This is the second installation in the story. See pt. 1 here.
When I answered the door, expecting to see Stefan after a long day of work, I came across a family member to the person in question of stealing our canoe--their mother. Again, we had a good relationship with this family and I was surprised. I didn't remember my manners and ended up talking to her in the hallway while I was half shielded by my door. I was still a little bit guarded from the morning's information and I didn't want to speak too much--not only did I not want to regret any words, but I really wanted to try to be wise, and not sound accusatory. She was crying and so confused about the whole thing. Her child would possibly have this on their record if we decided to have the police write up the report, which would ruin their possible career choice in the near future, since a black mark for stolen property is a big deal once you're an adult.
I told her I didn't know what to say. I bumbled around something, both a little annoyed at Stefan that he wasn't home yet from work, and annoyed at myself when she left--feeling that because I was startled by her presence I didn't give any gracious remarks to her, let alone explain myself very well. Later, I found out she went around to all the neighbors to ask them about what had happened.
The whole time this is going on, I'm thinking to myself that we're in a rock and a hard place. If we let it go (and there was an eyewitness, who had reported what she saw to the police), we'd be out a canoe--our family's one real luxury aside from a Netflix subscription! On the other hand--it's just a canoe. It was inexpensive, bought on craigslist, and I don't want to ruin someone's life because of a stupid $150 stolen boat. On top of that, we'd just had such a hard year. This all smarted.
The next day the officer came by again and told us our options. He also told us he was heading off -duty for his bi-weekly 4-5 days off. He asked us what we wanted to do and we agreed some time to think would be beneficial. It was at the right time, too, because we were headed out camping for two nights and three days, and maybe with the advice (and prayers) of others we'd feel strongly one way or another. Or there might be a third way.
Stayed tuned for installment 3.