NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a most unusual theft in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, someone broke into a bank in the middle of the night and stole safe deposit boxes from inside a vault.
As CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported exclusively Thursday, customers at the Santander Bank branch wonder where their valuables are safe if not in a safe deposit box.
“You know, you never think somebody’s going to come into your bank and then take away your vault boxes,” said one Brooklyn woman.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she was devastated and worried after burglars stole two of her safe deposit boxes from the Santander Bank branch.
“I had money. I had jewelry in there. I had personal items inside; all IDs; deeds of a house, deeds to a property; Social Security, passports – everything,” she said. “Everything was gone.”
Police said the burglars broke in through the basement of an empty business next door, using power tools to get into the bank sometime overnight last Saturday into Sunday. The victim said she wasn’t notified until four days later.
“So they told me, ‘Two of your boxes were gone.’ So I rushed out,” she said. “I almost fainted on the floor.”
The woman went to the bank and was taken into the vault. She said about 50 boxes were missing.
“All you could see is space inside,” she said.
The burglars did trip an alarm, and the private security company that monitors the alarms did respond according to law enforcement sources. But they did not notice anything wrong.
It wasn’t until the next morning that workers discovered the break in and called police.
A representative of Santander acknowledged the break-in, and said the bank is notifying affected customers.
“Everything, I hope they compensate people, you know? I don’t know how, and memorabilia cannot be compensated — heirlooms, you know; jewelry, you know, stuff like this. It’s priceless.”
There was a similar break in not long ago at a Flushing bank branch on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, Queens. Safe deposit boxes were also stolen there in December.
Police have yet to determine whether the incidents are connected.
Police as of Thursday evening were not yet sharing any surveillance video as the investigation continues.