An elderly Brooklyn couple is hoping that the incredible stash of cash they found in a safety deposit box at their local bank finds its way back to its rightful owner.
Kathleen Ricigliano and Joe Valinoti, who have been companions for 12 years, went to a Sovereign Bank in their Borough Park neighborhood in February to rent a safety deposit box. When they opened the box, it was filled with cash.
"I said, 'No wonder this box is heavy, it's full of paper. It's stuck.'" said Ricigliano, 81. "I pull it out, it's all money. Oh my God, I froze. I said, 'Don't touch it, don't touch it. Don't touch, it's not ours!'"
The couple estimates there was $100,000 inside. Ricigliano wanted to give it back. Valinoti wasn't so sure.
"I saw her getting nervous. I said, 'I'll keep my mouth shut. That's it,'" said Valinoti. "But people called us up and said we were crazy, we should have left it there for a week and gone back with somebody to get it."
The couple decided on the honest route and alerted the bank to the mysterious stash.
"I called the manager, and he said, 'What's the matter?'" said Ricigliano. "I said, 'There's money in there and it's not mine.'"
But they weren't pleased with the answers the bank gave when they asked if the money would be given to the rightful owner.
"I said, 'What happens now?' He said, 'Nothing, nothing,'" said Ricigliano. "I'd like to know if that person gets their money back."
The bank told NBC 4 New York in a statement: "Sovereign Bank has been trying to reach the legitimate owner of the found property. In the meantime, we're acting as custodians of the property in accordance with our procedures and the law."
Ricigliano and Valinoti can only hope that's true and that perhaps someday their good deed will be rewarded.