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Inside an old safe: hidden cash, open feud
Globe ^ | June 13, 2009 | Peter Schworm

Posted on 06/13/2009 8:28:29 AM PDT by george76

For four decades, the 1-ton safe sat in the back of a family shoe store, and as the years rolled past, its secrets were seemingly forgotten. When the family closed up shop, renting the building to a shoe repairman, the safe stayed put. No one remembered the combination. No one knew what to do with it.

Now, everyone is rushing to stake a claim.

Dumped in a vacant lot in neighboring Lawrence last November as an obsolete, oversize nuisance, the old-fashioned vault was discovered to hold a small fortune - $178,496 in crisp currency. The money was packed in blue bank envelopes, wrapped in old Daher's Shoes shopping bags and a white Nike T-shirt, and tucked in a locked compartment.

The surprise discovery is the target of an intra-family court battle involving four competing parties, though none can explain why someone would stash so much money away and apparently not tell anyone.

John Belko, the widower of Joyce Belko, who ran Daher's for years before dying of cancer in 2003, believes the money rightfully belongs to her estate. Joyce Belko's brother, Ken Daher, who bought the property in 1996, says it belongs to him.

Even the tow truck driver who was paid $200 to haul the vault away says he should get the money, as he is the last person to possess the safe. And the state government, after learning about the contested windfall in local press accounts, is chasing the money...

Amid all the competing claims, the police department has had enough. Last week, the department filed a petition seeking to have Essex Superior Court take the money and determine its rightful owner.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: safe

1 posted on 06/13/2009 8:28:29 AM PDT by george76
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To: george76
Dumped in a vacant lot

It seems to me that title passed to whoever accepted the safe as scrap. The lot owner gets the money.

2 posted on 06/13/2009 8:32:50 AM PDT by frithguild (Can I drill your head now?)
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To: george76

Forget it.

No matter who “wins”....

Attornies will get it all.

And what’s left goes to the State for taxes.


3 posted on 06/13/2009 8:33:45 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: george76

Seems pretty obvious that it belongs in the dead woman’s estate, which the husband inherited.


4 posted on 06/13/2009 8:33:49 AM PDT by EggsAckley (There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply. W.C. Fields)
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To: george76

A real life version of the movie “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”.


5 posted on 06/13/2009 8:35:07 AM PDT by Moonmad27
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To: george76
The State will fine the store owner and the truck driver a fine of $176,000 or so for improper disposal of junk. Case closed.

In a society where Government is King, legal issues aren't very difficult. Government always wins.

6 posted on 06/13/2009 8:35:40 AM PDT by Lawgvr1955 (You can never have too much cowbell !!)
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To: xsmommy; Buckhead
Amid all the competing claims, the police department has had enough. Last week, the department filed a petition seeking to have Essex Superior Court take the money and determine its rightful owner.

The last time I heard of an interpleader action was in a Civ Pro textbook.

7 posted on 06/13/2009 8:35:48 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Yup!


8 posted on 06/13/2009 8:36:19 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: george76
This is so very odd.
During all that time no one ever thought to try and get the safe open?
I'm sorry, but curiosity would have got the better of me at some point. OK, so it didn't pay off for Geraldo, but still...
9 posted on 06/13/2009 8:36:36 AM PDT by ozark hilljilly (Does this tagline make me look like a domestic terrorist?)
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To: george76

THAT MONEY IS MINE!

I had that safe in the backseat of 1988 toyota tercel. When I left the ‘Fall and Crawl” tavern, I noticed the back windows smashed out. I did not think anything of it then. When I sobered up, about 20 miles down the road, I though WTF! Where is my safe full of dollars?!?

(So, do I fill out a form or somthing to get it back, or what?)


10 posted on 06/13/2009 8:37:26 AM PDT by truemiester ((If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years))
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To: SunkenCiv; Candor7

Good thing they found the money now before Obama makes it worthless.


11 posted on 06/13/2009 8:38:11 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Moonmad27

Give it to the Jimmy Fund

Sincerely,

Jimmy


12 posted on 06/13/2009 8:39:18 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: truemiester

It’s your money, is it?

OK.

So now the State assumes it is illegal drug money. And you must provide proof you obtained it legally.

Failure to do so means the cash is confiscated by the State.

Cool, huh?


13 posted on 06/13/2009 8:45:23 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: george76

Give it to the Human Fund.

Sincerely,
George Costanza


14 posted on 06/13/2009 8:47:09 AM PDT by drjimmy
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To: Responsibility2nd

as a recently hired employee of “the state”, please forward the cash to me by quickest available conveyance and I’ll eventually make a decision as to whom it belongs..you can call me to check the status at anytime by dialing BR549..


15 posted on 06/13/2009 8:48:40 AM PDT by GeorgiaDawg32 (I'm a Patriot Guard Rider..www.patriotguard.org for info..)
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To: george76
white Nike T-shirt,

Forty years ago? Nike?

