I Was Robbed: When a Bathroom Remodel Turns Ugly

by Alli

I was robbed! The bathroom refresh I was looking forward to went terribly wrong. I’ve learned a lot from going through this experience. I hope my tips can help you. 

To read the rest of the story, you need to read my article on 5 Things You Need To Know Before Hiring a Contractor.

My bathrooms were recently renovated. The remodeling crew went all the way to the studs and started from scratch, rebuilding both bathrooms.  


What should have been a 2-3 week reno kept going and going. I understand that most remodeling projects take longer than quoted. But after eight weeks and many mistakes, the remodel took another turn for the worse.  

Living Through a Renovation

Living through a renovation and working from home is not my idea of fun – the noise (every time that nail gun went off, I jumped) the mess, the sheetrock dust, the tracking in and out of my house and having to constantly sweep up seemed to be never-ending.  

I’ve never understood why carpenters don’t clean up after themselves. I mean, they make the mess, they should clean it up.

The Process of a Bathroom Redo 

The process always takes longer than planned and costs more than the initial estimate. Always. But the end result (coming to the blog soon) is almost worth it all.  Except for the fact that I was robbed.  Here’s what happened:

After the guest bath was finished (before I pointed out some very sloppy workmanship – more about that in a later post), the crew started on my master bath.

The Day I Realized I Was Robbed

I Was Robbed - Jewelry Box Filled With Rings and Pearls

On Sunday morning, I woke up, started lunch (slow cooker) and got ready for church. When I opened my jewelry box to put on my rings, I noticed that my wedding and engagement rings were missing.  

My anniversary ring was still in the second drawer where I had left it. So, of course, I thought I had taken my rings off in the kitchen (something I rarely do).

After retracing my steps and going through my jewelry box a dozen times, I went on to church, praying that I would find the rings.  

During the service, a thought came to me to look in my jewelry box for another ring – a 1-carat platinum diamond ring – that I didn’t recall seeing that morning.

After returning home from church, I rushed to my bedroom to look in my jewelry box. I couldn’t find the other ring, either. That’s when it hit me that I was robbed!  

I had not misplaced the rings. Someone from the contractor’s crew had stolen them. I promptly burst out crying!

I Was Robbed: When A Bathroom Remodel Turns Ugly

My wedding ring belonged to my grandmother, whom I loved dearly. She passed away when I was 17.  It was handed down to my aunt who passed away a few years ago.  

Then it was handed down to me. The sentimental value far exceeds the monetary value. My engagement ring is very sentimental, too. I mean, I’ve had it for over 33 years!

When my husband returned home from church, he found me adding the finishing touches to lunch while sobbing. Between hiccups, I told him the whole story of how I had not misplaced the rings and that they were stolen.  

Then I got angry. I wanted to waterboard every member of that crew until I found out who had my rings!

I Was Robbed

My husband, who has much more wisdom and patience than I do, waited until after lunch to call the contractor. The contractor said he would get to the bottom of it all.

To make a really long story a tad shorter, a guy the contractor had recently hired had stolen the rings. The contractor said his background check was clean and there was no reason for the boss/owner to know the guy was a thief. I later found out that his background was not clean at all. 

Some of My Jewelry Was Returned

My engagement and wedding rings were returned (Thank God), but the platinum 1-carat has not been recovered. The local sheriff’s office did nothing to try and recover the missing ring or arrest the perpetrator. They knew his name and his address. 

While I was working in a different part of the house or going in and out doing food photography shoots, he was stealing my rings out of my jewelry box. Then he had the audacity to ask his boss if this incident was going to affect his job.  His boss replied, “That ship has sailed. You don’t have a job.” Really???

Dear Construction Worker Thief

Here’s what I’d like to say to the thief who took my rings:

Dear Remodeling Crew Thief,

While I was being nice to you, opening the door for you when I saw that your hands were full, and just being an all-around pleasant person, you were casing my house to see what you could steal. I was robbed by you! 

When I told you, “Have a great weekend” as you were leaving for the day on Friday, I had no idea that you had your pockets stuffed with the rings that have such sentimental value to me, not to mention the monetary value. What made you think you could just help yourself to my stuff and that you wouldn’t get caught?

