Teen's Fake Kidnapping Prank Backfires, Ending in His Own Arrest

Future pranksters might want to take note: faking your own kidnapping for laughs is never a good idea.

According to KAGS, Vincent Oggero, of College Station, Texas, learned this lesson the hard way after being charged with filing a false police report late last week. The incident occurred on February 11, when Oggero reportedly tried to pull a prank on his friends as they were leaving a restaurant.

The joke? A terrifying message written on their receipt, alleging that he was a victim of kidnapping. After he and his party left, restaurant staff found Oggero's note, which read, "I NEED HELP I got kidnapped" in addition to a phone number. Presumably, the 19-year-old Oggero did not imagine his prank would lead to such serious repercussions.

However, staff members who found the note immediately called authorities to the scene. Officers collected the names of those involved and other relevant information, including that the group had left only about ten minutes prior. Investigators were also able to access surveillance footage of the table, which revealed that everyone appeared fine throughout the meal.

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A prank note left on a restaurant receipt led to police involvement and an arrest. Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Officers were soon able to locate the address of one of the group members who lives in a townhome complex—the same complex where Oggero also lives.

What ensued was a bit like a game of cat-and-mouse. At the address obtained by authorities, people living there told officers that Oggero and his friend had just left. Authorities then tried visiting Oggero's home where others told them that he was at yet another unit in the complex.

At that unit, authorities were greeted by a large gathering of people, Oggero among them. After questioning, Oggero reportedly apologized for the note and explained to officers that he merely intended to prank his friend. However, it appears that he did understand that the note would prompt a police response.

On Friday, Oggero was arrested and charged with the crime. He has since been released on a $5,000 bond.

In general, involving the authorities in one's pranks—intentionally or not—is never recommended. In October, an 11th-grader landed in hot water after staging a fake kidnapping to get out of attending Zoom classes.

He reportedly had his friend dress up in a ski mask and carry an airsoft gun while he was in his class, on camera, to simulate the crime. The "serious incident" led to involvement from the school administration and police.