Life
Couple dig up old safe in backyard with valuable treasures inside
For years the couple thought the rusty metal box was an electrical box until they got a closer look and decided to crack it open.
Rachael Butler
01.30.20

“You dream as a kid that you will find a buried treasure and it happened. It was unbelievable,” Matthew Emanuel explains! It is the childhood dream, for almost every child, to find buried treasure. The idea of finding buried treasure has been made into movies, books, and make-believe adventures for all generations. It was a childhood dream come true for Matthew and his wife, Maria Colonna-Emanuel, when they found hidden treasure in their own backyard that was worth thousands!

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Matthew Emanuel and Maria Colonna-Emanuel moved into a new home in Staten Island, New York. They noticed a rusted box in their backyard mixed in with the trees but did not think twice about it for over four years. The box had become “really prominent when the deer ate away all the foliage” Emanuel states, but he still did go to to get a closer look. All that changed when they hired Bamboo Bob to redesign their backyard and he brought the box out of its hiding spot.

“I didn’t know it was a safe, I thought it was an electrical box,” Emanuel explains.

It was no electrical box! This rusted safe had been hiding in their backyard the entire time they have lived there. Their curious minds where shocked when they opened their treasure chest! This safe was complete with every treasure a child’s mind dreams of.

“Hundreds and jewelry, diamonds, engagement rings, dozens of rings, gold with jade. It was stunning… I just kept peeling more hundreds and more hundreds” Emanuel remembers.

The safe has been valued at a worth of over $50,000! Finding a hidden safe, worth that much money, in their own backyard was shocking enough but looking further into the safe the couple found a piece of a paper with an address on it. This address was a home within their own neighborhood, so they went on a hunt to find out what the address meant. They went to their neighbor’s house with a simple question, “have you ever been robbed before?” The neighbors admitted they had.

New York Police Department confirmed the neighbors claim with a police report from 2011 of a burglary occurring at their neighbor’s address. Included in the police report was the acknowledgment that a safe was reportedly stolen that had an estimated worth of $52,000. The Emanuel’s had officially found the owners of their hidden treasure. Matthew Emanuel says that the owner of the safe “was shaking.”

“They were told, the cops told her you’ll never see your stuff again,” Colonna-Emanuel reports.

Matthew Emanuel and Maria Colonna-Emanuel returned the safe to its rightful owners. The owners “were surprised and grateful” for the return of their safe and property. Some have been shocked that the Emanuel’s would return the safe, but Maria wants everyone to know “It wasn’t even a question. It wasn’t ours.”

The Emanuel’s have placed an elephant sculpture in the exact place the safe had been hidden away in their backyard for years. This elephant will serve as their reminder about finding the safe and in their ability to give it back. They know returning the safe was good karma, which will eventually come back to them in the future. Mathew and Maria deserve all the good karma that will come their way!

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By Rachael Butler
hi@sbly.com
Rachael Butler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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