NEW YORK – Treasure was found in May, not buried on a deserted island but languishing on Staten Island. The Staten Island Advance has the story of Matthew Emanuel, who hired a company to rip up his damaged arborvitae trees and replace them with bamboo.
But when the trees were uprooted, a box that CBS New York reports had long been assumed by Emanuel to be a cable box or something similar turned out to be something else entirely: a safe that the New York Post describes as being "submerged in dirt." The group opened it with a pickaxe.
"I thought we found buried treasure," Emanuel said: Inside were zippered bags filled with jewelry and "the most fragile dollars you could ever imagine, and almost all of them were hundreds." The bills he could preserve tallied $16,300; the contents' total value was $52,000.
But in addition to the treasure was a clue: a Brooklyn address. Emanuel was able to connect it with a neighbor, so on Monday he went to their house to ask if they had every been robbed—which they had, on Dec. 26, 2011.
His neighbor "was like shaking and hugging me," says Emanuel, who now has a ceramic elephant standing where the safe was found. Explains his wife, "We bought this elephant and said let's keep it there. It's a good luck spot." (This teen stumbled on treasure tied to King Bluetooth.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: He Thought It Was a Cable Box. Inside Was Treasure
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