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Magnet fishing couple finds safe containing $100,000 in New York park

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June 13 (UPI) -- A couple magnet fishing in a New York waterway reeled in a safe containing about $100,000 -- and they are now trying to preserve the cash before it disintegrates.

James Kane and Barbi Agostini said they were at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens earlier this month when the magnet on the end of their rope latched onto something heavy.

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The couple said the incident was not the first time they had reeled in a safe while magnet fishing, but it was the first time such a container turned out to contain treasure -- about $100,000 in water-damaged $100 bills.

The New York Police Department told the couple the cash was theirs to keep as investigators were unable to find any evidence connecting the safe or its contents to a crime.

"This is the most significant find in poor-people treasure-hunting history," Kane told The New York Times.

Kane and Agostini took a bus to Washington, D.C., with the most salvageable-seeming cash from the safe in the hopes of having it cataloged and replaced at the U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing. They said the cash was badly damaged and getting worse by the day.

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A Treasury employee estimated there appeared to be $50,000-$70,000 worth of recoverable cash in the plastic bag brought in by the couple.

The man told Kane and Agostini that the money would be counted and replaced with fresh cash, which they would be able to take home tax-free. The process is expected to take about nine months.

"America the beautiful," Kane said.

The couple, who took up magnet fishing as an outdoor activity during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, said their previous discoveries include a grenade, multiple guns, a drone and an entire motorcycle.

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