You were given a chance to come clean and return the 3rd ring, but I assume you had already sold it. Actually, you may have stolen other things that I haven’t missed yet.  (Edited:  He also stole my new shower head for the master bath and diamond earrings that I did not initially miss.)

And to actually think that you would have a job after all of this? You are pathetic and undoubtedly have no conscience whatsoever.

I’m sure you have a mom or grandmother who would be ashamed of your actions. You never sent word that you were sorry. There are two things I can’t stand  – a liar and a thief – and you are both of these things. 

Because of you, I’m much more suspicious of people than I ever was. One day I had to run errands and left the remainder of the contractor’s crew in my home working, I almost counted the gifts under the tree before I left.  

I did make sure there was nothing of value stored in my jewelry box. And it’s all your fault that I don’t trust people working in my home and that I have to hide jewelry before leaving the house.

Eventually, I will forgive you for your blatant disregard of my property. But for now, I want you to suffer for what you did.  That’s the reason I’ve pressed charges. I hope you spend time in jail.  You should pay for what you’ve done.

Please Note:  This is not a reflection on all contractors or their crews.  Most of them are professional, hard-working craftsmen that excel in what they do.  I’ve had to remind myself not to let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.  

Have you ever had an experience like this?  How did you handle it?


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Robin Rue (@massholemommy) January 11, 2016 - 6:06 am

How terrible that someone you hired would do such a thing to you, but I am SO HAPPY you got your rings back.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Me, too! I hope I get the other one back, too.

Megan Elford January 11, 2016 - 7:31 am

That’s awful!! I can’t believe someone would stoop so low :-(. I have never had a contractor work in my house, but I do tend to be pretty suspicious of people. We get alot of door-to-door salespeople, wanting to “come in and look at our water heater” or some other thing. I always say no! You never know if they’re legit or not.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:43 pm

I will be more suspicious now and will think twice before hiring someone to do remodeling work.

Esther @ The Cuteness January 11, 2016 - 8:04 am

That is SO awful. I’m so sorry you experienced that. My husband thinks I’m paranoid by not wanting to leave the house when workers are there (even workers who have been working for him for years), but you really can’t trust anyone, and I’ve had something similar happen to me before. It’s a terrible thing to go through.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:37 pm

I will never trust a worker in my home again. I hate it, but I guess I was a little too trusting. The contractor was a friend of a friend and I let my guard down too much. Oh, well, live and learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jaime Nicole January 11, 2016 - 8:47 am

It is so difficult to know who to trust sometimes. I tend to trust most people until they give me a reason not to, and of course by that time it’s too late. I am glad that you got most of the items returned.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:35 pm

It IS difficult to know who to trust and I’m like you, I generally trust people. They guy was really nice, but I guess that doesn’t mean much these days.

Zan January 11, 2016 - 9:43 am

Oh Alli, this is terrible. I am so sorry that you experienced this robbery in your own home. Isn’t that something? The least he could do is apologize for what he did. And to think he still had his job still – some people really have no heart! He should totally realize what he has done was wrong. So sorry it had to end up all the in the hands of the authorities. He definitely put you in a tough spot. Glad you have your wedding rings back but he needs to come clean with that diamond. The only robbery we experience was when someone stole our new AC unit part for drug sale uses.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:34 pm

He did lose his job and when I filed charges, the detective later called and said the guy had a long rap sheet, so the contractor lied about that (among other things – it got even uglier). I have more to post later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shalama January 11, 2016 - 9:52 am

OH heck! Sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience. I am glad to hear you got some of your stuff back though.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:33 pm

Thanks! It was a horrible experience, but I won’t be so trusting next time.

Amber C January 11, 2016 - 11:07 am

Wow! I hope you filed a police report, so he isn’t tempted to do this again. I am happy to hear you got your special rings back. I can not stand it when people are dishonest!

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:32 pm

I did file a police report. They are checking all the area pawn shops. And I found out the guy had a rap sheet a mile long.

Diana January 11, 2016 - 12:47 pm

You poor thing! I would feel so violated! Ugh the audacity to ask if that would effect his job? Really?! Like you would want that man in your house! I would have pressed charges so he would have something on his record for the next time.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:32 pm

I did press charges. The detective called me a couple of days ago and said the guy had a rap sheet a mile long. I guess the contractor lied about that, too (among so many other lies).

