Queens bank heist victim speaks about her stolen irreplaceable items

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Carolina Leid reports from Rego Park.

Millions of dollars of money and valuables were stolen when thieves drilled through the roofs of two banks and broke into safety deposit boxes.

Three suspects were arrested last week.

Now, one of the victims is speaking out about losing her precious possessions.

"First I got angry, then I cried thinking of the items and the sentiment that was attached to it," said Joyce McDonough, burglary victim.

McDonough is talking about the things that can't be replaced.

Their value not counted in dollars, rather in memories.

"I had my mother's engagement wedding ring, my father's pocket watch, my grandfather's gold chain, my wedding rings, engagement rings," McDonough said.

And the list of valuables goes on and includes $10,000 in cash for her children and grandchildren.

McDonough is one of many victims who had valuables stolen in the spring from safe deposit boxes at Maspeth Federal Savings in Queens and an HSBC Bank in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

"You think you're renting deposit box in a safe place. I could have left this in a shoebox. I could have put it under a mattress," McDonough said.

Police say three men took a blow torch to the roofs of both banks and made off with more than $5 million in cash and goods.

Michael Christodoulou had government bonds, expensive watches, documents and family heirlooms in his safe deposit box in Queens. Fortunately, his was not stolen.

"I do not trust any of the banks any longer. I figure it is in this day and age here it can happen anywhere," Christodoulou said.

Safe deposit boxes are not insured.

McDonough and other victims gave detailed lists of what was stolen.

The FBI will sort through what was recovered and get it back to their rightful owners, but that is going to take a while.

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theftNew York City
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