing your WiFi from you.

The first thing to do if you suspect a WiFi thief is get on the case and check your wireless network log. How you do this varies depending on your computer, but if you look at your network and see more devices connected to it than there should be, you may have a neighbour stealing from you.

To stop them stealing, turn on your WEP or WPA encryption. Many broadband suppliers do this straight away and give you the ‘key’ or password when you set up broadband with them, but if yours is optional, make sure it’s activated. You’ll have to check your router instructions to find out how to do this.

Neighbour Stealing your Post

Stolen and lost mail could potentially be a real problem in these days of identity theft, so if you suspect your parcels or post are going astray courtesy of the neighbours, you need to get onto it straight away. If anything that could be used in identity theft goes missing, such as a passport, driving licences, credit or debit card, report it to the sender straight away.

You should also tell Royal Mail if you think that someone’s been helping themselves to your mail – in some cases people may even set up false mail redirection on your address! Contact the investigations unit immediately if you suspect anything. Telephone the Royal Mail Customer Care Team on 08457 740 740.

Meanwhile, practical solutions to the issue of your disappearing mail could be a lockable, private post box, having important mail or parcels delivered to you at work rather than at home, or asking the post office for your own private post office box, so that when you receive a package, it’s held at the post office until you pick it up.

Danger – Neighbour stealing your Gas or Electricity

This situation is surprisingly common – we’ve all heard of people being astonished by astronomical gas and electricity bills out of the blue. In some cases, it could be that a crafty neighbour is stealing your fuel – but this isn’t just rude, it’s criminal and potentially extremely dangerous too.

There are tens of thousands of instances of this type of theft every year, costing the public more than £100m. Sometimes people can’t afford their bills so feel it’s OK to help themselves for free, but it’s also common for people to interfere with meters when they are involved in illegal drug cultivation.

People who have stolen energy can be prosecuted under several pieces of legislation, so they need to be reported as soon as you realise what they are up to. If you think they’ve interfered with your gas or electricity meters, contact the UK Revenue Protection Association (UKPRA) and report them straight away. The UKRPA is a trade association that’s involved with detecting and dealing with electricity and gas meter tampering and stealing of gas or electricity supplies.If you think they have somehow interfered with your internal wiring, report them to the police and take legal advice.

If you have high commercial Gas or Electricity bills and want to look at your options Purely Energy can help.

