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  1. ITV Report

A magnet fisher found a safe and jewellery in a canal

The safe was retrieved from the Rochdale Canal Photo:

A safe stolen during an armed robbery more than a decade ago has been reunited with its owner after being found in a canal by a magnet fisher.

Robert Teale thought he'd never see the safe or the jewellery belonging to his late father after he was robbed in his own home in Whitworth.

But almost 12 years later, Robert's stolen safe and the sentimental belongings were retrieved from the Rochdale Canal with a big magnet on a rope.

The finder was Scott Bryant who was magnet fishing in the stretch of water near Manchester Road in Castleton.

Inside the safe, Scott found a number of watches, jewellery and an old driving licence with Robert's name on it.

Scott then traced Robert on Facebook and sent him a message explaining what he'd found.

Robert, 36, who now lives in Prestwich, said:

Eleven years ago armed men came to my front door and threatened me with Tasers. My little lad who was only a baby and my then-partner were in the house at the time. I gave them what they wanted and they took the safe. The police never found anyone. I'd written off ever finding the safe or my dad's things again. The contents included an engraved watch and bracelet left to the dad-of-one by his father, Robert, who died in 2006. I wasn't bothered about the other items or the money. It was just the bracelet and watch that I wanted back.

– Robert Teale

On February 9, Robert received a message out of the blue from Scott explaining he'd found a driving licence with his name on. Robert then told Scott about the robbery and described the sentimental items that had been taken. Scott, 38, who only took up magnet fishing eight weeks ago, said:

I've actually found three safes since I started magnet fishing. The first time I found one I rang the police on the 101 number and they didn't want to know. When I found Robert's safe there were three watches, a necklace, a bracelet and an expired driving licence. I messaged him on Facebook and only mentioned the driving licence. I didn't want to give too much away because you never know with some people. But when he replied he told me about the robbery and the engravings. That was the clincher, really. I knew it all belonged to him. When I found it I had no idea there was this huge back story. I go magnet fishing to escape for a few hours. It's been amazing to find something like this and return it to the rightful owner. It's been a bit of a whirlwind.

– Scott Bryant

Once sure the items belonged to Robert, Scott arranged to meet him at the Asda in Rochdale. Scott, a healthcare assistant, then handed over the lost items to an emotional Robert, he added:

I was dumbstruck, I think it's amazing what Scott did. It was so nice of him to take some time out to find me. I honestly never thought I would see them again. It just goes to show there are good people out there.

– Robert Teale