My friend needed to clean her house and I let her borrow my vacuum. It’s been over a month and she still hasn’t returned it. She said she had asked me to pick it up the following day, but I never agreed to it and she only half mentioned it and wasn’t clear. I really need my vacuum back. I’ve tried emailing, calling and texting her and most of the time I don’t get a response. This isn’t fully unusual because where she lives has almost no cellphone reception. When she does reply she says she’s been busy but since it’s over a month this is ridiculous. What are my options? I can only think of reporting it stolen to the police but I really like her and don’t want to get her in trouble. I could try telling her I’m going to report it stolen if she doesn’t give it back. Just to be clear I haven’t actually seen her in over a month.

It's not a super expensive vacuum but I need it to clean my place, and I don't understand what the deal is. I told her I consider this stealing and she said she doesn't want my vacuum.

  • 10
    Is there some reason you haven't just gone over to her house to fetch it? This situation seems to have gone way past the 'she'll bring it back' stage ..
    – brhans
    Sep 7, 2017 at 20:12
  • @brhans I did go to her house but no one was home. Sep 8, 2017 at 7:38
  • 3
    Have you tried asking her when someone will be home? Feb 16, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    Was a note left when you had a fruitless visit? Saying something to the effect that she could leave it with a mutual friend/colleague for you to collect? I would be suspecting that it's broken, and she can't bring herself to admit it.
    – Tim
    Jun 10, 2019 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


Reporting a non-returned vacuum to the police seems rather severe and very unlikely to produce any results (I would actually recommend not wasting your or the police's time with such a matter).

I'd send a text as follows,

Hey Alice! Need to get that vacuum back from you. I'll stop by tomorrow at 6 after work to pick it up. If you're not around, leave it outside somewhere hidden and let me know where it is so I can just grab it. Thanks!

You're not asking, you're telling her you will be at her place to get the vacuum and she doesn't even have to be there for it! (Could it get more convenient?) If she doesn't respond to it before 6 the next day, you can either wait for a response or take the risk of just showing up at 6 and hoping she's there.

If you just never hear from her again, consider it a gift and get a new vacuum.

  • 1
    I agree. In a situation like this, you just have to drop by. If it were me, I wouldn't even message her and let her know. I'd just drop by when I know for a fact she is home. A knock on the door and say something like "your landlord/mom/boyfriend is coming over and need it urgently". That way, no feelings are hurt and you get it. If you still don't get it, "consider it a gift" it is! :) Sep 7, 2017 at 20:51
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    @CrazyCucumber I did go to her house but no one was home. Sep 8, 2017 at 7:38
  • 2
    Sadly, you may have learned that you can't loan things to this person and expect to get them back. Oct 4, 2017 at 16:41
  • This. Legally speaking: Not returning something you legally borrowed is not a crime in most jurisdictions, so police will most likely not get involved. The correct legal remedy would be to sue in a civil court - however, that may not be worth it.
    – sleske
    Aug 1, 2022 at 12:05

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