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Oh, Snap! My Jewels Got Swiped: 12 Netizens Share Their Heist Recovery Tips

When you’re at the airport, it’s common for things to get misplaced. However, some items have a better chance of being found than others. A user asked the forum, “Jewelry was stolen from my luggage. Do I have any chance at all of getting it back?” Here are the top responses. 

YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR JEWELRY AGAIN

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“You’ll never see your jewelry again. You might be able to be compensated for it, though.

The 1999 Montreal Convention establishes that airlines are liable in cases of pilferage (i.e., missing items in baggage). 

You must provide a complete list of missing items to the airline within seven days of receiving the luggage, and they may compensate you up to 1288 SDR (Special Drawing Rights), which is around 1600 United States Dollars per affected passenger.

However, most airlines also have a document called General Conditions of Carriage explicitly telling you not to put valuables in checked baggage. It’s that box ‘I read and agree’ that no one reads. 

I don’t know what airline you flew with, but they likely have such a policy, in which case you’d be out of luck. You could, of course, claim that they were not valuables but rather items of personal or sentimental value, but who knows whether that’d work.

In short, you’re most likely out of luck, but there’s a slight chance you could be compensated.”

ONLINE PAGES

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“If you have pictures of the locket, you could post them on ‘Help Me Find’ online pages. Some of the people there have excellent search skills.”

CLAIM YOUR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

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“Your renters or homeowners insurance should cover theft, even on trips. However, if the jewelry is primarily sentimental, they wouldn’t cover that aspect, Only the replacement value and after the deductible.

Recovering it is a pipe dream, I’m afraid. Not unless you’re willing to hire investigators to go to all of the pawnshops in the area of the airport, scour the Facebook marketplace, craigslist (or foreign equivalent), etc., and even then, that only helps if they try to sell it locally.”

PURSUE A CLAIM WITH EACH PARTY INVOLVED 

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“Unfortunately, your only resources here will be:

Pursuing a claim with the airline, they may or may not play ball based on verbiage around valuables, as others have noted.

Pursuing a claim on any baggage insurance you carry (maybe a credit card, travel insurance, etc.)

Pursuing a claim on home insurance (or maybe specialized jewelry coverage if you have that separate) (if you do this, it should be for a sizeable loss, as it will impact your claim history and premiums)

With enough money/means, maybe you could pursue a PI (Private Investigator – common enough in the United States) of some kind to try and locate the item. I don’t know if that’s even feasible, let alone how to sort the grifters from the real ones in a foreign country.”

CHALK THIS UP AS A LESSON LEARNED

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“Unless you know someone influential in the mafia, I’d chalk this up to a lesson learned, and even then, you see posts about people getting robbed by airport security or even while on a flight.

DO NOT TRAVEL WITH ANYTHING OF VALUE TO YOU

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“After friends of mine got robbed in a very luxurious hotel, I figured out that the moral of the story does not travel with anything of value to you. 

Armed robbers burst into their room, ripped the hotel safe out, and got the nice watches and jewelry they had brought for a special event. Police knew a hotel employee was responsible but never figured out which one. My friends were out of the hotel at the time. They knew they were armed due to the video.”

DON’T PUT THEM IN YOUR LUGGAGE

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“You’ll never see it again. A hard lesson to learn, but nothing of value should ever be left in your checked luggage.”

CHANCES OF YOU GETTING IT BACK ARE LOW

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“Sorry for your loss. The chances of you getting it back are low, as you know. There are skilled artists around who can recreate it for you. Consider that as well. It won’t be the same, but it might help fill the void.”

DON’T KICK YOURSELF

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“Don’t kick yourself. My husband kept his (including my engagement ring he was taking for adjustments) in his carry-on. They took it, but he didn’t notice until he had reached his final destination. No compensation. No help from TSA (Transportation Security Administration). It can happen at any juncture of traveling. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

CREDIT CARD ISSUERS MAY COVER YOUR LOSS

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“If you bought it using a credit card, the issuer may cover the loss. Sorry about your locket.”

REACH OUT TO THE AIRPORT OPERATOR

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“To add to others: also reach out to the Airport Operator. I’d even email the local city government any email address you can find for the airport. Sometimes, they can pressure the airlines to investigate or even do their investigation. 

Check and see if there’s a version of Freedom of Information and request footage of your baggage. The request for footage may be enough to get the ball rolling.

Next time you fly with the airline, mention it to that staff, check-in agents, gate agents, flight staff, baggage claim agents, and everyone. They may know somebody who can do something. It’s about customer service, and they’ll want to try and remedy it.

It’s a long shot, but that’s better than nothing for sentimental items. Good Luck.”

JUST ACCEPT IT 

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“Airlines expressly tell you not to put jewelry in check-in luggage. Even if they compensate for something lost, and should you win that case, it will be compensation proportionate to the weight. 

Besides, locks of whatever appears to comfort you as locks in your suitcase are just decorative pieces of metal, and almost everyone can open them. TSA locks are the worst. You lost your jewelry and just came to accept it.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.