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Missing safe deposit box being held by Bank of America

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 5:04 pm | Updated: 9:07 pm, Wed Apr 3, 2013.

SARASOTA - Bank of America opened its newest branch in Sarasota Monday, moving out of the old location at the corner of Main Street and Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota. But one Suncoast woman says during that move, her Bank of America safety deposit box was drilled and emptied, and says the bank isn't telling her where the property went.

Dana Gourley is just plain frustrated. "We're kind of at a loss at this time, and we hope others do not have a similar experience."

Several weeks ago, Gourley received a notification from Bank of America that the Main Street branch was closing and that she needed to move the contents of her safe deposit box. She admits she missed the February 8th deadline to do so, but now says the bank won't tell her what happened to her possessions.

"We were very surprised that the contents of that box and the box itself had been drilled."

The notification she received made no mention that the boxes would be forcibly opened and the contents removed.

“If I’d been asked to review the letter before it went out, I would have suggested they include that." Attorney Howard Payne says the bank should have alerted consumers of the consequences if they failed to retrieve their box before the branch moved.

Gourley also says despite repeated requests, the bank has not told her where her valuables are. "Now if they move them to another location, I think they are obligated to inform the renter where they are," says Payne.

Gourley says the bank has assigned her complaint a case number, saying the issue will be processed by April 15. "I don’t know why it has to be that long. April 15 as you well know is the day our tax returns are due, and this customer may have material in the box that relates to the preparation of his 2012 1040, so I think it is totally unreasonable," says Payne.

A Bank of America spokesperson told ABC 7 that the contents of that box are safe and secure, although he would not tell us where the items are being held. They also told us consumers can go to any branch and request to have their valuables sent there within three to five days.

Gourley said she did that, and that's when she was given the resolution date of April 15.

We'll continue to follow this story.

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