HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The State Treasurer wants to clear out a vault with $4 billion worth of your stuff in it. It is all unclaimed property, mostly from expired safety boxes. Treasurer Stacy Garrity recently took abc27’s Dennis Owens on a tour.
There’s silver and gold, diamonds and currency like some have never seen before.
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“Here is the $1,000 Grover Cleveland that’s legit, yeah that’s legit that was a real bill yes,” Garrity said. “We want to give everything back because it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the people of Pennsylvania.”
The vault itself is a treasure in its own right. It was built in 1939 for $600,000 and it is the largest working vault in the United States. Plus, it has never been robbed.
After three years in the vault, most of the valuables will be auctioned off. Last year, the general fund got to claim $220.6 million from unclaimed items. But, not everything here goes to the highest bidder.
“We never get rid of any military decorations,’ Garrity said.
There are 618 of them. In less than a year, Garrity’s returned more than a hundred. It is a priority for this former army general who did three tours in Iraq. Her goal? To return every single military decoration.
She takes special care with Purple Hearts, which are only given to the killed or wounded. Her staff works hard to return them to the people who earned them or their families.
“These military decorations are priceless we want to make sure we honor our veterans and remember their sacrifice and their service,” Garrity said.
Millions of dollars worth of stuff from every Pennsylvania County can be found here and Garrity is confident, until they can be returned or sold, that it is all safe in the vault.
“I don’t know, Dennis, if you’ve ever seen the movies ‘Ocean’s 11’. This vault is way more impressive than the vault in ‘Ocean’s 11,'” Garrity added.
Search the Treasury’s database by clicking here.