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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Brazen Bank Thieves Blamed for $2M Loss

BOCA RATON, Fla. (CN) - Two thieves entered a Chase bank, stole millions of dollars' worth of jewelry from a supposedly secure vault and left, duffelbags in hand, without any bank agents noticing, a Florida woman claims in court.

Amy Kodsi and her daughter Nancy sued JPMorgan Chase for negligent security, claiming their jewelry -- including a 14-carat diamond ring -- was stolen from the bank's Boca Raton branch while unwitting employees went about their business.

Filed in Palm Beach County Court, the lawsuit states that the two robbers passed by the bank tellers and walked past the vault's steel door, which had been left "wide open."

The duo ripped into the plastic entranceway of the safe deposit room, using blunt objects believed to be crowbars, the lawsuit states. They allegedly then spent 20 minutes prying open safe deposit boxes.

"None of the bank representatives who saw or should have seen these men make their way to the vault even attempted to ascertain where they had gone," the lawsuit says.

After filling their bags with the Kodsis' 14-carat diamond piece and other valuables, the thieves "walked right out of the bank," according to the complaint.

The Boca Raton Police Department said that in the bank lobby, the thieves' conspirators masqueraded as customers to distract employees while the heist was in progress.

The theft involved five safe deposit boxes, and took place around noon, on April 25, 2015, the police said in a press release.

The Kodsi plaintiffs' attorney, Robert Sheres of DuBosar Sheres, said the loss, "was purely devastating."

"There were heirlooms [stolen] that have been in the family for decades," Sheres told Courthouse News. "They're not replaceable."

Citing the ongoing litigation, Sheres declined to comment on whether there was an insurance policy covering the jewelry. He said the FBI is investigating the incident.

The suspects were not wearing masks, and their images were captured on camera, he said.

The Kodsis' complaint, filed Oct. 16, claims more than $2 million worth of valuables, including the diamond ring, was stolen from the family.

Court records show that last year, in a writ of garnishment dispute, Amy Kodsi successfully blocked Branch Banking & Trust from seizing assets that she held with Bank of America.

BB&T had been trying to collect on a judgment that it secured against Kodsi's husband in 2011, but the trial court, as well as Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal, found that BB&T failed to prove the assets were jointly owned by the couple.

Representatives of JPMorgan Chase declined to comment other than to say the bank is cooperating with authorities.

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