Treasure hunting will always be something that captures the imagination. People love the idea of finding some crazy stash and striking it rich, and safes are no exception. In recent years it has become quite popular to try to get your hands on cheap, old, locked safes and open them in the hopes of making a fortune. Of course, as safes are usually only abandoned when not in use, most of these people come up with nothing at all. However, very rarely, something of note is found, and everyone gets a really interesting story – and hopefully some money – out of the whole deal.
10. A Safe Sent To Be Melted Down For Scrap Was Stuffed With Valuable Gold Coins
In what almost sounds like a bizarre sitcom plot, a really nice safe was left with a scrap dealer who was supposed to junk it. The scrap dealer had a locksmith friend see it and after he commented on how nice it looked, they decided to open it. Inside, the safe actually had roughly $2.5 million worth of coins, mostly silver coins and krugerrands. The haul was absolutely ridiculous, and they immediately put a new lock on it and turned it over to the police, to make sure the coins ended up with the rightful owner, as $2.5 million is rather a lot of money.
It turns out that the safe had been in the garage of a deceased family member who had been collecting the coins for many, many years. The family had given the safe to a friend to scrap it, with the intention that they would return anything valuable found inside. It seems the friend just sold the safe straight up without trying to open it, and this is how the confusion occurred. In the end, the police did manage to track the family down and return their father’s coin collection to them.
9. Lost Mozart Manuscripts Were Found In An Old Safe In A Baptist Seminary
Back in the early 1990s, an accountant was clearing through things in an old Baptist Seminary, and he saw what he thought of as a very interesting old safe. Of course it had sat locked for a very long time, and the accountant’s interest was piqued, so he got the expertise and permission required to open it. Inside, they found original classical music manuscripts that had been thought lost, two of them from Mozart himself. The first one was Mozart’s Fantasia in C Minor, K. 475 And Sonata in C Minor, K. 475. They also found manuscripts from Johan Strauss, Franz Joseph Haydn and others.
After a lot of research, the seminary discovered that the manuscripts had been donated to them many years back, along with a large amount of funds for helping with the building of the seminary itself. The funds had been used to help build it, but the manuscripts had been kept locked in a safe – perhaps in case the seminary ever needed more capital. The manuscripts were indeed incredibly valuable and were auctioned off for over one million dollars.
8. A Small Baby Somehow Ended Up Locked In A Safe In A Niagara Falls Hotel Room
A family was vacationing in Niagara Falls, and while the mother and father were out for a bit, they had left one of their older kids alone with their baby sibling, thinking that nothing that bad could happen. As kids tend to do, they started to play, and decided to have some fun with hide and go seek. This Howard Johnson’s they were staying at also happened to have a safe in the room for keeping valuables, and the couple hadn’t bothered to use it, so they had left it open. Somehow, the baby ended up inside the safe, and then, somehow, the safe became locked.
Authorities and news stories are a bit unclear on how it happened. It is not clear if the older child decided to lock his brother in for a bit as a joke, and then panicked when he couldn’t get him out, or if it was truly an accident. Either way, the baby was in for less than an hour, and the couple and their family quickly left, embarrassed. Authorities flagged them down to make sure nothing was wrong, but decided to let them go when they were certain it was all a legitimate accident.
7. In Australia, A Professional Safecracker Once Helped A Man Open A Safe With A Gold Nugget Inside
One professional safecracker gives some words of warning, and that is that you are very unlikely to find anything in a safe at all. He opens them for people all the time, along with doing other locksmithing work, but people are more often than not very disappointed with what they find – as we said, usually nothing at all. His business has exploded as in recent years, all over the world, and there has sprung up online a community of people who try to buy old, hard to open safes, and then either open them or get a professional to do it in the hopes of striking it rich. However, the reason most people are disappointed is that in most cases, if a safe was actually abandoned or lost, it wasn’t actually being used anymore.
This isn’t always the case, though. He recalls one time he opened a safe for a gold digger who had brought it back from the Northern Territory, and he actually found a sizable gold nugget. The man he opened it for was very excited, and he himself was both happy and shocked to actually find something valuable inside a locked safe for once.
6. A Man Allegedly Finds A Safe And Some Other Creepy Things In The Crawlspace Of His New House
A Reddit user named Lmbrjack posted a story complete with pictures (which have since been deleted for vague reasons that we’ll touch on momentarily; the above is not his actual crawl space), claiming that he had found something very strange in his new house. According to his claims, he found a strange crawl space, that was well soundproofed and very well insulated and set up – it also had a sentry safe inside. After getting the safe open, he found some very strange tapes. Some of them had scrawled in dust the words “no no no” and a paper inside had the words “save yourself” in dripping ink and huge letters. He claims that he told the police about it, and they made him turn over all the evidence, and made him take down most of the post.
Some people are rather skeptical. Some Redditors have claimed that they know of the house, and that the room was actually an old grow room for drugs. They claim that Lmbrjack likely just added the tapes himself and made up the whole thing to get attention, and then took it down when people got too close to the truth, claiming that the police got involved. However, we may never know the truth. Since he claimed it was in the hands of the police, we have not heard anything for some time.
