Vaults may seem like a great way to store your dearest possessions, but anyone can tell you that, with a bit of elbow grease and creativity, each of them can easily be broken into. Of course, some vaults are built better than others, and even the strongest of people need a hand!
That’s where a locksmith comes in. When an old steel vault was discovered recently, a locksmith who goes by the name “Unkapier” on Imgur was contacted to work his magic. Unkapier was intrigued—what could be inside? When he finally opened up the vault, however, he couldn’t believe his eyes…
People keep vaults in their homes for many reasons, including to protect their most valuable possessions. So whenever a mysterious safe is discovered, it’s a race to see what’s inside. A safecracker who went by the name “Unkapier” on Imgur knew that all too well.
When an old vault—which had been built by the notoriously impenetrable Mosler Safe Company—was found, Unkapier was hired for the nearly impossible task of getting it open. The first thing he did was remove the red panel on its outside…
Mosler’s reputation for building impenetrable safes garnered numerous high-profile contracts. The company manufactured doors for missile silos and even built the vault once used to display the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence! Unkapier knew he had his work cut out for him.
Though opening the safe was going to be difficult, Unkapier was more than up to the task. With each safe came the opportunity to find something amazing. He could only imagine what could possibly be inside the locked door…
Once the outer panel was removed, Unkapier gathered the rest of his safe-cracking tools. First, he started to work on the vault’s solid brass combination dial. Meanwhile, the desire to know what was inside motivated him more than ever…
Somehow, Unkapier was able to open the vault door without too much effort—and the way he did it still remains a mystery. (Much like a magician, a locksmith never reveals his or her secrets…)
Unkapier may have used weak-point drilling to get inside, but the ease with which he did it suggested that he might have worked out the combination. Whatever his method, he was making progress!
After managing to open the first door, Unkapier located the lock mechanisms, which were still surprisingly sturdy and reliable. The designers of this particular device certainly had security in mind!
Unkapier was excited when he spotted several numbers etched into the door of the vault. Were they part of the combination code? He couldn’t be sure, but with his expertise, he wouldn’t need them anyway…
Unkapier had already shifted his focus to the second door, which was also locked. At that point, he realized that the actual volume of the vault’s interior was not nearly as big as he’d originally thought. What could be in there?
The walls of the vault were much thicker than those of modern safes. Whatever mysterious valuables the owner had been hiding in there, they clearly wanted to keep it protected from the outside world!
Unkapier was familiar with this step in the process; he was going to have to unlock a second door. He took note of the model number and other distinguishing marks before proceeding…
Being the professional locksmith he was, Unkapier opened the second door with ease. Inside, he found several drawers that seemed like ideal places to store items such as jewelry, important documents, or other treasured keepsakes.
Before he explored the safe, Unkapier snapped a photo of the lock he removed for his followers to admire. It was such intricate craftsmanship! With the lock removed, he could finally see what had been inside the vault all along—and he was shocked.
Much to his chagrin, it didn’t appear there was anything inside of the safe he so carefully unlocked! Save for the small wooden drawers, it appeared to be disappointingly empty. At least, that was what he initially believed…
Unkapier was curious about the small wooden boxes. Was there anything inside those? He just had to find out—otherwise, he would’ve done all that work for nothing. And as he would soon learn, it’d be well worth his patience…
Unkapier carefully lifted each drawer outside of the safe—he noted that they were heavy. Much to his surprise, he opened them—and found a few hundred dollars in cash and coins! But this wasn’t just any ordinary currency; the majority of it was in $2 dollar bills, the rarest of United States currency.
Unfortunately, as rare as they might be in the United States, $2 bills aren’t necessarily worth very much. This goes especially amongst collectors, who likely own more than a few already!
While Unkapier might not have found gold or some massive treasure inside the vault, that didn’t make his discovery any less spectacular. It still seemed as if he’d unlocked a real treasure chest.