16 posted on 06/13/2009 8:51:57 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Responsibility2nd
It ain't drug money. I used the drug money to buy a house I flipped for nice clean cash.

And since it is my only income and under $250K, I don't have to pay the huge taxes. (My business is all cash, unless I take a drug dealer/pimp/hit man bail out and the administration appoints a czar to keep my salary down.)

17 posted on 06/13/2009 8:53:07 AM PDT by truemiester ((If the U.S. should fail, a veil of darkness will come over the Earth for a thousand years))
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To: frithguild

I think there are laws on this....”rightful” is probably the key word.


18 posted on 06/13/2009 8:54:07 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: GeorgiaDawg32

I will forward the cash immediately. By bank transfer.

Please freep-mail me your bank account number and routing number.

I promise and assure you I will live down to your every expectation.


19 posted on 06/13/2009 8:54:28 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: george76

Somebody needs to learn to keep their mouth shut.


20 posted on 06/13/2009 8:55:34 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Hey, Obama! Where's my check?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Statute of Limitations!!!


21 posted on 06/13/2009 8:56:37 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: truemiester

If I had $178,496 in crisp currency, and the feds came snooping, I would kindly explain I’m a Community Organizer and an ACORN volunteer.

I’ve no doubt I would soon be leaving with $378,496.00.


22 posted on 06/13/2009 8:57:21 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: george76

The article doesn’t say who actually made the effort to open the safe...and why???


23 posted on 06/13/2009 8:58:03 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Fresh Wind

Exactly. I cant figure out why the guy who finally opened it didnt just keep his mouth shut.


24 posted on 06/13/2009 8:58:14 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Responsibility2nd

The money will almost all be taken by The Lawyer Industry, the Federal Government, and most of all, the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.

Why?

(From the article): “...the state government, after learning about the contested windfall in local press accounts, is chasing the money to recoup $162,000 in unpaid medical bills from the estate of Sally Daher, Joyce Belko and Daher’s mother, who died in 2001 after spending several years in a public nursing home.”

Where assets become available, the state always gets every penny of its Nursing Home Medicaid money back. And they are VERY aggressive in doing so.

Nobody from the family will ever see a penny.


25 posted on 06/13/2009 8:59:42 AM PDT by FormerACLUmember (When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.)
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To: Sacajaweau

the article DOES say..it was the local fire department who spotted the safe in the lot..even then, the safe was empty..the money was in a “hidden” compartment within the safe...


26 posted on 06/13/2009 8:59:55 AM PDT by GeorgiaDawg32 (I'm a Patriot Guard Rider..www.patriotguard.org for info..)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Ooops.

Scratch that deviously wonderful idea of mine.

Will never work.

You see..... I’m a TWP.

(Typical White Person)

Plus I’m a man. And not a Wise Latina Woman.

(Damn, I’m so screwed!)


27 posted on 06/13/2009 9:00:45 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: george76
John Belko, the widower of Joyce Belko, who ran Daher's for years before dying of cancer in 2003, believes the money rightfully belongs to her estate.

The cops will say that since she used drugs while dying of cancer the money belongs to them.

The money was in a safe that was sold as part of a property. The ownership of the safe and its contents passed to the new owner. If he discarded it, he discarded his rights to it and everything it contained. The owner of the lot upon which it was dumped is now the owner of the safe and its contents. If it had been dumped there without his permission, then the truck driver who dumped it there should be charged for illegal dumping.

There was a story once about someone in a flea market or rock show who saw a gigantic star sapphire in amongst other chunks of rocks and bought it. After it became known what he had acquired, the former owner tried to claim that she (I think it was a she) should get something more, that she was cheated out of it, etc., etc.. I think the outcome in that case was like what should be the outcome in this case: boo hoo, you should have been more attentive--especially since everyone knows 1. a safe is used to guard things of value, 2. the safe was locked with, probably, something still inside.

Someone who would toss it out after letting it sit for years without attempting to open it or to even have the curiosity to try to get it opened deserves the gigantic disappointment of seeing the outcome of his foolishness and lack of curiosity.
28 posted on 06/13/2009 9:01:43 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: FormerACLUmember

Thanks for reading the article.

I admit - I did not. But yet I knew what the result would be.

I happen to know a thing or two about America’s confiscatory greedy legal system.

And if any of the parties do get a dime... I’ll eat my hat.


29 posted on 06/13/2009 9:03:56 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: truemiester

just tell them where to mail your check...stimulus funds should cover you...


30 posted on 06/13/2009 9:11:26 AM PDT by Former MSM Viewer
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To: george76

***$178,496 in crisp currency. ***

Silver certificates or worthless Federal Reserve Notes?