5. An Old Safe At A Colorado Newspaper Office Had 40 Year Old Photos Of Ted Bundy
Just this year, a newspaper office in Colorado made a very strange and unexpected discovery. They had been using a safe for decades, but not as an actual safe. It was a very large old safe, and they had mainly been using it over the years as a table. Finally, a curious locksmith was in the news office for a bit, and when he saw the safe, he was very intrigued. He offered to open the safe for free, just so he could get a chance to know what was inside, and they gladly took him up on his offer.
Inside the safe they found cash, and some other documents, but the main noteworthy thing were photos of Ted Bundy taken before his trial in 1977 for murdering so many people. The photos are also incredibly creepy, as they illustrate just what an evil maniac he was. In the most prominent photo, he is shown grinning ear to ear, not a care in the world, as he is being led off to stand trial for murder – and eventually get the death penalty for his heinous crimes. The photos preserved well because they had only been negatives while in the safe, and were easily preserved in such a dark, controlled atmosphere.
4. A Man Was Found Suffocated Inside His Own Gun Safe
Gun safes are not particularly big, but they are something you should be pretty careful with. In general, it is important to keep them locked so children cannot get to guns, but a decent sized gun safe can sometimes fit an animal, a small child, or even an adult. A man was once found locked inside his own gun safe after being reported missing. After checking him out, the authorities came to the fairly obvious conclusion that he died of lack of oxygen.
However, the man also had a lot of drugs in his system, and the police didn’t seem certain how easy it would have been for him to lock himself inside. At the time of the incident, they were not sure whether or not the man had truly been the one to put himself inside the gun safe or not. While it may seem a stretch, especially if it is not particularly full, a bigger one could definitely squeeze in an adult. It is quite possible it was a suicide, as it seems unlikely he would have locked himself accidentally into such a tight space – the particular space was decent size as it could hold 12 guns, but the police would not comment on just how tight a fit it had actually been for the man inside.
3. A Man Was Pulled Over And Found With A Locked Safe Containing Marijuana, Heroin, And Crack
Most people use their safes to store valuables, but more specifically they use them to store their valuables at home – most people never take their safes out of their house unless it is moving day. However, one man decided that he had a novel use for a safe, and got himself into incredible trouble. The police had pulled him over, and after some questioning, he admitted to recently smoking marijuana. They then decided that they would do a search of the entire vehicle, and were very suspicious upon finding a locked safe.
After forcing it open, they found 24.6 grams of crack, 1.4 grams of heroin, and 19.3 grams of marijuana. They hit him with all kinds of possession and intent to sell charges and took him straight off to jail. It is still not clear what exactly his plan was. A safe is really not going to hide the smell of drugs particularly well, and once police start searching your car with the proper permissions, they aren’t going to stop at your safe just because it is tightly locked up. Perhaps he should have stuck with using safes for their intended purpose, and also not dealt drugs.
2. A Woman Finds Her Own Priceless Personal Valuables In A Safe Her Son Returned To The Store
A woman had bought a safe to store her valuables, but decided it was too small and that she wanted a bigger one. She told her son this and, trying to be a thoughtful son, he took it back to the store to return it and came back with a bigger and more expensive one for her. At first no one thought anything of it, but then she realized that a diamond ring, a crystal sword that she felt was irreplaceable, and several other valuable items were missing. After a lot of thought, she felt a creeping horror sink in, worried that they had been locked in the returned safe.
In a frantic panic, she called up the Lowe’s that the safe had been returned to, to see if they possibly somehow still had it. And, with the most incredible luck in the world, it turns out they did – even though it was four months later. Her return was still in a box in the back, but was also the very last copy of that item in the store. If she had waited much longer and someone had wanted that brand of safe, she may never have seen any of those items again.
1. Teenagers Get Stuck in Safes Way Too Often
As we mentioned earlier, people should probably keep a closer eye on their gun safes and make sure that they are definitely closed and locked at all times, especially with children around. Just watch the video above about a teen in San Antonio who had to be rescued from inside a safe if you need more proof of that.
Children and teenagers tend to be reckless, and are still learning, so they try out all kinds of things that can be quite dangerous. Some teens in Oregon were playing around with one of their parents’ gun safes, and things started to go wrong rather quickly. One of the teens told the others she believed that she could fit inside, and wanted them to try to close her in. However, once they got it closed, it locked and they were struggling to get it open again.
They fumbled with the code and after entering too many incorrect attempts, they became temporarily locked out and trapped her inside. Having no other recourse, they called the fire department, who actually cut a hole in the back of the safe to make sure the teen had air to breath. As they were finishing up, the security access door finally allowed more entries again, and the father was able to enter the correct code and release her. While she was only inside for about 30 minutes, with such a small safe, she may not have been able to survive for very long, as the air wouldn’t last for much time at all. The safe, of course, was ruined in the process, and stood as a lesson to everyone about keeping a better eye on your gun safe. And also, teenagers are just plain idiots.