Police in Iowa City arrested a homeless man who is accused of demanding cash for a cell phone from the phone’s owner. Sergeant Troy Kelsay says it happened after the victim told officers he either lost his phone or had it stolen Saturday night.
"The cell phone owner received a phone call from an individual stating that he was in possession of the cell phone and he would return the cell phone, but only if the cell phone owner paid 30 dollars," Kelsay said.
The owner of the phone made arrangements to meet the caller, but also flagged down two police officers to arrive at the location. The officers questioned the man, identified as 38-year-old Kevin Penro, and charged him with extortion.
Kelsay says Penro claimed he bought the phone from another person at a gas station. The officers noted in their report that his story seemed "unlikely." Penro remains in the Johnson County Jail.