Well, it happened...
Some of my favorite jewelry was stolen this past weekend. I'll tell you how.
I was flying out of town for Memorial Day weekend and the Philadelphia airport was very busy. Even though I was there an hour and a half before my flight, I was nervous about getting up to security and through what I expected to be a very long line. I had a small shoulder purse, a leather backpack with my computer in it, and a large brown bag, like an over-sized purse, that had a zipper along the top that was open. Inside were two ultrasuede jewelry bags.
Mistake number one was having the zipper open and the jewelry bags visible. Mistake number two was leaving the bag at the kiosk where I checked in my suitcase. Right thing done #1 was having my jewelry in two different bags...you'll see why.
So I quickly go get in the security line which was all the way to the parking garage, but that's another story! The line crept along for a half hour before I realized I had left my bag down at the kiosk at the ticket counter. So, of course, I flew down there and ran up to the man behind the counter and said, "I left my brown bag here!" to which he replied, "We thought it was abandoned so we called the police and they just took it away." He thought he knew where the police headed so he came out from around the counter and we rushed off in that direction.
Sure enough, there was the policeman out on the sidewalk, standing next to a podium, and there on top of the podium was my brown bag. I thanked him profusely, took it inside and sat it on a seat and started to look through it to see if everything was there. The wedding gift I was taking was still wrapped in a the plain bag at the bottom, on top was one jewelry bag and after frantically searching throughout the bag, I realized the red ultrasuede jewelry bag was gone!! A man who was watching me suggested I go tell the policeman, which I did, and he just said everything that was in the bag when he got it, is still in there now.
I thought maybe when they were looking for my ID - which the ticket counter guy AND the policeman told me I should have had in my bag - mistake #3 - that they had taken everything out and then forgotten to put the one bag back. Because, get this, I also had a loose green bow in there that I planned to put on the gift when I arrived, and that was missing, too. Weird.
So I went back to the ticket counter and gave them my business card with the description of the jewelry bag on it and asked them to call me if they found it, which of course, they didn't. In thinking about it, I'm not sure the ticket counter people even looked through the bag because I think they call the police to come get abandoned bags and maybe don't get involved in looking inside.
Then when I arrived at my Georgia destination later that day, I called the Lost and Found at the Philadelphia airport, and actually got a human being, by the way, and nothing had been turned in. I checked again 5 days later when I arrived back at the Philadelphia airport.
I guess a dishonest person standing in the kiosk line, saw the jewelry bag inside my open brown bag and decided to take it.
So I got home and called my insurance company. Which leads me to the Right Thing #2 that I did a long time ago and that is - I got my jewelry insured. So they sent me a bunch of paperwork and I need to fill it out and send it in and I suppose all will go smoothly. So far so good. My insurance company is Travelers.
So, why am I sharing this? Because I want to help you prevent having something like this happen to you. So I've written some Do's and Don'ts, easy tips to follow to prevent your jewelry from being stolen or lost. You can read it here.
Also, I want to suggest you call your home owner's insurance agent right now and ask to have a jewelry rider added. It's not that expensive and it gives you great peace of mind. If you don't have home owner's insurance (or renter's insurance) and you want to speak to an agent I highly respect, you can contact Pat Kelly, of Kelly Insurance and he can help you.
Maybe now that we are in the summer months, you might be traveling more. Might be worthwhile to consider ways to protect your jewelry!