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Men Who Claimed To Find Buried Treasure Arrested


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Police Say Roofers Found Money In Someone's House

UPDATED: 8:10 am EDT April 29, 2005

BOSTON -- From the beginning it sounded a bit like a tall tale, and it turns out it may well have been just that.

Two men who claimed they found buried treasure in the back yard of a Methuen, Mass., home were arrested for allegedly receiving stolen property.

Methuen police chief Joseph E. Solomon said Friday morning that Tim Crebase, 22, of Methuen, and Barry Billcliff, 27, of Manchester, N.H., are roofers who actually found the money in the rafters of an old house they were renovating in Newbury, Mass., so it doesn't belong to them.

Solomon said that the pair are facing charges of receiving stolen property worth more than $250 and conspiracy, among other charges. He said police began to be suspicious about the find Thursday when the stories about how the money was discovered kept changing.

"It appeared to be the American dream and it just turned out to be a fraud," Solomon said.

The antique bank notes and currency the pair found could be worth as much as $100,000, and the money is authentic -- but the stories about how the money was found while the men were digging up a tree in Crebase's yard were phony and Solomon said one of the men eventually confessed.

Solomon said if the men had not gone to the media with the story of their discovery, they probably could have taken it out of state and sold it to dealers and collectors and kept the profits. Instead, their story garnered national attention, including closer scrutiny by the police and even the Secret Service.

"They probably could have gotten away with it all," Solomon said. "I guess sometimes wanting to be famous is the downfall of some people."

Kevin Kozak and Tim Crebase said that they were digging up a tree in their back yard in Methuen recently when they discovered a wooden box filled with about 1,800 bills dating from 1899 to 1929 worth more than $100,000. The men said they took the money to a New Hampshire antique dealer to confirm that the money wasn't counterfeit.


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at the end of the day?

i knew they were not gonna keep that money...

too many people jump up to say "THAT'S MINE" when a story like this goes national....turns out this time, someone was right...

definitely should have kept their mouths shut...hopefully the loot is returned to the rightful owners....

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