By Kurtis Ming

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sarita Prasad said her bank lost $6,000 of jewelry she’d put in her safe deposit box.

When she said the bank refused to investigate further, she called Kurtis.

Consumers rent safe deposit boxes to keep important things safe — but Prasad said the key didn’t work, and when Chase drilled it open, her jewelry wasn’t there.

How could that happen?

A few family photos are all she had left of her expensive gold jewelry, including a $5,000 gold necklace.

“My husband had bought it for me,” she told Call Kurtis.

A safe deposit box slip maintained by the bank proves she accessed the box in 2012, when she said she locked the necklace in her box.

But the bank said her keys to that box didn’t work, and after the bank drilled into it, Prasad found the box empty, bringing her to tears.

“There’s a lot of sentimental value to it,” she said. “I don’t think any money’s going to be able to replace it.”

After several weeks, she said the bank couldn’t explain where it went, and she said they even blamed her.

“Most people don’t expect this to ever occur,” said consumer attorney Stuart Talley.

Many consumers may not realize banks aren’t responsible for theft or damage to safe deposit boxes. Talley said they must keep accurate records of who accesses your box.

But that bank slip shows Prasad properly signed into her box in 2012, but where a bank employee was supposed to sign off, the slip is empty.

Talley said that goes against protocol.

“When they lose the items, they’re responsible,” he said.

After we got involved, Chase found Prasad’s jewelry, saying, “There was a second safe deposit box with the same last three digits.”

Chase wouldn’t share any other information about what happened but said mixups like this are “very infrequent.”

Prasad finally got her gold jewelry back, and doesn’t plan to keep it in a Chase safe deposit box any longer.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said.

Chase apologized to Prasad for the hassle, but the spokesperson declined to tell us how this all happened.

Safe deposit boxes are regulated by the US Treasury Department , but the contents of those boxes are not insured in case of theft or other damage.


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