A Manhattan criminal defense lawyer landed behind bars over accusations he swiped a bag full of cash from a traveler at Newark Liberty Airport, police said Saturday.
Henry Weil, 62, allegedly snagged the unattended bag from a checkpoint screening area at Terminal C inside the New Jersey airport about 9:15 a.m. Friday.
After taking $ 700 cash and a Visa gift card valued at $ 130, he crumpled the bag into a ball and threw it in a corner, according to Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo.
Weil, who practices criminal defense and immigration law out of his office on Broadway in Chinatown, claims he intended to find the property’s rightful owner.
Port Authority Police Officers reviewed surveillance video of the bag grab, then scoured the terminal looking for the thief.
They found Weil at a nearby gate, cops said. The attorney gave up the money and gift card and showed them where he discarded the bag, cops said.
“Those items were lost and going to be returned,” Weil told the Daily News Saturday. “I did not take anybody’s property.”
Port Authority cops charged Weil with theft by unlawful taking. He is expected to face the charges in court on Jan. 30, officials said.
When reached, Weil said he found the bag mixed in with his items in a plastic bin as it came out of the security scanner. There was no identification in the bag — which he claims he intended to return to the owner.