1. Archive

Insurance policy doesn't cover this theft

I was a resident of the Operation PAR program from December 1991 to March 1993. During my stay I accumulated some jewelry _ gifts from my parents and grandmother (who died in 1992). This jewelry meant very much to me. It was a symbol of my getting my life in order again and my family's trust and love.

Since I was not allowed to wear it all the time I kept the jewelry locked up in a toolbox. One day after returning from my job I found the tool box had been broken into and my jewelry gone. I was devastated.

Neither the PAR staff nor the police have been able to find the culprit. I gave the head of PAR a list of jewelry stolen (worth more than $1,000) and was told their insurance would take care of it. Now they tell me they are not liable.

As a result of my frustration I left the PAR program in March. At this point I do not know where else to turn. Please help.


Response: Arnold Andrews, Operation PAR's executive vice president, tells us that thefts do not occur often (most residents are indigent and have little to steal), but when they do, they are treated seriously and investigated diligently.

PAR does not have insurance to cover your loss. Such insurance would cost too much and hurt PAR's already financially struggling program, Andrews says. PAR has provisions to help residents get such vital supplies and services as eyeglasses and dentistry, but not to replace lost jewelry.

Andrews says he sincerely regrets your loss but appeals to your sense of fairness. After all, you did not have to pay for those 15 months of treatment, housing and food received from PAR.

Since many of PAR's clients have substantial histories of drug-related criminality, perhaps you will agree in retrospect that it was not wise to keep your jewelry there.

The important thing to remember is that nobody stole the trust and love of your family. And since your own sense of self-worth and confidence comes from inside, it cannot be taken either _ not without your consent.

Reader encounters tire trouble

Until I read your Action column of May 10 about the gentleman who had difficulty with his tires, I had chalked up my own experience with a vow never to buy a car with Uniroyal Goodrich tires again, but your column gave me hope.

A year ago I noticed a thumping in my left front tire. My mechanic moved the tire to the rear and said there was no danger. In December my wife heard a noise in the rear. She stopped (on the Howard Frankland Bridge) and found that the tread had separated from the tire and wrapped around the exhaust pipes. It also had damaged the left rear fender.

The tire still had air in it so my wife proceeded slowly to a gas station where an attendant put on the spare. The tire had nearly 35,000 miles on it.

The local Uniroyal dealer said he could give me an adjustment on the tire, but if he did so, I would have to waive any rights I had against the manufacturer for damage to my vehicle. He gave me a number to call at the Uniroyal adjustment office.

I sent them the tire. They wrote back denying any liability for damage saying their inspection "found the separation was caused from a prior road hazard repair."

What "prior road hazard repair?"

I asked for a copy of the inspection report. They refused to send it saying it was confidential.

Why is the company afraid to show me a copy of the inspection report?

W.B. Larsen

Response: We sent your letter to the Uniroyal people. This was their reply.

"Our inspection found no deficiency in material or workmanship in Mr. Larsen's tire. Examination revealed a small puncture in the shoulder of the tire that caused loss of air pressure. Further evidence indicated that the tire had been operated in an under-inflated/overloaded condition. Thus, based on these results, we notified Mr. Larsen that his tire was not eligible for warranty adjustment consideration.

"Thank you for allowing us the opportunity for an in-depth review of this matter. We hope this explanation has sufficiently answered any questions."

It is signed by S.A. Colton, consumer relations manager.

We did not get a copy of the inspection report, either, and the "in-depth review" seems to raise more questions than answers.

Sorry we could not help.

Action solves problems and gets answers. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call the Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or on our voice mail system; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies.

We may require additional information or reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a complete mailing address, including zip code. Upon request, names will not be published.