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My backdoor was stolen by a neighbour and although I called the police nothing was done. I think they think I have mental health issues. Which I do not, but do have a bit of PTSD as it made me realise that when items have gone missing over the last 5 years that they must have been involved. Some items were returned after I mentioned they had been security marked, but those that were not were not returned. I believe that other items are going to be stolen every time I leave the house. I believe that their main intent is to run me out of the house so that a friend of theirs can move in. Have put on new very strong front door locks. I also believe that this is not the first time that she has done this, but has been doing it for several years to other people previously and has always gotten away with it. Their home is probably a veritable treasure trove of stolen items.
RK - 28-Nov-23 @ 6:17 AM
I suspect some of my neighbours may be stealing rocks from my rockery/ improvised ornamental steps in my garden area. (I heard something going on at night, then next day several stones seemed to be missing.) It's an open plan communal area shared with some holiday accommodation, so I'm not sure who might've done it, also it'd be difficult to approach them. The stones aren't of monetary value, but quite heavy & I went to considerable effort bringing them from my previous home, also there aren't many large stones naturally here, so they're difficult to replace.
anon - 30-Apr-23 @ 5:16 PM
I believe my next door neighbors are stealing gas from other near by neighbors. My next door neighbors dont mow there lawn much. I mow my parents lawn that is next to theres quite often because my parents like there lawns looking nice. My parents buy gas for there lawn mowers I run but I suspect our next door neighbors are stealing gas from other close neighbors just before were going to mow our lawn or after because we have 3 acres to mow it makes people think that I am the one stealing there gas because I have alot of lawn to mow for my parents I live with. I get dirty looks from some of our neighbors now and then because I believe they think I'm the one stealing there gas for our lawn mowers and I am NOT! I respect other peoples property.I have security cameras around my parents property to help keep intruders away but I dont believe are close neighbors do, so I believe even though our next door neighbors appear to have money, they arent honest when it comes to buying there own gas so they steal gas from people around us to make everyone near us think were doing it because we have alot of property to mow. I wish the people around us would get smart and installed security cameras so they can catch and accuse the real crooks. makes me mad that I have a bad name for something I'm not even doing.
lawnguy - 24-Mar-23 @ 5:09 AM
Our whole block is in on this stalking since 2019 and to make things worse his 2 sisters niece and so called cousin is part of the whole thing telling theses people everywhere we go and live giving them our phone number just rediculous they hack everything we have and got my husband fired from his job and totaled my new car to the point where we had to go back and stay with his parents were they all live they have stolen over 45 grand plus my car at 20 grand and I found a site were there getting paid surveys and marketing ads 130 grand but left us homeless and broke but yet there at it enough is not enough for theses losers they have no life but ours and it's old already and pathetic that this many people can't seem to pay there way all over a niece who got her feelings hurt 25 years ago and started this mission going who needs friends stabbing u in the back wen u have this family holding the knife beyond sad and pathetic
Sweetie pie - 2-Mar-23 @ 3:42 PM
Is it possible out of mischief that the upstairs flat neighbour who is anti social and has had a replaced cylinder, the other was faulty and had caused a leak through my celing below - my water bills are increasing month on month - the red numbers on the metre run when no water is running, there are no visible signs of a leak - could a pipe in the upst. flat have been connected to mine and putting pressure on my metre in serving two flats - is it possible this could be what is happening with these increased bills.Thank you, please let me knowa plumber is comingtomorrow to hopefully find a more reasonable reason for the problem - I believe the metre could be faulty as the red numbers ticked at speed when I turned on the stop-tap.
none - 24-Nov-22 @ 10:09 PM
My Son in Law and my daughter moved into their new house, and discovered they had elderly neighbours living below them.The elderly couple appeared to be hostile and began to confront my son in law and daughter to tell them to turn off the washing machine. The elderly woman continued to harass my family.And finally my son in law saw the elderly couple at the electric box on their stairwell on david's property. My family called the previous owner of the house they had bought and the previous owner said 'the elderly man downstairs was always at the electric box and to keep an eye on him. a week or two later the elderly man and his wife called the police to say a wire had been cut and assumed it was my son in law who cut the wire. Even the police when they saw the box said someone had rigged the wires up to the street lampost for electricity. The police knew it was the elderly man but nothing was done about it, because they are elderly. How is it that elderly people can use their age as an excuse to commit crimes and be vicious to people.
J - 7-Sep-22 @ 8:47 PM
