Police: West Virginia Man Faked Own Kidnapping to Get Money

MORGANTOWN–┬áPolice say a West Virginia man is accused of faking his own kidnapping in order to get money from his family.

Monongalia County sheriff’s deputies arrested 24-year-old Preston Smith of Morgantown.

Deputies say Smith allegedly sent a text message and called his brother indicating he was being held at gunpoint and that a kidnapper was demanding $2,000 in order to release Smith. Smith’s brother called the sheriff’s department, and deputies who responded to a convenience store found Smith without anyone holding him against his will.

Smith was charged with conspiracy and was being held Monday on $10,000 bond in the Northern Regional Jail. Jail records didn’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

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Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com