5 Cases of Valuables Found in Odd Places

PHOTO: Gold bars seized by custom officers are displayed at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, India, Nov. 19, 2013.
Reuters

Sometimes treasures are found in the most unexpected places, including an airplane bathroom, a river or in a desk purchased on Craigslist.

Here's a look at some recent examples of valuables found in some very odd places.

PHOTO: Gold bars seized by custom officers are displayed at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, India, Nov. 19, 2013.
Reuters
In an Airplane Bathroom

Two dozen gold bars worth more than $1.1 million were found hidden in an airplane bathroom after a flight from Bangkok to eastern India, according to The Associated Press.

The Jet Airways plane was being cleaned after landing before its next departure when cleaners found the two bags of gold bars, customs official Mona Priyadarshini said, the AP reported.

Customs officials confiscated the gold and are investigating.

India is one of the world's top gold consumers, and the government increased gold import taxes recently, which has encouraged smuggling, according to the AP.

PHOTO: Nearly $100,000 was found in the Spalding River in Lincolnshire, England, Oct. 25, 2013.
Lincolnshire Police
In a River

A man was walking his dog in Lincolnshire, England, when he spotted some cash floating in the Spalding River. A few bills turned out to be a lot of bills -- nearly $100,000 worth.

Officers retrieved the money from the water and said that while a large amount of it was damaged, a significant quantity was in fair condition.

"It isn't every day that an amount of money like this is found, and somebody must have information that will help the police trace the lawful owner," Detective Constable Steve Hull of Spalding CID said in a statement. "I would be grateful to hear from people who have genuine information to pass on to me."

Police have the money and are consulting with the Bank of England for a formal inspection.

PHOTO: Noah Muroff of New Haven, Conn., returned a desk he bought on Craigslist to its original owner after finding $98,000 in a plastic bag behind its drawers.
WTNH
In a Desk

A Connecticut rabbi who bought a used desk on Craigslist for $150 found that it wouldn't fit through the door of his study. As he took the desk apart to get it inside, a bag containing $98,000 fell out.

Noah Muroff's windfall did not last long. The next day, with his four kids along, he returned the money to the desk's original owner.

The woman "was totally speechless" when she got a call from Muroff to let her know he had found.

"She was so shocked and touched that anyone would call," he said. "She said, 'You could have kept the money and nobody would have ever known.'"

The owner later told him the money was part of an inheritance she received and had misplaced.

Muroff said he and his wife agreed it was best not to take a reward for the good deed, but the woman presented them with a gift bag anyway.

Inside, she wrote a note and gave the Muroffs the original $150 they'd spent on the desk.

"I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me. I do like to believe that there are still good people left in this crazy world we live in. You certainly are one of them," the woman wrote. "I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and integrity."

PHOTO: An old safe was cracked to reveal gold coins.
Joseph Duran
In a Safe

A Houston scrap collector hauled an old safe from a family's home, but when the vault was pried open he found that it held a fortune in gold coins and silver dollars.

The man who opened the safe was David Molick, owner of Robbie's Key and Lock shop, who told ABC News that the scrap collector had asked him to break into the safe before it was turned into scrap about a month ago.

"He showed me a picture of this safe, and I saw that it was a high security one," Molick said. "It was real difficult to get into. It was pretty beat up. Looked like somebody had tried forcing their way into it, since the front was beat up."

Molick said he spent more than 20 hours trying to open the safe. Finally, after drilling 10 holes through 6-inch walls of concrete, he discovered a bonanza.

"I thought, 'Oh, this ain't real,'" Molick said. "There were 50 Krugerrands in one pipe, and brand-new, uncirculated silver dollars in ammo boxes. All of them were well over half full. The entire safe must have weighed at least 3,000 pounds."

Molick estimated that the safe contained $2.5 million.

He then called the police and put a lock back on the safe the next day.

The scrap dealer and the family who originally owned the safe have remained anonymous, but Mike DeGuerin, an attorney for the family, told ABC News affiliate KTRK that the coins had been returned to the family.

PHOTO: Glen James
Steven Senne/AP Photo
In a Backpack

A Boston homeless man was heralded as an honest guy after returning a backpack he found that contained more than $40,000 in cash and travelers checks.

Glen James found the black backpack with $2,400 in cash, $39,500 in travelers checks and a passport at the South Bay Mall in Dorchester on a September evening. He promptly reported it to the police.

Officers then returned the bag to the owner, a student visiting from China, and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis presented a special citation to James for his "extraordinary show of character and honesty."

A fundraising campaign for James began when Ethan Whittington heard about what James had done, but there was no mention of James getting anything more than a plaque.

Whittington started a GoFundMe page for James that has raised more than $150,000, with a goal of reaching $250,000.

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