Njoku was taken to jail on June 24, 2010, which was a Thursday.The next day, Chase Special Investigations, realized it was a mistake.The check was legitimate.The Investigator called Auburn Police and left a message with the detective handling the case, but it was her day off.So Njoku stayed in jail for the entire weekend.Finally, on Monday, he was released.
Auburn Police Commander Dave Colglazier said Chase could have done a lot more to let them know they d locked up an innocent man.
We do have a main line that comes into our front office, he said. There are ways to reach someone 24/7 at a police department.
For Njoku, going to jail for five days meant a lot more than just losing his freedom.He said the entire time he was just stressed out...trying to figure out what was going on with my vehicle. I love my vehicle, he said.
Njoku s car had been towed from the bank parking lot and his check seized as evidence.
I had to wait a couple of weeks, he said, and my car got sold, auctioned off.
Njoku says he didn t have the money to pay the impound fees and fines to get his car back before it was sold. He said he also lost his job because he didn t show up for work while he was in jail.
After all of that, Njoku said he never heard a word from Chase.
They haven t even sent me a letter or apologized, he said. It s been a year we ve been trying to contact these guys.
It s one thing to make a mistake, Luna said. It s one thing to make multiple errors of judgment like Chase has made and then, once you realize that your error has caused such harm to somebody else, to just ignore it for a year.I think he deserved better.I think all their customers do.
Like Njoku, KING 5 had a difficult time getting answers from Chase.A week after first contacting them, they sent a two line e-mail.
We received the letter and are reviewing the situation. We'll bereaching out to the customer, wrote Darcy Donoahoe-Wilmot,fromChase Media Relations.
Njoku said that even after he got out of jail, he said was confused and upset. For a month, two months, I was just down and depressed, he said.
He s still happy he bought his house, but sad that his experience with his own bank was so humiliating.
They treated me like a criminal, he said.