Buried treasure in Coney Island!

Buried treasure in Coney Island
File photo by Paul Martinka

There’s gold in them thar dunes!

Thousands of dollars may still be buried beneath the sand at Coney Island beach. A pair of do-gooders from San Francisco hid $2,500 in 38 Pez dispensers they scattered over the beach between the New York Aquarium and Luna Park late on Aug. 2 as part of a scavenger hunt — but by the next morning, the cash-filled candy cases that had dotted the sand were gone.

The Parks Department uses tractors with rakes to clean the beach and level off the sand each night, a spokeswoman said. One lucky treasure-hunter found cash on the beach on Aug. 3, and based on how deep it was buried, the organizers say the “sandbonis” may have entombed the cash deep in Coney Island’s sand.

“For sure one person found one, but it was buried pretty deep — he had to use a shovel” said Jason Buzi.

Buzi and partner Yan Budman — who said they organize the scavenger hunts nationwide to bring people together — began tweeting hints to the money’s location from their @HiddenCash handle at 8:30 am on Aug. 3, but by 10:30 am, they we inundated by tweets from treasure-hunters who came up empty-handed.

“We knew something was wrong because we expected people to have found a few by then,” Buzi said. “I called my partner and said we have to do something to fix this.”

Budman bought more of the pocket-sized novelty candy dispensers, pulled some cash out of the bank, and nestled the moola on Brighton Beach’s shores to make up for the missing Coney cash, Buzi said.

The Bay News sent our intrepid Adventure Correspondent to sift through Coney’s beach in search of the buried treasure, but only dug up some less lucrative curios — like a rusty fishhook — and straight-up trash.

But if you want to take a shovel to the shore and try your luck, be careful.

A 10-year-old girl found a loaded 9 mm handgun buried in the sand near W. 19th Street just after 2 pm on Aug. 11, police said. The girl and her mother turned the gun over to police, and the incident is still under investigation, according to law enforcement officials.

A Parks Department spokeswoman said no Parks employees have reported finding dough-laden confectionery dispensers, but if city workers do stumble on the entombed treats, Buzi wants them to spread the love.

“They should re-hide them,” he said. “I’d like the money to go to the people of New York — not to the garbage or city workers.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
One man’s trash: Reporter Max Jaeger did not find any cash buried in Coney Island’s beach, but he did stumble on a lot of garbage, including clothing, directions to New Jersey, and a fishing hook.
Photo by Elana Ehrenberg