>>> The News: JAY KAY!

By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
April 27, 2005

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Friends Find $75,000 in Backyard Treasure

BOSTON – Simple luck helped Tim Crebase and two friends find a stash of cash buried in his yard. Splitting up the money without damaging their friendship may take more skill.

Yes, the skill of knowing how to divide 75 by three. Truly a skill that not many DREAM of possessing.

It was a rainy day that prevented Crebase and friends Barry Billcliff and Matt Ingham go to their roofing job, so they began digging around his Methuen yard to dig up a shrub whose roots were creeping into a nearby set of stairs.

Ah yes, rainy day activities… I remember as a kid we would play board games… watch movies… dig up shrugs in Methuen yards…. yeah, those were the days.

About a foot down, Crebase said, he hit some soft wood. More digging cracked open a can and he saw the cash.

I got some soft wood for ya! RIGHT HERE! *Pointing down to Pinocchio's flaccid, albeit wooden, cock*

After grabbing it, Crebase said he ran screaming to show Billcliff and Ingham, and they helped him uncover about eight remaining cans. The total stash was about 1,800 bills dating between 1899 and 1929 and piles of gold and silver certificates. Exactly who buried it at the home in Methuen, about 30 miles north of Boston — and why — is unknown.

More digging uncovered the skeleton of a bank teller, a safe, and three customers. It was then that they realized their house was actually built atop a 19th century bank.

Crebase, 24, says he's the one who made the find and has the final say about the money, though he'll do what's best for everyone.

For example, buying a $75,000 car will be best for everybody because his friends can ride in it.

“I'm the one who found it,” Crebase said. “Without my decision, nothing's going to happen.”

I for one hope they decide to bury the money back in somebody else's lawn. Preferably mine.

But Billcliff, 27, said that's not true. “If one penny is spent, we all have to agree on its use,” he told The Associated Press in a separate interview on Wednesday. “The truth was, I handed him the shovel, I told him where to start digging.”

If The Simpsons have taught me anything, these three friends will divide the days of the week and assign them to certain people. Billcliff will get the money on Monday and Thursday, Crebase will get it on Tuesday and Friday, and Ingham will get it on Wednesday and Saturday. But what about Sunday?

Despite the dispute over who controls the money, the friends appear to agree on what they should do with at part of it: putting some of it into Ingham's rock band, called Till We Die. Both say the band, which Crebase described as “aggressive rock,” can make it big with some help.

Wow. They might as well bury that money back up and save some time. Which isn't to say that “aggressive rock” isn't a sound investment…. It's just that I'd rather invest money into an actual aggressive rock then that band.

“Once they get big, they're going to take care of me,” Crebase said.

Snorting a line of Optimist Powder.

A message left at a listing for Ingham in New Hampshire was not immediately returned.

He was probably too busy in the studio cutting a sweet demo.

The day of the find, the men brought the money to Village Coin Shop in nearby Plaistow, N.H., where owner Domenic Mangano closed down early after he saw the quality of the notes.

Hahaha. CLOSE THE DOOR! he yelled, to NOBODY's chagrin.

“I thought I was in a dream looking at this stuff,” said Mangano, who estimated the value of the find at between $50,000 to $75,000.

“Boys leave me alone, I'd like to masturbate on these coins.”

Much of the worth comes from diverse collection of obsolete national notes. Mangano said that in the early 20th century, banks were allowed to print currency with their own names on it. Once the federal government ended the practice, those notes became collector's items.

Mangano says a lot of things.

Crebase said he's planning to keep plenty of the proceeds for himself, adding he'll buy a car, clothes and save some of it. He said he plans to give some to Billcliff and the home's owner, Kevin Kozak, though he said he doesn't know how much yet. Billcliff said the money will be divided on a more collaborative, “as needed” basis.

“We're not gonna waste the money on shit we don't need, like CLOTHES! We're gonna make wise investments in bands.”

Besides splitting up the cash, the find has come with other difficulties, including calls from people threatening to dig up the property, as well as strangers wandering through the yard, looking for more, Crebase said.

What kind of threat is that? “Hey…you don't know me but I know you. I'm gonna come DIG UP YOUR LAWN!” *Click* …. “Hey dude, your grandma called again. She sounded pissed.”

But in the weeks since the find, the yard was scanned with equipment that detects objects and nothing was found.

The equipment is just Mangano on a leash.

Crebase said he wanted to be sure his new wealth doesn't cause new rifts. “I'd rather burn the money than cause problems between me and my friends,” Crebase said.

“Wait no that's ridiculous. Don't use that quote. Stop writing what I'm saying. This is all off the record okay?” The reporter nodded in a way that connoted slyness.