My neighbours have been stealing my parcels and they've done this before. I know it's them because one of them I saw tugging on my mailbox before she went in. These people are a couple living in the same block of flats as me, and they've been stealing my mail. I had to tell the landlord about this as this block of flats has no CCTV, a broken front door when you enter the mail room before you go into your flat, and it's gotten to the point even my postbox isn't safe. This time they left the packing of the parcel and stole what was inside. It wasn't even that expensive (the makeup doesn't match the girl's shade either) and they've done this before. What should I do? The police can't do anything without CCTV, these people are chavy and they won't admit or give anything back, and I'm now having to move flat because they keep stealing my parcels.
Alexa - 16-Aug-22 @ 12:04 AM
My neighbours have been stealing my parcels and they've done this before. I know it's them because one of them I saw tugging on my mailbox before she went in. These people are a couple living in the same block of flats as me, and they've been stealing my mail. I had to tell the landlord about this as this block of flats has no CCTV, a broken front door when you enter the mail room before you go into your flat, and it's gotten to the point even my postbox isn't safe. This time they left the packing of the parcel and stole what was inside. It wasn't even that expensive (the makeup doesn't match the girl's shade either) and they've done this before. What should I do? The police can't do anything without CCTV, these people are chavy and they won't admit or give anything back, and I'm now having to move flat because they keep stealing my parcels.
Alexa - 16-Aug-22 @ 12:04 AM
The police don’t tend to get involved or care about any of the above.They don’t even investigate.If you’re water or electricity is being stolen through access to the loft surely you would have to contact an electrician or plumber to make sure that’s what’s occurring?
Sop - 5-Aug-22 @ 11:34 PM
So sorry to all of those that have commented about the continued harassment lack of support from those in authorities.Its appalling. I've been going through it in two different locations for over 5 years now possibly longer. When moving it started happening straight way.They came in whilst we were asleep, as soon as were out of the door.They came through loft, then when the watertank is, just plaster board in between.I think they are filming us too.I've boarded up the loft hatch, boarded up the water tank door too. Water usage increase twice over when moving, even though we no longer have baths.They hacked the wifi, continuous, laptops, 3 phones, tried everything, have quite a bit of IT knowledge just not hacking. All locks were changed.Audio of them getting into house. Set up security but it was wifi based so made inoperable.They get into car, steal petrol and anything they can get in there.House, food, candles, jewellery, toiletries, washing powder, bowls, glasses, creams, money, anything they can carry.Neighbours know, they must do, have done nothing for this time. Police have done nothing to assist.MP nothing, citizen advice said they not heard of such things.Phone cloning, sim cloning. They hacked my daughter college laptop.Locksmiths should be licensed.What kind of world is this when its not even safe to live in your own home anymore.I can't wait to get a good nights sleep.Whatever happened to Karma?Good luck to all those that are struggling through this.Would love to get together to do a class action against the police, or set up a vigilante groups where we share security items etc and help one another out.This isnt right.When I was growing up, I called my neighbours auntie and uncle and they came on outings with us.We need to educate these people what community really is.These people around me have more than I do, so I dont understand why they keep stealing from me.They've also tried to run me off the road.There has to be a solution to all of this, before it gets worse.
LA - 3-Jul-22 @ 3:08 PM
My upstairs drug addict neighbour has been stealing my pancake Popple parcel recently. He is interfering with royal mail and he has been impounding my parcel and claimed it was his parcel. He is nosey and interfering and he should be evicted from his house and he should move back home to stay with his parents.
Suziebear - 26-Mar-22 @ 12:12 AM
The chap I share a dividing wall with has been syphoning hot water from my copper pipes in the loft, and conducting electricity from my loft into his. I told the police about this. They shrugged it off with 'We are not plumbers/electricians. This is a civil matter. See a solicitor.' My energy supplier was sympathetic, but could do nothing about what occurs inside a dwelling. It is confined to investigating theft at the meter point. Is this not a bit silly?
sophiejo - 6-Dec-21 @ 11:24 PM
My junkie neigbour is allowed to be the block’s janitor and pay almost no rent suddenly, by my landlord.( he has not payed rent in a fee years)There are 4 junkies here and one has stolen 3 bird feeders but nothing was done. Junkie janitor is always selling pills and smoking crack and what not. Nothing has been done.. junkie with dog has let his dog pee in my shared yard... landlord does not care it seems..
Helen78 - 12-Feb-21 @ 11:55 AM
I have a terrific problem whereby my neighbour, Torontonomoni is been stealing my rats. I have beens collectering my rats in humane traps for many years, and have smade pastries to feed them with. Even my lemomaids has been stolen by Torontonomoni, and the polices say that it is a civile matter. Help!
Rev.TchaTchamomonomi - 25-Nov-20 @ 4:32 PM
I have a upstairs neighboursthay sellingmy gas and water I told my gas ppl told housing told the policeand water ppl and nothing had happenedbecausethay privateno one can go in there home I am housing
Jo - 23-Aug-20 @ 12:18 AM
I would like to have update on my state ments that I was told you sent them out on Tuesday 21st of July I was expecting them today but hasn't arrived I believe that a Tennant in my block where I live is intersepting mail.i want to know if I can have another request of them being sent out and tracked as Alan Williams is taking my post