Kristen from The Road to Domestication January 11, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Geeze, that’s awful!!! When I was growing up, we had our carpet replaced in our house. The day after everything was done, my mom wasn’t able to find her wedding ring or engagement ring. And they were SO beautiful! To this day she has never found them – and they even MOVED in May, so you’d think, if anything was to be found, it would have been. They questioned the carpet folks for a while, but nothing was ever returned.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:31 pm

That is so terrible! If I ever have anyone working in my home again, I’m going to hide all my valuables! My husband’s Rolex that I gave him years ago was on the other end of the dresser in the case. Thank God the thief was too stupid to see it.

Miranda (Anosa) January 11, 2016 - 3:02 pm

OMG I can not believe it, contractors are trusted with more than just our homes but everything and he’s audacity to steal and think it wouldn’t affect his work is crazy, glad you got almost all your items back.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:27 pm

I know! I’ll never trust strangers in my home again.

Mary January 11, 2016 - 3:07 pm

Noooo. That is awful. I struggle with acts of such. I alway think to myself …. This is fundamentally black and white. One does not steal. End of story I don’t understand what’s so difficult about that or any other basic fundamental right or wrong act. Oh don’t get me started!! I’m glad you had some resolution but so sorry that now your trust has been tainted ? So confusing to understand. So sorry, Alli

Alli January 11, 2016 - 3:27 pm

Thanks! I was a complete wreck for a couple of weeks. I guess I’m just too trusting.

Angelic Sinova January 11, 2016 - 4:11 pm

Oh my, that is horrible! The worst thing is when something of huge sentimental value is stolen because the honestly can never be replaced! I’m just so happy the rings were returned!

Wendy January 11, 2016 - 5:33 pm

He couldn’t really have asked if it would affect his job!! I guess you can add not very intelligent to his list of bad qualities! Sorry this was such a bad experience for you.

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai January 11, 2016 - 7:02 pm

Oh, Alli, this is so sad. I am glad you were able to recover at least the two rings. I am so glad you pressed charges–he does deserve to be in trouble for this. More than likely, his background check was clean because someone felt sorry for him and did not press charges before. If you had let him go, he would have just done this again to someone else, client and contracting company. Let’s face it, the contractor is another victim of this thief’s crime, his company and its reputation.

When we had a flood in our house, Luke made sure that our valuables were locked up and even some items removed from the house. At the time, I thought it was overkill, nothing would happen. But, I have since heard several stories of things just like yours happening, and am so thankful that I had Luke to help me and make sure our belongings were safe.

I hope that someday you will still recover your last ring. But your complete faith in humankind can never be fully restored–yet another thing that thief stole from you. So sorry for your bad experience.

Life With Lorelai

Alli January 11, 2016 - 8:16 pm

The thought never crossed my mind that one of the guys would steal from me. A few days ago when the detective assigned to my case called to check in, he told me that the guy had a rap sheet a mile long. So I guess the contractor lied trying to protect himself. Things got worse after that, but that’s a whole new post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Luke is a smart guy!

Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction January 11, 2016 - 7:03 pm

So sorry to hear about your ordeal. I’m glad you got some of your jewelry back. Being from New York, I’m not as trusting but it could happen to anyone.

Alli January 11, 2016 - 8:13 pm

I am way too trusting, Annamaria! Well, I was. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maureen January 11, 2016 - 7:19 pm

OMG! What a nightmare! Although I am glad you got some of your rings back it is so sad that the other one is still missing. Sigh. I hope by God, that He will bless you with a replacement ring soon. You are such a lovely lady and you don’t deserve this. Sending you hugs!

Alli January 11, 2016 - 8:13 pm

Thank you so much, Maureen! I’m just glad I was home or he may have stolen bigger items other than things he could stuff in his pants pockets. I also wonder what would have happened if I had walked into my bedroom at the same time he was going through my jewelry box.

Franc Ramon January 11, 2016 - 8:24 pm

It’s really hard when things get stolen. It sets off an alarm button that keeps you from trusting people. It’s even harder that it came from the construction company doing your bathroom.

Chantal January 11, 2016 - 9:19 pm

I am so sorry that this happened to you! What a terrible experience, I cannot believe someone could do that to your family.

