A Connecticut man said he found a bag containing nearly $5,000 in the parking lot of a bank.
He told local media that he made the spontaneous decision to take the cash.
Now, three months after that decision, he has been charged with larceny.
A Connecticut man said he found a bag containing nearly $5,000 in cash lying in the parking lot of a bank and kept it. But three months later, he now faces a charge of third-degree larceny.
Robert Withington, 57, said he made the discovery near a bank in Trumbull, Connecticut, on May 30, according to Trumbull Police Department.
"I walked out onto the parking lot, saw something on the ground and there was no one around so I picked it up," Withington told the Connecticut Post. "It's not like I stole something."
Withington described the moment as spontaneous, emphasizing that he didn't plan anything in advance, and telling the Connecticut Post it felt like he "hit the lottery."
According to the police department's news release, Withington "kept the bag, believing that he had no obligation to return the bag to its rightful owner."
Withington heard nothing about the cash for months, but behind-the-scenes Trumbull Police detectives were investigating the money's disappearance.
The police department said the investigation was launched after an employee of the town's Tax Collector Office was unable to find a bank deposit bag while making a delivery to the bank.
Police said the bag was clearly marked with the bank's logo and contained documents identifying the owner as the town of Trumbull.
Withington told the Connecticut Post that he was clueless as to who it belonged to.
"I just took the cash and called it a day. I don't even know whose it was because I didn't look," he said, per the local news outlet. "All I saw was cash."
Detectives conducted multiple interviews, obtained search warrants, and reviewed surveillance footage for months, the police department said.
Their investigation revealed that the bag had accidentally been dropped on the ground outside the bank and then picked up by Withington, the department said.
Withington was later questioned by detectives, during which he acknowledged his presence at the bank on May 30 and his decision to take the bag, according to police.
He was charged on August 25 with third-degree larceny and was released on a promise to appear in court on September 5, 2023.
The Associated Press said the charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
But Withington strongly insists he never intended to do anything criminal, telling the Connecticut Post: "I have never had a criminal record in my whole life."
He added: "This is like a crock of baloney. I found money and now it's probably going to cost me money."
Withington did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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