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Do you have unclaimed treasure sitting in Topeka?

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November 14, 2012|by Sia Nyorkor | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(TOPEKA, Kan.) — You could have money sitting in Topeka and not even realize it.  There are millions of dollars out there for Kansans to claim but the state is having a hard time tracking the owners down.  The state wants to give back money left in safety deposit boxes, lawsuit settlements and old bank accounts.

Eyewitness News teamed up with the Treasurer's Office for an unclaimed property hotline Tuesday.  Between phone calls and people checking for themselves online, the state opened 910 potential claims.  The potential amount of money to be given back is $124,872.  The largest potential claim is worth $9,672.

Last year one lucky woman claimed more than half-a-million dollars.

"Are there any items this year that you just really want to get out here?" asks Eyewitness News Reporter Sia Nyorkor.

"Well, we want to get it all out," replied State Treasurer, Ron Estes.

"There's a lot of neat things, gold bars, savings bonds, rings, jewelry, some of the first edition comic books," he said.

And of course there's lots of cash. The office gets items of a more sensitive nature.

"The cremated remains of an individual. He had been stored in a safe deposit box in a bank and that was turned over to us and obviously that's one of those things you have to handle with care," says Estes.

Those involved say the rewards go both ways. Lisa Wood remembers a man coming in to claim his expensive coins.

"He brought his wife in and they were just absolutely amazed what good care we had taken care of their items for so long and they were going home to put it in their wills as far as what their kids would get because he left with several hundred coins that were worth quite a bit of money," says Wood, who works in the call center.

Remember, this service is free.  Scammers may try and convince you to give them a cut.  "There's no charge from us, if anybody ever asks you for a payment or a few, reach out to us," says Estes.

In the case you don't claim your property in time, the treasurer will hold in the vault forever.

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