As we came back to the house I spotted Ethan's scooter left visible in the garden just waiting to be stolen.
I told Ethan he should have tidied it away securely.
Later we left the house and when I returned, on my own, I noticed Ethan's scooter had still been left out. Ethan had ignored me and hadn't tidied it away despite my threats that it might be stolen.
So I hid it.
When Ethan came home I congratulated him for tidying away his scooter. He looked to the place where there had been a discarded scooter and found a void. He was worried. It had been stolen.
"Can we phone a non emergency police number?" he asked.
"What, because someone was silly enough not to tidy it away and left it in full view?" I replied. "I don't think so."
We talked about how much the scooter was worth to him and whether he would be prepared to pay a reward for its return. I offered to create a poster and Ethan agreed that he'd pay £20 to get it back.
I said that if he gave me £20 then I'd get it back to him (obviously via my links to the criminal underworld). It was a deal.
Ethan went to his room and looked in every nook and cranny and managed to scrape together £19 in change. His Dad lent him a pound.
He came to me and gave me the handful of coins.
I came clean and we did a different deal. He could have the scooter back and most of the money but I'd keep one pound and donate it to a local charity. I also said I'd "steal" anything else that might be left in unsecured location and he wouldn't get it back without a donation to charity.
He thinks he's learnt his lesson. What do you think? Should I have kept the £20? Am I too evil for words?