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New York City Couple Find Treasure in Back Yard, And Returned to Rightful Owners

A couple in Staten Island bought their home about four years ago, and they were vaguely aware of a metal box behind some foliage in their yard. The box was off to the side, and they always thought it was some kind of electrical box.

A recent decision to do some landscaping revealed that it was actually a safe, and it contained more than $50,000 worth of money and jewelry.

Matthew and Maria Colonna-Emanual were shocked when landscapers dragged the 100-pound metal safe onto their porch. They cracked it open and found it was full of $100 bills and a stash of expensive jewels, including a diamond engagement ring.

“And there are all these bags with hundreds and jewelry, diamonds, engagement rings, dozens of rings, gold with jade,” Matthew said in an interview with CBS News. “It was stunning.”

The smelly treasure had become damp and moldy from years of sitting in the elements. The couple had to peel the money apart. As they went through the items, the eventually came across a piece of paper. The paper had an address written on it.

The couple did a little research on the address in Brooklyn, another borough of New York City. They recognized a name attached to that Brooklyn property: it was their current neighbor. So they paid the neighbors a little visit.

Matthew asked his neighbors if they had ever been robbed, and they were a little surprised by the question. They had been robbed, back in 2011. Someone stole their safe.

They couples filed a police report. At the time the police told them they would probably never see their valuables again. The money had been their nest egg.

Police confirmed that a report about the robbery was filed in 2011 on the day after Christmas Eve.

The neighbors, who have chosen to remain anonymous, were shaking when Matthew and Maria gave their safe back to them. They had long given up on their valuables, including more than $16,000 in cash. In total, the contents of the safe were worth $52,000.

There is still a mystery, though. No one knows who initially took the safe. It's unclear why it was dumped in the yard next door, and why no one ever came back to open it and clean it out. But the rightful owners are overcome with emotion to get their belongings back.

“A couple of people asked us, ‘Why did you return it?’,” Maria told CBS. “It wasn’t even a question. It wasn’t ours.”

Matthew and Maria were asked if they got a reward for returning the missing valuables, and Matthew noted they weren’t given any monetary compensation at this point.

“The reward is karma, good karma,” Matthew said.

People on social media praised the couple’s integrity for not keeping the contents of the safe. Being the legal owners of the home, anything left on the property when they bought the house is legally considered theirs. It takes a lot of integrity to not be swayed by that kind of loot.

Other people have joked that they wouldn’t have been looking for the owner and would have just kept the money.

Source: Good News Network
Photos: YouTube Screenshots

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