31 posted on 06/13/2009 9:12:44 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (A modern liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do so long as it is compulsory.)
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To: george76

Possession is 9/10s of the law.


32 posted on 06/13/2009 9:14:23 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Fresh Wind

You are soooooo right. People are not smart enough to keep their mouth shut. You find something, you keep your mouth shut, unless you know for certain whose it was and who the rightful owner IS, otherwise if it is going to become a pissing match, keep your mouth shut. Apprently the family was so stupid that they never questioned the safe and sold it to the new owner who never questioned it and so on. That constitutes abandonment. Hope someone keeps an eye on this and keeps reporting on it.


33 posted on 06/13/2009 9:19:41 AM PDT by Concho ( No Birth Certificate-No Census!)
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To: aruanan
There may be extenuating circumstances to all this...Who else knew about the secret compartment? Is the widower competent??

I don't think so because he says the money belongs to her estate....when in fact....at least 1/2 of it is his in a community property state. (IMHO)

34 posted on 06/13/2009 9:22:19 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: george76

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX0fIi3H-es


35 posted on 06/13/2009 9:23:40 AM PDT by Krankor ("Quit talking about the eight men, or there's gonna be nine.")
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To: george76

Abandoned property opened by firefighters... Fine the tow truck operator for dumping, give half to the lot owner, and half to the city, and permit the shop owner to sue the renter for theft of the safe.


36 posted on 06/13/2009 9:36:55 AM PDT by kingu (Party for rent - conservative opinions not required.)
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To: Venturer

The tow truck driver couldn't get it scrapped but he probably was the first to find 'nothing' and dumped it ...Then per the article:

"Three weeks later, firefighters on patrol spotted the abandoned box, one of its doors ripped off, seemingly empty save for some old papers and wind-blown leaves. But upon closer inspection, they discovered an inner compartment, which they opened with a torch and jackhammer, yielding the hidden treasure"

Its possible that there was lots more cash in the open compartment and explain why the secret stash was missed. Just speculating ... ;-)

37 posted on 06/13/2009 9:38:43 AM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: Tunehead54
Excellent thought....I would guess one of the "FIREFIGHTERS ON PATROL" knew something about safes or called someone who did....

There's something just a little wrong with this story...Since there were papers...they knew it was from that Shoe Business....

Firemen do know a lot about "breaking in" to things and places...

All the legal junk I'm reading says it goes to the widower and I'd add that at least 1/2 as community property.

38 posted on 06/13/2009 9:49:05 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Fresh Wind

“Somebody needs to learn to keep their mouth shut.”

Really!!! Why on Earth would anyone go around telling everybody? I find money all the time but never turn it in (never more than $50)........

Finders keepers unless you here odf someone losing it and they can identify specifically where and how much...


39 posted on 06/13/2009 9:55:07 AM PDT by Ecliptic
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To: george76

Waiting for Acorn to step in.


40 posted on 06/13/2009 9:55:15 AM PDT by Orange1998
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To: Fresh Wind

“Somebody needs to learn to keep their mouth shut.”

Really!!! Why on Earth would anyone go around telling everybody? I find money all the time but never turn it in (never more than $50)........

Finders keepers unless you hear of someone losing it and they can identify specifically where and how much...


41 posted on 06/13/2009 9:55:29 AM PDT by Ecliptic
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To: Tunehead54

I would donate it to the firefighters fund for job down well. Without them it would have never been found.


42 posted on 06/13/2009 10:01:01 AM PDT by Orange1998
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Somebody is an idiot for talking. When you find money, you quietly put it in your pocket and skulk away.

No good deed goes unpunished.


43 posted on 06/13/2009 10:21:19 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (Ein Volk, Ein Riech, Ein Ein.)
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To: Orange1998
It goes to her widower. They worked for it.

Consider the firefighters one of those "God things"....and let the widower do a little donating...

44 posted on 06/13/2009 11:39:38 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: george76

And those are 1969 dollars, and the dollar was worth a lot more in 1969!


45 posted on 06/13/2009 12:45:22 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: Sacajaweau

Sounds fair, I second it.


46 posted on 06/13/2009 2:34:05 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: george76
Amid all the competing claims, the police department has had enough. Last week, the department filed a petition seeking to have Essex Superior Court take the money and determine its rightful owner.
Obviously the rightful owners will be the attorneys representing the various claimants -- $178K is tip money.
47 posted on 06/13/2009 3:53:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: lilylangtree
Possession is 9/10s of the law.

And secrecy is the crucial tenth tenth.

48 posted on 06/15/2009 10:41:32 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: george76
How would this be resolved if the safe were found on a ship sunk in the ocean? Regardless of who found it, wouldn't the original country claim the treasure as its own?

-PJ

49 posted on 06/15/2009 10:45:42 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (This just in... Voting Republican is a Terrorist act!)
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