Today something weird happened to me at work - I was accused of stealing a ring by my company's security personnel. Of course, I didn't do it; I even helped my colleague to try to find the ring. My question is at the end, but first I want to tell the whole history so you can have the full context before posting your answers/opinions.
Today, after lunch, I went to the bathroom. When I entered there, one of my colleagues was washing his hands. When I was ready, after drying my hands when I was about to leave the bathroom, I saw another person entering there. Everything normal, I went back to my cube to continue working, when some minutes later my colleague (the one I found in the bathroom) came next to me and ask me if I have seen a gold ring in the bathroom, next to the sink. I tend not to notice stuff like that, and I don't have good memory for that kind of things (I can't even remember what I ate for lunch), however I thought that I could have remembered who entered to the bathroom after me, so I told him to join me in searching this guy through the second floor, but sadly we couldn't find him.
I told him to ask the security personnel, as they have cameras everywhere, so they will be able to check on who entered the bathroom during the same time lapse - at least, that way we can have one more person to ask if they saw anything in there.
The funny thing was that, closely to finish my shift, one of the security personnel guards came next to me and told me to follow him to a meeting room close to my cube. I followed him, we entered the room, and he told me to sit down, that we need to talk. The conversation was something like this: (I'm not an English native speaker, so excuse me if something does not sound right)
Guard: Let's do this quick and simple - give me the ring before everything turns out worst.
Me: Sorry, I'm not following. You are looking for XXXX (my colleague's name) ring, right?
Guard: We have a video that shows you entering the bathroom right after him. We now you have the ring. Give it to me.
Me: I entered the bathroom when XXXX was in there, and I know he lost his ring. I even helped him searching the ring. This is the first time someone says to me something like this. Are you accusing me of having stolen the ring?
Guard: We checked the video, and when you came back to your cube, we saw you doing a weird movement with your hands, and putting something in your pant's back pocket.
Me: Ok, what pocket? The right one? That's where I keep my badge, look (and I showed him my badge ID Card, which is required to enter to every place in my company building)
(Just in case, the guard had one of those microphones/earphones bodyguard-style in his ear, so I guess the rest of the security personnel was listening to our conversation at that moment)
Guard: Wait a second, seems like we had a mistake. My colleagues are checking the video again and effectively there's a second person entering the bathroom right after you. Seems like this was a misunderstanding - ok, and they are reviewing the video and seems like the thing you put in your back pocket was indeed your badge ID Card.
Me: So, what do we do from here? I mean, you were accusing me of stealing just a moment ago.
Guard: Yes, I'm very sorry - we have to take action quick, before the end of shift, because everyone goes home and it's hard to identify suspects if not in the same day. Do you remember how the other person was dressed?
Me: Not really, I don't pay attention to those details - but you have the cameras, right? I mean, you can check that yourself, don't you?
Guard: Yes, you are right. We are very sorry.
After apologizing again, we came out of the meeting room and I got back to finish my work.
At first, it was funny - I thought "LOL, they thought I was stealing... how funny is that!". But then, I spoke with a couple of colleagues (included my team leader), and they were really concerned, because accusing someone from stealing to another colleague (or just stealing, for that matter) is a very hard offense. I didn't take it that way by then, and I think the guard's apology was sincere. But then, at home and after telling my wife about this story, she told me that the best way to go was to leave a formal statement of what happened in HR or with my Manager, so it's clear for everyone what the accusation was all about.
I think my wife is really wise, so I probably will follow her advice and leave a formal communication tomorrow with my Manager, but I wonder what do you think?
Is this an incident that I should report to HR? If not, as stealing is a criminal offense, is a good idea to report this to my local Police Department?
In addition, Is it good to involve other parties at the very moment you get an accusation like this?. For example, should I have called my Team Leader at the very moment the guard accused me of stealing, so he could have been there during the interrogation?