One thing was for sure: all of Unkapier’s hard work was worth it! He might not have struck it rich that day, but who knows? With a job like his, he could find a safe like the one this Staten Island resident did…
For as long as Matthew Emanuel could remember, he enjoyed putting extra effort into the aesthetic appeal of his property. He was proud of his home in Todt Hill, Staten Island, and although he didn’t own a huge plot of land, it was always well-maintained.
He lived in Todt Hill with his wife, Maria, and their son. For the four years they lived there, the whole family had spent countless hours decorating their small but cozy backyard, but it wasn’t until early 2018 they gave the whole thing an overhaul.
See, a harsh winter storm hit earlier in the year, and it decimated most of the vegetation in the Emanuel’s backyard. They had seen plenty of snowfall throughout the previous years, but this walloping did irreparable damage.
On top of all of it, once the snow completely melted, roaming deer ate up most of what was left. After years of ensuring their property looked immaculate, it was time to bring in a professional landscaper and give the thinned-out place a huge renovation.
Matthew did some research before he finally settled on a professional landscaper named Robert Foley, who also went by the nickname “Bamboo Bob.” He had decades of experience in the New York area.
The plan was to have Bamboo Bob place a large thicket of bamboo on one side of Matthew’s garden; the deer would avoid it, and it would offer the family privacy from their neighbors. However, not long into the process, Bamboo Bob and his crew came across a mysterious metal box.
It didn’t take long to see the strange metallic box was actually a safe. Matthew told Bamboo Bob he’d seen the top of it poking out of the grass but always assumed it was an old rusted electrical box. Bamboo Bob grabbed a hammer and cracked right into the safe.
Matthew, his family, and the whole landscaping crew were stunned when the safe broke apart. There, piled in front of them, were dozens of stacks of $100 bills and a bag full of jewelry. For four years, the treasure had been poking out of the lawn!
Unfortunately, Matthew quickly realized the safe wasn’t waterproof, and over the years, plenty of liquid found its way in and destroyed a lot of the money!
After counting all of the money in the soggy stacks, there was about $5,000 that Matthew wasn’t able to save. But, some bills dried, and those totaled a whopping $16,300 in cold hard cash! And, that didn’t even take into the account all the jewelry.
Everything wrapped up in the jewelry bag was made of pure gold. Matthew grabbed a kitchen scale and piled everything on, but as he was cataloging it, he saw a folded piece of paper at the bottom of the bag. This piqued his interest more than the gold.
Matthew unfolded the paper and was surprised to see an address scrawled on it. He assumed it was the address of the people who owned the safe. He punched it into his phone’s map, and the results completely caught him off guard.
The address was nearby. In fact, he passed it by every day while walking the dog. He could even see it through the plants on his property. He had to find out why his neighbor’s safe had been lodged in his yard for so long.
A lot of people would have kept the money and jewelry. It had been there for four years, after all, so clearly, no one was searching for it, right? But, Matthew was honest, and two days after the safe was opened, he visited the address.
He knocked on the door and an elderly woman answered. Matthew cut right to the chase and asked, “Have you ever been robbed before?” The color drained from her face.
The old woman solemnly nodded her head and confirmed that the day after Christmas in 2011, she was robbed — of $52,000 worth of money and jewelry, to be exact!
From 2005 to 2015, Staten Island was hit with a string of serial burglaries by a man police nicknamed the “Ninja Burglar.” He robbed 160 homes in Staten Island, and many were located right there in Todt Hill — had he stolen from this woman, too?
While the specifics of the buried safe were unknown — if it was related to the Ninja Burglar or why it was in Matthew’s yard — were never uncovered, the woman confirmed the contents were hers. Matthew was elated — he told the local news the only thing he wanted out of the entire ordeal was good karma.
The Emanuel family wanted to commemorate the once-in-a-lifetime experience, so they had a ceramic elephant placed in the spot where the safe was found. It represented both the elderly woman reuniting with her items and the honesty and respect which the Emanuel family values.
No one could have ever known this safe was filled with money and jewelry, and it very well could have stayed that way forever if the Emanuel’s never renovated their backyard. For more info on this story, you can check out the video below!