By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/29/2013 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
An Ohio woman is facing an uphill battle in an effort to recover the value of property stolen by her home by a thief. The reason for the problem has everything to do with who the thief is and the fact that police have refused to get involved.
MCARTHUR, OHIO (Catholic Online) - Katie Barnett, 36, who works as a nurse in McArthur, Ohio, left home for two weeks. When she returned, she couldn't get into her own house.
Barnett found the lock were changed and her property was removed from the residence. After calling police, she was told it was probably the work of squatters and they refused to get involved. Shortly thereafter, she learned who the thieves really were.
They were representatives of First National Bank in Wellston.
Barnett is not a customer of that bank, nor ever has been, despite that officials from the bank decided to foreclose and repossess her home. The incident occurred after two agents of the bank were sent to repossess a foreclosed property on her street.
The agents admitted they found their way to the house by GPS, and that they weren't too sure about how to use the GPS device they had, but decided on Barnett's house when they noticed the lawn wasn't mowed.
They then proceeded to remove about $18,000 in property from the house and change the locks. Dutifully, they recorded the nature and value of the spoils and changed the locks.
Seeking to resolve the matter, Barnett contacted the bank and was told to submit a list of missing items so the bank could reimburse her the losses. When she did so, and asked for $18,000, the bank pushed back, claiming her records didn't match theirs and that according to bank CEO, Anthony Thorne "the value she assigned to those items - is inconsistent with the list and descriptions of items removed that was prepared by the employees who did the work, and with the list and values of missing items provided by the homeowner herself as recorded in an earlier telephone conversation with one of our representatives."
So effectively, a bank made an egregious error, and instead of resolving it as quickly as possible, decided to nickel-and-dime the victim for what is really a paltry sum, in bank-terms.
Barnett said she was compelled to buy her kids new clothes because among the items seized by the bank were her children's clothes.
They also took a pool from the back yard, two engines that were being serviced, and parts for those engines.
Luckily, the beds were among the few items left behind.
The bank has told Barnett to produce receipts for everything. Barnett replied, saying the receipts were with the items the bank took from her home and threw away.
"He [Thorne] told me that I would probably need receipts for everything that they took and they were not paying retail," Barnett said. "I told him I wasn't running a yard sale and asking them to make me an offer. I told him I don't keep receipts around for everything I have just in case a bank comes by and steals my stuff. And if I did, where do you think it would be? With the stuff that you threw away."
The police have refused to get involved, suggesting the matter is civil rather than criminal. However, a criminal offense, in the form of trespass, breaking and entering, and grand theft undoubtedly did occur. It may not have been with criminal intent, yet it was certainly because agents of the bank failed to exercise due diligence in their efforts.
Now, Barnett has been compelled to retain an attorney and is planning to file a civil suit to obtain compensation for her $18,000 in lost property.
We think that amount should be paid immediately. Along with another one million dollars. That should teach a lesson in due diligence, humility, and citizenship to a bank that has the audacity to break, enter, and sell clothes off the backs of children.
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