Mail Fail: Man's Artwork Destroyed En Route to Miami

Med student claims priceless items stolen from package

A South Florida man claims thousands of dollars of his property was stolen and destroyed and he says it was all while they were in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service.

When Miami medical student Macario Llamas takes a break from his studies, he expresses his artistic side. But a package mailed from California to a post office in Miami has him seeing red.

"Very upsetting, this is the work that I've been doing for the past 16 years," Llamas said Wednesday.

According to Llamas, someone from the post office in California actually helped his family member secure the box containing his valuable paintings and jewelry, even commenting on how unique they were.

But when Llamas went to pick up the box in Miami, it was destroyed, with some of the items missing. He believes they were stolen by someone working with the postal service.

"Two paintings were missing as well as two gold rings," he said.

The wedding rings were priceless gifts from his mother, and he says his artwork was worth up to $25,000. Everything else was damaged or destroyed.

Llamas had asked his mother to send the paintings because he was supposed to participate in an art showing in Coral Gables this past weekend. His mother had reservations about sending the package through regular mail, but Llamas was confident there wouldn't be a problem -- until he saw the package torn, ripped and taped up again.

So why didn't he insure his valuables?

"Sending something uninsured I always thought it was a waste of time because it was supposed to be 11 percent secured," he said.

Sadly for Llamas, that was not the case.

"Certainly, such a report does not reflect the kind of service you deserve from us," the U.S. Postal Service said in a response to his claim. "If the item is not insured, we cannot offer the opportunity to file a claim for reimbursement."

It's a tough lesson for the future doctor who was hoping to use the sale from his paintings to help pay his tuition.

"Next time, I will use a private carrier if I have to," Llamas said.

The Postal Service is conducting an investigation on the handling of Llamas' mail, and officials are checking for his missing items at a mail recovery center in Atlanta.

Contact Us