Elaine Lauterstein's mother passed away about three years ago. Shortly before her death, she gave Lauterstein her fur coat. Wanting to make sure the coat was properly cared for, Lauterstein decided to store it with Morris Kay & Sons Furriers.
It cost her $65 a year to store the fur and Lauterstein never thought anything about it at all until she received a yearly renewal contract from Morris Kay & Sons. In the fine print of that contract was a line saying the company was only responsible for up to $100 if the fur was lost of damaged.
Lauterstein said she almost had a heart attack when she read it. So she called the store and told them she was coming to get her coat. Two days later, and right before Lauterstein was going out of town, she picked up the coat.
It was wrapped in plastic and had paperwork with Lauterstein's name on it, so she took the coat and went home. Once there, Lauterstein took the coat out of the plastic and saw it wasn't her mother's coat. Lauterstein said she immediately called the store and was told not to worry, they'll find it and call back.
When she returned from her trip, Lauterstein said there was no message from Morris Kay, so she called the store. The young lady on the other end apologized and said they couldn't find the coat, so they would be willing to pay Lauterstein the $100 despite the coat was worth thousands.
Not willing to accept that, Lauterstein called store owner Carol Kay, who Lauterstein said immediately told her to bring the other coat back to the store, now! Lauterstein told her she will bring the coat back when they find her mother's coat.
That's when Lauterstein said Carol Kay got very angry and accused her of using the other coat for leverage. She allegedly told Lauterstein to just keep that coat and they'll call it even.
That's when Lauterstein called Eyewitness Wants To Know.
We went by Morris Kay & Sons and Carol Kay wasn't there. The sales staff was very cordial until the phone rang. Carol Kay was on the other end. I had already given the staff a business card with my cell number on it. After hanging up, the salesperson immediately ended our conversation and escorted me to the door.
Carol Kay has yet to call back. Lauterstein said she is taking the mink coat she was told to keep to the police station and will be filing a theft report against Morris Kay & sons.
We'll let you know what happens.