MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Inside the Alabama state capitol, there's a massive vault filled with millions in cash, valuables and other financial instruments - and, the treasures don't belong to the state. They're unclaimed property being held until the rightful owners (maybe you) can claim them.
There's no exotic name attached to the pile of cash, coins and jewelry. It's just the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Treasurer's office.
"There's about $400 million yet to be claimed," said State Treasurer Young Boozer, "And there are about 3.8 million items. Our obligation is to take the property in and then search for the rightful owner."
After three years, items left unclaimed in safe deposit boxes are packaged and shipped to Montgomery where the staff sorts through the contents, catalogues the items and tries to establish a value for them. Sometimes it's easy. A gold bar is worth about $35,000. It's a little tougher to put a price on an Elvis souvenir book the staff found in one box.
There are military medals, Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars. Not to mention bags and bags of coins - pistols, knives, pearls, silver salt and pepper shakers and collectible paper money.
Chad Wright oversees the operation for the Treasurer's Office. He says he seen just about anything you can think of - including a 1984 Olympic gold medal. "We've got a name," said Wright, "As a matter of fact...we did a little research and hopefully we'll be able to match it back up with them."
So how can you find out if some of this loot is yours?
Boozer says, "If you want to find out if we're holding assets for you...if we have some unclaimed property of yours, what you do is go to our web site, www.treasury.alabama.gov .
The opening page comes up and on the top left hand corner is a link to unclaimed property. Click on that. It takes you to the opening page of a website for unclaimed property.
You simply type in your first name, your last name and your city. After hitting the request information button it will pull up whether or not the state is holding assets that belong to you!
Good luck hunting for your hidden treasure.