No safety for deposit box users at Chase


At least $20,000 has been taken from safe deposit boxes at the Chase Bank branch located at 5656 Riverdale Ave., police and victims said.

Riverdale resident Noel Muldoon said that on Feb. 10 he discovered $10,000 — “all of my wedding presents”— stolen from his safe deposit box.

Another Riverdale resident, who did not want to give her name because she awaiting payment in a lawsuit over the issue, said that last year, on July 26, she also discovered $10,000 missing from her safe deposit box.

So far in 2011, two incidents involving money being swiped from safe deposit boxes at the Riverdale Avenue location have been reported, an NYPD spokesman said. The first crime was reported on Jan. 20. Police would not say how much money was taken.

“There have been a handful of instances here in the precinct where victims said they stored cash in a safe deposit box, and the cash was stolen from the box at some point,” the 50th Precinct’s Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo said in an e-mail.

The woman who discovered her money missing in July said she last saw her cash on Jan. 30, 2010. When she returned to the bank in July the manager said the same key she had previously given to a Chase Bank worker to open the box no longer worked.

“He gave me a fake key in return,” she said referring to her visit on Jan. 30. “I never opened my own box. That’s a lesson I learned.”

The Riverdalian said she took the bank to court and won, but is waiting to be paid.
An NYPD source confirmed that a Chase employee might have been involved in the crimes. Michael Fusco, spokesperson for Chase, said the bank is investigating the claims of theft.

“We are investigating these cases in coordination with the banks involved,” Deputy Inspector del Pozo said. “Banks themselves urge customers not to store cash in safe deposit boxes. We agree. Customers should also check their safe deposit boxes to ensure their valuables are still there.”