Crime briefs: Byron teen arrested for motor vehicle theft; Austin police warn of scam

A round-up of crime reports from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department.

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BYRON -- A 15-year-old Byron boy was arrested Wednesday morning after the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office said he stole a vehicle and then drove past the home where he stole it from while a deputy was there. The deputy was at the Byron residence about 4:30 a.m. taking a report of the theft when the boy allegedly drove past the home in the stolen vehicle, according to Sgt. Jim Schueller. The deputy conducted a traffic stop and the boy fled on foot from the vehicle. He was caught a short distance later and while being led to the deputy's squad reportedly called the vehicle owner a "red neck" and said he'd come back and steal another car, Schueller said. The boy is believed to have been involved in another recent car theft in Byron involving a group of teenagers.


AUSTIN -- The Austin Police Department is reminding citizens not to trust any email or phone call that asks you to purchase pre-loaded credit cards or gift cards and then read the numbers to the caller or send them to the emailer. The theft scam is common but preventable. At times the request may appear to come from a supervisor or co-worker who is “too busy” at the time to purchase them and wants the victim to do so, Police Chief David McKichan wrote in an email. "The criminal will then ask the victim to send them the numbers off the card either via email or over the phone. Once this occurs, the money has transferred to the criminal and it is impossible to trace or recover the funds," McKichan wrote. "We want to remind the public that no reputable organization or agency will ever ask for payment via gift cards or pre-loaded credit cards. Jails and police departments will not accept them for bail, utility companies do not want Amazon gift card numbers for payments, and your co-worker can find time to buy their own cards for their child’s birthday party. "

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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