Sheriff warns of kidnapping scam in Johnson Co.

OLATHE, Kan. - As a tow truck driver, Woody Towner gets a lot of calls during work hours.  But he never expected to get a call like the one he answered Tuesday. 

"The scary part was if I mess up I'm going to lose my brother and it's going to be my fault," Towner recalls.

The caller told Towner his brother had been in an accident and damaged the caller’s vehicle.  The caller said he would kill Towner’s brother if he didn’t receive $2,000.

"They had me on the phone for 50-some minutes. The whole time they were telling me if the phone goes dead or they lose connection, they're just going to kill him," Towner said.   

Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies issued a warning Thursday about the kidnapping scam. It has been reported in other cities across the country.

The caller warned Towner not to contact police, but that’s exactly what he did. He remembered seeing deputies earlier in the day training near Edgerton. Towner drove his tow truck there, got the attention of deputies who started to listen in on the phone conversation. 

Towner said, “I did repeat, I asked them, you are going to kill my brother if you don't get this money.  After they told them that the deputies took over from there."

Authorities contacted Towner’s brother who was alright.

The sheriff’s department warns people to should be leery of calls from unknown people or area codes.  Also, money should never be given over the phone to someone you do not know.

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