Kel - 23-Jul-20 @ 12:18 PM
I left a very abusive husband. Lived 4 months in shelters until I qualified for housing assistance. I was elated with joy and excited for my new future and all the possibilities to start opening up for a new life. Only to find myself in a situation where my upstairs neighbor stalks me 24/7. He follows me everywhere I go in my apartment while he's in his apartment. He's a sick 90 old man. He follows me into the bathroom and stays there until I am done he follows me into the bathroom as I shower but he stays in his bathroom until I am finished. I turned on sound but it doesn't detour him. He's even hovering over me, at this very moment, hoping to hear anything interesting from me? It's 3:00 am. I've been painting rocks all evening, right here in my kitchen, since 6:00 pm. He's only left his spot above me, in his kitchen, to use the bathroom. He hasn't been doing anything but standing there hovering. He likes to breathe through his mouth and plays with his teeth with his tongue. It's so disgusting! Meanwhile, I have been robbed blind. All my mother's jewelry, my grandmother's jewelry, all of my sterling silver beads and supplies, all my valuable gemstone beads, all in all about $6,000. - $10,000 maybe more? I just moved in 7 months ago. This started right away. Police can't do anything about it. The spy cams I put out seem to disappear or are tampered with. There are cams in here because they come in during the day and during the night while I'm here. At first I thought it was my husband doing it, but now I'm wondering if I have it confused with my neighbors. Things happen too fast for it to be Bill, my husband. He has to be in bed by 8 pm or he turns into a pumpkin. He's no night owl! I think it's my neighbors. The woman who lived here before me, had severe Alzheimer's. I'll bet they had the cameras going and I'll bet they were taking advantage of her? Finally the manager stepped in and had her daughter come and put her in a rest home. This woman wouldn't leave the state to be closer to her mom because her sweet heart is buried here. I'm sure the neighbors must have taken advantage of her, now they're taking advantage of me, because I've moved into her apartment. They've left the cameras in place, in my bed room and by my kitchen. I was out late washing my windows of my Jeep. He was watching every move I made. I had to use the bathroom. Went in and right back out as quickly as I can move, just as I heard the door of his girlfriend shut. Everybody else was in bed. I'm disabled and live in a retirement community so the residents are a little older than I am. I looked in my Jeep where I found my wallet sitting on top of my purse. Why I was so careless I don't know, but things will be locked up moving forward. Last week $20 and some things disappeared from my Jeep. It has to be them??? Makes the most sense to me? I was working on my daughter's birthday gift and it took me several years to save up for all of the
OthrShudropt - 6-Jul-20 @ 10:41 AM
Scottish gas has informed me the house next door has had no electric or gas supply for yearsthis house had families living there as long as I remember ,the last family moved out Nov 2019 , who has been paying as for sure they definitely were not using candles and primus stoves!!!!!!
HARLEYDEZ - 29-Jun-20 @ 3:41 PM
My neighbors are stealing my water minerals and land they are using a underground machine non stop day and night and are destroying my home they keep shooting off guns but I won't back down I need help by fast my address is 60440 US Hwy 97, Toppenish Wa 98948 please someone help me before it's to late my rocks are disappearing fast
Vickie - 5-Jun-20 @ 9:24 PM
Renting from private owner, nice apt but he did not seal my appliances above furnace. water heater, gas valve. Wide open. I have a neighbor up stairs 4 unit condo. He controls furnace when I cut the heat off later I notice my furnace running. So I turn the cool air on and I hear a click. I got smart! The heat was coming out a little and sucking in the vent. So when I turn the air on he uses wifi to click it to push the air more into the vent. Long story short called the owner he says I'm sorry about that. I should have sealed the the appliances above. He called the building owner. Told me they say prove it. I went to the energy office great they offer $800 so still I cant enjoy my heat coming out the vents properly. Also my furnace runs alone when I'm not using it. Scared to take a shower, maybe sewer water. Pepco and Gas say the just check outside the building. Energy office just gave me money. Washington DC has no help for me. I think because it's a private owned. No one can help me with this. Reaching out for help!
Baby girl - 17-Mar-20 @ 10:56 PM
I keep having things go missing frommy home including where a whole box of tablets I bought from my dog had been emptied and filled with different tablets food goes missing bread butter my electric goes quicker than it should coffee and milk goes quicker than it should My filter head of my fish tank gets pulled of as well and my fish tank is stinking when I go home but the strangest thing is an jeighbour keeps calling from outside telling me to clean my fish tank when he has never been invited in.I have set up cctv in my livin hg room to keep my fish and dog safe I actually store my dog food in my lounge so I can watch it and have started blocking the front of my fridge to keep my food safe.Soap bars gave went missing and their is times I smell strange sweat smells from my towels in my bathroom.Police cannot do anything as no evidence for a long time they where able to turn my cameras off but I've managed to stop this.
Liz - 15-Mar-20 @ 5:56 PM
