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New York man faked own kidnapping to extort ransom, police say

PLATTEKILL, N.Y. >> Authorities say a 31-year-old man in upstate New York faked his own kidnapping to extort ransom from his girlfriend.

Police in Plattekill in Ulster County tell the Times Herald-Record of Middletown (http://bit.ly/WqzFH6 ) say Mark Rodriguez left for work in his girlfriend’s car on Jan. 14. Officials say the woman later received a telephone call from a stranger saying her boyfriend had been kidnapped and she needed to hand over $2,000 or he would be killed.

She contacted police, who tracked other calls made to her. Police began a search and found Rodriguez and an accomplice inside the girlfriend’s car in the city of Newburgh. He was unharmed.

Rodriguez was arrested on Tuesday and charged with attempted grand larceny. He has been released from jail after posting bail.

It couldn’t be determined if he had a lawyer.

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