Thieves clean out woman's storage locker

May 12, 2008 7:17:21 PM PDT
Thieves clean out a local woman's Public Storage space. But the company won't honor her insurance policy.

Here's an insurance horror story with a twist. A Campbell woman filed a burglary claim, only to be told there was no record of her being insured.

Marcia Luce has been renting a storage locker since 1998. She purchased insurance back then to protect herself against theft. So why then was her claim denied?

Marcia Luce has items in her Campbell apartment once belonging to her late grandparents.

There's her grandma's antique table along with the family Bible and even a hymn book from the church where her grandfather was a reverend.

"With some of their things, it kind of connects me to them," said Luce.

Her grandparents raised Marcia as a child; they mean everything to her. Much of what her grandparents left her was stored in a Public Storage facility in San Jose.

She came in January to take some of it home, and that's when she discovered burglars had cleaned out the entire locker.

"It was a very big shock. I felt like my grandparents died again. It kind of squeezes at your heart," said Luce.

Turns out, Marcia isn't the only burglary victim at Public Storage. San Jose police told 7 On Your Side from 2006 through February of this year, there have been at least 37 burglaries at the same Public Storage facility.

Marcia thought she purchased insurance when she rented the space. She even had a contract with Public Storage.

Her initials were next to the box authorizing purchase of insurance, and authorizing the purchase of $3,000 worth of coverage.

But as it turned out, Public Storage never processed her insurance purchase.

"It made me feel kind of angry and really anxious and upset, like they didn't care about my stuff," said Luce.

Public Storage blamed her lack of coverage on an employee who failed to file the paper work needed to complete her purchase.

7 On Your Side called Public Storage and within days, the company was promising to honor her insurance retroactively.

They ended up sending her a total of $4,600, less than half the amount she said they lost. But it was also more than the $3,000 worth of coverage she purchased.

Marcia knows the money will never replace the generations' worth of mementos she lost.

"I want my stuff back, really, but I know that's impossible," said Luce.

7 On Your Side called Public Storage for comment, but they have not returned our calls.


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