Nicole January 11, 2016 - 9:28 pm

I am so glad you were able to get your rings back I can’t imagine how heart-wrenching that must have felt, not knowing if you would ever get them back again, what an invasion of trust and privacy! I have never had anything taken from my home, but I did have my cell phone and wristlet stolen at a party once (granted not heirlooms or highly sentimental objects) and that for lack of better term, sucked.

Christina December 23, 2016 - 10:08 am

Yes, it’s great that she was able to retrieve belongings back and unfortunate that the incident occurred at all. Hopefully, you were able to repair the incident you experienced without much hassle.

[email protected] January 11, 2016 - 10:28 pm

I’m so sorry this happened. A few years ago, I hired a cleaning service for my grandmother for Mother’s Day. Same story… One of the girls stole her wedding ring, engagement ring, a ring that had been my late great-grandmother’s, and another multi-diamond ring. By the time she realized they were missing, they had already been sold to a pawn shop. I wrote all about it on my blog if you’d like to check it out.

As a result, the girl did spend a year in jail, but the sentimental value had no price.

Alli January 12, 2016 - 7:26 am

I’m headed over to read all about this on your blog. I can’t believe that something you intended as a gift for Mother’s Day turned into one of the girls stealing from your grandmother. How very sad. I’m glad she spent a year in jail, but I hate that the rings were not recovered.

Emma Spellman January 12, 2016 - 1:22 am

I really hope that by pressing charges you scare him in a way that he will do whatever it takes to get that other ring. Now he is jobless, and I hope this will be on his record now, so it won’t happen to someone else. I have had sentimental things stolen from me, and it just sucks. You think in your head what you could have done to prevent it, but ultimately there is no going back and fixing what they have done.

Alli January 12, 2016 - 7:24 am

I found out this past week from the detective that he already had a long rap sheet. The contractor must have lied about that.

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly January 12, 2016 - 3:18 am

Ugh! Yes, but not totally through my own doing. My mom is post opp after a major surgery with a long recovery time, her doctor put in for a part time home health attendant (she wanted to recover in her own home and not the hospital), and one of them stole some stuff. We called the agency and I started my own investigation, I can find anyone’s address and phone number eerily quickly, I found her facebook page and let her know I called her agency and that I knew where she and her family members lived and if she didn’t want me outside her doorstep that night when it was late and the neighborhood was quiet she better bring back everything and I meant it. Everything. She did the next day, she couldn’t even look me in the eye. Her stupid, simpering apology made me want to use years of martial arts training and snap her in half. I can totally relate to how you felt. I too was always very nice to her and now I trust no one.

Alli January 12, 2016 - 7:22 am

I did not realize that this kind of thing was so common nowadays. Health attendants stealing from patients? That’s just wrong on so many levels! Glad you took matters in your own hands and got everything back.

Ave January 12, 2016 - 7:43 am

What an ugly story! I’m so glad you got back your two most important rings and hopefully, the third one finds it’s way back to you too! My husband is really suspicious of people, so we always try to have everything important out of sight and in a safe place before we have any people we don’t know going through our house.

Bites for Babies January 12, 2016 - 8:51 pm

Wow, that’s horrible! It makes you second guess who you allow into your home…even though they are supposed to be professionals!

Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy January 13, 2016 - 12:21 am

What a horrible thing to happen. I would be in tears, too. My ex husband hired a contractor from the newspaper. After he started work on the job, then he tells my husband that he only hires ex felons!! I pretty much had a heart attack at that point. Thankfully, nothing was stolen.

Kiwi January 13, 2016 - 3:43 am

I am so happy your wedding and engagement rings of sentimental value was returned. I know that was devastating! I got my laptop stolen last year with using a restaurant I have never been to valet service! Valet stole my laptop…they had to…so I know how it feel to put your trust in people when it’s their job to take care of your private property. Sorry you didnt get the other 1 carat ring back but I hope that person does spend a little time in jail for what they have done. Thieves are the worst!

Shirley Wood January 14, 2016 - 11:07 am

We came home from work one day, years ago, to find that our home had been burglarized. I don’t know what’s worse, knowing who robbed you or not knowing. Either way it causes you to lose trust in your fellow human beings and feel violated at the same time. I’m so glad you got 2 of your rings back. I hope the judge throws the book at him. I most definitely wouldn’t trust the contractor again. He probably didn’t even do a background check.