My next door neighbour of a semi-detached house completely gutted the down stairs area of the house stripping away all the flooring and litterally made the floor drop to the earth before refitting the wooden floors, I had a nose one night when the builders had gone and saw the wiring was all pulled out where the plugs were and on closer inspection you can dee the metal conduit supplying my house which has plugs similarly located. My question is, is there a plug in device whereby I can plug into myside a power usage reader and i can go along all my border wall plug sockets to see if power is being drawn from those sockets only? Note, I have one of those green....amber...red smart meter indicators and I can sit a night watching the tv and notice the light change from green to amber regularly with everything except the fridge & tv turned off?,& no i dont use electricity for heating as its gas! I had loads of rows with those noisy builders & wonder if they have had the last laugh? any information would be highly appreciated
Jay - 27-Nov-19 @ 6:52 PM
A former downstairs neighbour named Stuart Miller has been cheating me and my handsome fiancé Kenny Whyte out of our joint savings money,falsely claiming he bought the garden seat bench out of his money &,claiming he thinks he going to be conned out of his money and he was going to sell my dad's new garden seat bench for £10 to drug-addict Ross who attacked him. Disrespectful former downstairs Neighbour Stuart Miller is a bully,liar,thief,bank Fraudster and conman and he has OCD!.
Suzybear - 26-Nov-19 @ 12:42 PM
How about The nextdoor neighbours not only have access to all of my digital equipment hardware and softwares emails, telephones etc they have control via WiFi they also have influencers to get you sectioned with Paranoia... So not only they harassed me mentally with their childish games,they have given me a medical condition!... Its called character assassination via DWP or my local council or top universities Be careful of covert operations for benefit or wtfas that's the result on your medical files Now I can't adopt or work thank you allllllllllllllllllll Before she moved in I was happy....
Sam - 3-Oct-19 @ 6:56 PM
My neighbors have been stealing my Wi-Fi they have my iCloud information they break into my home and steal my tools and destroy my property such as my garage door opener in my garage door etc. whom do I contact or can you help me
Nate - 13-Sep-19 @ 6:54 AM
Why is it no one listens these days? If you have an intruder you need a visual before anybody does anything. So asking questions like why are my bills higher than usual when I am a woman living alone, everyone thinks its normal cos bills go up. Then when you find out your neighbour has been accessing your home over two years you begin to put the jigsaw together. Whilst I'm trying to tell people this the intruders realise I am on to them and start to dismantle all the crazy stuff they had done in my home, so when I take action to secure my property its too late to catch them and you realise that for over two years you have paid their bills and lived along side them entering your home when ever they felt like it. It makes me so angry that people like this feel entitled to help themselves and create havoc on another human being and then get away with it. Put me in the middle of a field with no neighbours and would be happy.
Looly - 5-Jul-19 @ 11:50 AM
We have lived in our small village for almost 10 years, strangely after we signed up for Waitrose cards neither of us ever received any mail from them!Then a week or two ago our regular postman came with a letter addressed to us but with next door neighbours address on!The postman had crossed through the first line of the address and said 'I brought it round as knew it was for you' So just who changed the address? worrying, as to why on earth would we write our neighbours address down instead of ours! and how long has this mail been going to next doors and never made it to us before? In this day and age of identity theft! I know next door daughter hates me but this is surely illegal etc?? tampering with mail/fraud/identity theft??
JJ67 - 14-May-19 @ 7:16 PM
I believe neighbors with a key andbeen stealing things from my home intermittently and repeatively since september.In process of doing an inventory of missing items.They also have gone into my car.I am single and they ( couples) want me to move (all have said it)and blame me for the letters they received to park by the bylaws: i amon the board, have talked nicely to one and was called an asswhole. He other husbands have askedwhy dont Imove. So one had the key and knew what was in my loft; gave key to one of the husbands who said to meid loveto go through your loft. I Never thoughtbto change my locks cuz ive kniwn theepeople close to 30 yars, except for theyounger couple in theirvthirties, whomhave been quite rude: Imam over 60 and ADD so not most organized house and my neighbor wh gavekey knew never wanted these people in my house. I believethey sold my household products ( i bought to sell in retirement). So anybsuggestions.I now have an alarm system
M - 14-Apr-19 @ 3:43 PM
I have audio recordings proving my neighbour is entering my home via the attic latch, which means he's accessing the partition wall which I believe is the firewall. The wall has 3 panels and seems to be pretty solid when checked but there is no other explanation how he gets into my side of attic. Would cameras pick anything up being the attic is dark, I need visual proof for police to do anything.
Looly - 22-Mar-19 @ 2:37 AM
My neighbors are doing some work for the landlord and are down on my part several times a week. She has learned when I am home and when I am not. I have come up missing lawn mowers gas cans and several things out of my shed. I have spoken to the landlord about this and locked it all up. Things going missing only stops for a while but never totally stops. Any ideals would be helpful.
At witts end - 5-Mar-19 @ 10:25 PM
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