© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A CT man is arrested months after finding a bag full of $5,000 in cash in a parking lot

A Connecticut man says it felt like he won the lottery when he discovered a bag with nearly $5,000 in cash lying in a parking lot. So, he decided to keep it.

Three months later, he has been charged with larceny.

It turns out the bag, which Trumbull Police said was clearly marked with a bank's insignia and found outside the same bank, contained cash from the town's tax department. There were also “numerous documents” inside identifying the rightful owner of the cash as the town of Trumbull, police said.

The man, Robert Withington, 56, of Trumbull, contends he didn't steal the money and didn't notice anything inside the bag indicating who the owner was.

“It’s not like this was planned out,” Withington told Hearst Connecticut Media. “Everything was in the moment and it was like I hit the lottery. That was it.”

The Associated Press on Tuesday left a message seeking comment on Withington's business cell phone. Other numbers listed for Withington were no longer in service.

The money went missing on May 30. Police said an employee in the Trumbull Tax Collector's office couldn't find the bag after arriving at the bank to make a deposit during regular business hours, according to a police news release. Over the next several months, detectives obtained search warrants, reviewed multiple surveillance videos from local businesses and conducted numerous interviews before learning the bag had been “inadvertently dropped on the ground outside of the bank” and Withington had picked it up.

“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 Hearst. “It’s not like I stole something.”

“If I knew I was wrong in the first place, I would have given it right back. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” he added.

When police eventually interviewed Withington, they said he acknowledged being at the bank that day and taking the bag. He told them that he believed “he had no obligation to return the bag to its rightful owner,” according to the release.

Withington, who runs a dog training business, told Hearst he has never had a criminal record and his customers can vouch for his integrity. He was charged Friday with third-degree larceny, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. He was released on a promise to appear in court on Sept. 5.

“Anybody who knows me knows all I’m about is generosity,” he said. “After living in this town for 20 years, I’m not looking for trouble.”

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content