In March 1999, Robert Farnsworth, a manager of a Wendy’s Restaurant in Jackson, Michigan, deposited two bags of checks and cash in the night deposit box of a bank. The next day, the bank found only one bag in the night drop. The missing bag had over $2000 in it. Farnsworth confessed to stealing the money, but immediately recanted his confession and claimed that the police had badgered him into a confession. At Farnsworth’s trial, bank employees said it was impossible for a bag placed into the night deposit box to be lost. A jury convicted him in July 1999 of theft and he was sentenced to six months. The sentence was suspended, he was given three years probation, and required to repay the money lost.
Six months later, a bag from a car wash business was missing from the night deposit box of the same bank. The business owner, who was friendly with the bank’s president, asked for his help in finding the missing bag. When technicians opened the night drop in February 2000, they found three deposit bags that had become stuck in the vault – the one from Wendy’s, the one from the car wash, and a third, the absence of which had not been noticed. In March 2000, Farnsworth’s conviction was set aside by the same judge who presided over his trial.
- Stephanie Denzel