June 16th, 2024

New York magnet fisher catches safe full of soggy $100 bills


By Joseph B. Frederick And Karen Matthews, The Associated Press on June 4, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – James Kane has used a magnet to fish all manner of junk from New York City waterways, but stacks of $100 bills he pulled from a safe were something else entirely.

Kane’s girlfriend, Barbi Agostini, 39, thought he was joking when he said their life was about to change, she told The Associated Press on Monday. She was filming as Kane, 40, pulled a slimy safe out of a lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and extracted bags of waterlogged Benjamins from inside it.

“Oh, that’s money,” Kane said Friday in video he posted online. “Oh, it is! Stacks of bills, dude!”

“Oh, my God!” Agostini said in the video.

The couple estimates that the safe contained $100,000 in damaged currency.

The bills featured the 3D security ribbon that indicates recent vintage, but the safe bore no clues to a rightful owner.

Kane and Agostini said they called the police to report their discovery and the police said there was no evidence of a crime.

“They gave it to us, as, I guess you call it a finders keepers thing,” Kane said.

The New York Police Department did not respond to requests for confirmation of Kane’s discovery.

Kane said he and Agostini plan to take their soggy money to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington to redeem it.

Some portion of the bills will likely be too damaged to recover, he said.

The pair have ideas for spending whatever they end up with, including a new vehicle and upgrades to the equipment they use to produce content.

Kane is far from the only magnet fisher who has made a mark in recent years. All it takes is a powerful magnet, a body of water and a rope.

A magnet fisher found a human skull padlocked to an exercise dumbbell in New Orleans last month, and someone fishing in a creek in Georgia in April pulled up a rifle and some belongings of a couple who were killed nine years ago.

As magnet fishing videos rack up views on YouTube, skeptics grumble on Reddit that some of the finds must be fake.

Kane may just be lucky. He’s hauled up bicycles, guns, grenades, and jewelry from New York City waterways, promoting his exploits on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

“I have seen and worked with other magnet fishers that can hit a spot for three months, and I’ll come along and throw the same magnet and get and find something that they’ve been trying to get the entire time,” he said. “I personally can’t explain that.”

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