Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

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TemerityB
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Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by TemerityB » July 20th 2019, 9:16pm

From The New York Times - this man lost a fortune, and some incredible watches, because ... well, you'll see. Amazing and revolting.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/19/busi ... -ios-share

In the early 1980s, when Philip Poniz moved to New Jersey from Colorado, he needed a well-protected place to stash his collection of rare watches. He had been gathering unusual pieces since he was a teenager in 1960s Poland, fascinated by their intricate mechanics. His hobby became his profession, and by the time of his relocation, Mr. Poniz was an internationally known expert in the history and restoration of high-end timepieces.

At first, he kept his personal collection in his house, but as it grew, he wanted something more secure. The vault at his neighborhood bank seemed ideal. In 1983, he signed a one-page lease agreement with First National State Bank of Edison in Highland Park, N.J., for a safe deposit box.

Over the next few decades, the bank — a squat brick building on a low-rise suburban street — changed hands many times. First National became First Union, which was sold to Wachovia, which was then bought by Wells Fargo. But its vault remained the same. A foot-thick steel door sheltered cabinets filled with hundreds of stacked metal boxes, each protected by two keys. The bank kept one; the customer held the other. Both were required to open a box.

In 1998, Mr. Poniz rented several additional boxes, and stored in them various items related to his work. He separated a batch of personal effects — photographs, coins he had inherited from his grandfather, dozens of watches — into a box labeled 105. Every time he opened it, he saw the glinting accumulation of his life’s work.

Then, on April 7, 2014, he lifted the thin metal lid. Box 105 was empty.
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by biglove » July 20th 2019, 10:38pm

NYT pay to read. That and The Washington Post. 🥴

From what was able to glean from internet searches is the guy had a few million $ in watches lifted with a transfer of his box at some point?
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by MAX » July 21st 2019, 5:58am

Ill bet they still charged him for every year knowing Wells Fargo. I went through the FN/FU/Wachovia/Wells Fargo transitions and dropped my safety box with them many years ago.

In Kansas City I went to get something out of my SD box and found the entire vault had been moved to another city!!!!!! Needless to say I didnt stay with them.

NOTHING is safe anymore if it even ever was.
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by TemerityB » July 21st 2019, 8:10am

biglove wrote:NYT pay to read. That and The Washington Post. 🥴

From what was able to glean from internet searches is the guy had a few million $ in watches lifted with a transfer of his box at some point?


Basically. This is all still hard to stomach. CRIPES, I worked in a bank and those boxes were considered holy grail.... but this was decades ago when people were not only competent but actually gave a shit about each other.
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by svaglic » July 21st 2019, 6:37pm

Thunder1 wrote:Ahh, another leave it, lock it, and lose it story..hope the victim had insurance...


That is a good point.
I wonder if insurance companies think safe deposit boxes are safe and are more likely to insure them if that is where they are kept. Then you would have an insurance company in on the legal stuff if the watches went missing. Insurance company’s vs banks, it could prove entertaining.
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by gerdson » July 22nd 2019, 2:03am

In Germany the banks will typically also limit insurance, eg up to a couple of ten thousand EUR max. If You want a higher insurance, then You need to ask a specialized insurance company.
However... how can You really prove the items were in the box? An inventory and pictures is fine, but the insurance companies will never know. So I am afraid an insurance covering really very high values will either be very expensive and/or You will also have to fight with them when trying to prove Your actual losses.
In the examples in the linked article there appears to be a certain level of "lack of due diligence" by the bank institutions. But also from the owners.
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Re: Even Safe Deposit Boxes Aren't Safe

Post by Britboy » July 22nd 2019, 7:45am

TemerityB wrote:
biglove wrote:NYT pay to read. That and The Washington Post. 🥴

From what was able to glean from internet searches is the guy had a few million $ in watches lifted with a transfer of his box at some point?


Basically. This is all still hard to stomach. CRIPES, I worked in a bank and those boxes were considered holy grail.... but this was decades ago when people were not only competent but actually gave a shit about each other.



Yes, those days have long gone
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