By Kurtis Ming

ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – A woman says her bank let her safe deposit box vanish. And she’s not the only one.

Susan Nomi says when she went to open her Bank of America safe deposit box of 16 years, the entire box was gone.

That’s where she kept her family’s jewelry and her dad’s coin collection.

“I was in shock; I was just like what happened to my box,” said Nomi.

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She says Bank of America can’t explain where her valuables went.

“They don’t have an answer. They don’t have an answer. They say thanks for letting us know,” she says.

Nomi was infuriated, especially considering she is a retired Bank of America employee of 40 years. And she’s not alone. Others have complained that Bank of America drilled their safe deposit boxes without permission or notice.

Wendy Woo says her belongings were taken out of her safe deposit box and shipped to her.

“Everything was dumped in a plastic bag,” said Woo.

She says a ring was missing a stone and a necklace was damaged in the process.

“Safe deposit box….that’s what it’s for, safe,” she said.

Another family reported getting their safe deposit contents shipped back too, but claim $17,000 in jewelry was missing.

Then another woman who just wants to be identified as Maggie says, “I just got robbed from the bank.” “They just took my stuff,” she exclaimed.

Federal rules say banks can drill a box without permission only when there is a court order, search warrant, delinquent rental fees, requests from estate administrators, or if the bank is closing a branch.

However, none of those reasons applies to any of these cases. Safe deposit box consultant Dave Guinn trains bank employees on proper safe deposit box procedures. He says federal law requires that banks give customers adequate notice.

“A notification should be made either by registered letter or by certified receipt letter,” said Guinn.

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Bank of America has said it does “…notify customers by mail in accordance with law well in advance prior to drilling a box.”

Nomi’s not buying it and says, “I worked for them. It’s not like they couldn’t get a hold of me or anything.”

Bank of America still can’t explain what happened to her valuables but said, “We certainly understand how frustrating this matter is for Mrs. Nomi and we are working with her on a resolution. We are looking at this situation to help us identify opportunities to help avoid similar events in the future as we continue to work on improving service to our customers.”

She says, “I can’t ever replace it. It’s irreplaceable, doesn’t matter how much its worth.”

After we got involved, she told us the bank agreed to cut her a check.

The Bank of America also paid to fix Mrs. Woo’s damaged jewelry but left each of them wondering how safe a safe deposit box is.

Nomi has advice for others: “Check what’s in your box,” and “If you haven’t been in it for a while, make sure it’s there.”

The Bank of America rental agreement says they could terminate your rental agreement for your safe deposit box if you don’t give proper identification when requested. The customers in these incidents say that does not apply to their cases.

Banks have strict regulations they must follow, one being they have to have two keys to get into a box, yours and theirs. Plus, if a box has been drilled open, the bank must have a record of it being drilled.

If this has happened to you or someone you know, click here to file a complaint.

Comments (36)
  1. Is there a single bank that isn’t corrupt?

  2. Looks like BofA is following Wells Fargo lead in customer satisfaction

  3. Put up or pay up B of A. I had a million dollar stamp collection in mine…

  4. David King says:

    mmmmmmmmm what did both sides do during the 30’S in Germany? Govt. and Bankers and you wonder why so many people died is the lesson ever learned????????

  5. as usual when are they going to be accountable ?

  6. This happened to me recently as well. I was lucky, my stuff was still in the box. But I was told they couldn’t find a record of it in their computer system, but managed to find a paper copy of my contract which didn’t have an account number on it. What kind of a bank does this?

    1. Sadly, it may be indicative of today’s workforce. Many of us older career employees whom were taught a strong work ethic are no longer working. Instead we have a new class of worker; those with one eye on the clock waiting for quitting time and the other eye on their next raise. When they aren’t watching those two things, their nose is buried in their smartphone sending texts and selfies. Gone are the people that remember ‘the customer comes first’; gone are the people that know how to make change in their heads without a calculator; gone are the employees that know the importance of good record-keeping. It is also most likely these days that the employee that may have opened one’s box/accounts doesn’t even work at the bank now; they have moved on; gotten fired or simply quit*. Thus, many of their mistakes, inadequacies and lack of good work ethics may not be discovered until the customer is faced with a major problem.

      If these somewhat ‘successful people’ can’t stick it out like previous generations did; it should be no surprise that those workers on the bottom rungs have no ambition for anything.

  7. Over many decades there have been numerous ‘independent news sources’ warnings of these very things coming, but people mock the warnings as ‘conspiracy theories’. How far will it have to go? When savings/checking accounts vaporize will people believe the ‘crackpot warnings’ then? With regard to money – notice the bills say ‘Federal Reserve Note’ – the people don’t actually ‘own’ that money…the Federal Reserve does; they are only granting the holder permission to use it. But they can, and do, at times, simply confiscate it on a whim. The people haven’t owned money since Gold and Silver Certificates – which were payable in actual gold and silver, which has real value – were done away with. Federal Reserve Notes are backed by nothing. We’re in the middle of a huge Ponzi scheme.

  8. Ning N Nang Vang says:

    same thing happen to my brother in Dallas, his safety box gone missing from Bank of American recently too, 50k gone along with other valuable, no notice or anything like they said so who is responsible for the lose and he is not the only victim in this case there are others as well at the same bank..If safety box is not safe in a bank the only good way now is bury all your good in the ground like the old days!!!

  9. Pete Nito says:

    I search this website because can’t believe it’s happened to my mother right now. We went to the bank (B of A) because we (her kids) told her it’s not safe to put her money and valuables to a safe box in the bank. And now after 3 yrs of not visiting her box we found it was drilled and box is empty all her belonging was missing. The banker told us she have no idea what happened to it. It’s Friday afternoon and East Coast are already closed ( main office I think) she told us. So she just promise she will call us on Monday 9- 24-18 and see what happened to her box, why they drilled it even she have an active bank account and where her stuff.Their is no record at all. The banker look on their system if she can ID what going on but nothing. My mother B and A branch is at 104th st. Kent Washington.

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