Kathleen January 25, 2016 - 9:43 am


Wow, I’m so sorry this happened to you. I can’t imagine this happening. When we had our house for sale (by owner), we always put our safe and anything else of value in the car which my husband drove around (with our dogs) while I showed the house. I hate feeling like people are casing our houses, but it happens. I hope you get your third ring back.

Christina October 24, 2016 - 10:34 am

It’s very unfortunate that you had to deal with these problems when you should have been enjoying your new remodel. Those items were very valuable and you deserved to keep them both for a lifetime before passing them down.

Kassis September 12, 2018 - 9:19 am

You should have mentioned the company in your article. It happened the same thing with me here In cincinatti OHio. We hired a contractor trusted them and their subcontractor stole more than 8 thousand in merchandise from my house and as We didnโ€™t have camera besides the Ring doorbell Camera , police said they canโ€™t do nothing about it without a proof of their stealing in camera besides the camera catching them talking about the stuff they stole. What hurts mostly is the fact that the contractor did nothing, about it as well. we runned a Back G check and their employees after the incident and they had a past… now I cry everyday seen one of the guys having the audacide of posting his family pictures wearing or using or even with my stuff which I still have the receipt for and I canโ€™t do nothing about it. ๐Ÿ™ I had to sell my house cause I am in so much stress and scared of the type of people they put into my house. Something that was supposed to be fun and enlightly turned to be a nightmare in my Life!! so It is fustrating…

Susan Cothran September 20, 2018 - 7:30 pm

My husband and I are going through this very thing right now! Our master bath remodel began on Sept 6, 2018. That VERY day one of the 3 demolition crew members stole my husband’s 18 kt wedding ring. It was the ONLY jewelry we didn’t lock up. We’ve been together for over 4 decades, so you can imagine how upset we are. We’ve had nothing but problems with the project specialist (basically the leader of the project). I will only share a FEW. We chose a well-known home improvement store that starts with the letter “L” to do this remodel. Not nearly enough has been done since they tore everything out of our master bath on Sept 6th. It is now Sept 20. MANY days have gone by with nobody showing up at our home. We are SO disappointed…angry!! We were PROMISED they would be working on our bathroom EVERY SINGLE DAY. LIES. Yesterday I called the project specialist about a litany of issues and then I mentioned to him that we didn’t want ANYONE to ever enter our home again without telling us who they are and that we want them to say GOODBYE when they leave. He said, “They don’t ever say goodbye – that is just how it is.” I just kept talking saying that we want to know who they are when they arrive and want them to say GOODBYE when they leave. NO MORE sneaking out. I told him that after the ring was stolen that my husband and I have been very upset and nervous about having strange people in our home and we can’t relax. He said, “What ring. I know nothing about a stolen ring. If a ring went missing your HUSBAND needs to find it.” THAT was the limit. I was SO angry!!!! Today I went to the “L” store and sat with the manager of the entire store and had a very productive 20-minute meeting with him about his project specialist. I went through each and every time that he has addressed me in a derogatory manner or made a mistake of assuming I had no brain. I told him about yesterday’s conversation on the phone about him arguing about whether people had to say goodbye when they left our home and where he said “What ring. I know nothing about a stolen ring. If a ring went missing your HUSBAND needs to find it!” Needless to say โ€“ I was so angry that the project specialist is now done and dusted! The workers actually came back this afternoon and the work is now getting DONE – and the men entering my home this afternoon seem a lot more respectful!! I don’t CARE if “L” doesn’t like me or the company they have contracted to do the work doesn’t like me, but they darn well better ACT as if they do. We are paying an obscene amount of money and this is our home, not theirs. We will never see the ring again. It was stolen Sept. 6 and the man that probably stole it lives REALLY far from here. The police have been NO help at all – they even told us we won’t see the ring again. Another thing I did is force the “L” store manager to give me the name, address and phone # of the contractor that “L” was using on my remodel. He REALLY didn’t want to give it to me. BUT I got it. We will deal with them and get the money for that ring if it is the last thing we do. Weโ€™re going to have another made exactly like the old one.

ELTEC June 9, 2019 - 3:10 pm

How long does a bathroom makeover usually take?

Alli June 9, 2019 - 4:16 pm

It’s according to how much remodeling is being done. I was told mine would be about two weeks but it took over 3 months.


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