Indian teen kidnaps self to buy Nokia mobe

Crim mastermind collared by Caller ID

A 15-year-old from Lucknow, India, who faked his own kidnapping because he wanted cash to buy a mobile phone is safely under lock and key after police traced his menacing calls home using Caller ID, Lucknow Newsline reports.

The unnamed criminal mastermind reportedly wanted a Nokia mobe costing 30,000 rupees (roughly £370). Presumably, his dad was unwilling to cough up the required amount, because on 31 January the lad left home as usual for school but later failed to return. Shortly afterwards, he made his first demand via phone using the time-honoured "hanky over the mouthpiece" ruse. He later admitted: "I would place a handkerchief over the phone set to talk to my father. He was too naive to suspect anything."

The ne'er-do-well demanded 500,000 rupees (£6,100) for his own safe return, warning that failure to comply would result in death and disposal of the non-existent kidnapee's body on a railway line. His relatives, however, went straight to the police, who began to suspect that the boy himself was behind the outrage. Accordingly, they placed Caller ID on his parents' line. Sure enough, after three days, the proto John Dillinger made his final demand from a public phone in Kanpur and the net quickly closed.

He later lamented while in custody: "My friends in school have the latest motorcycles and mobiles. Even the girls flashed mobiles. I used to feel so embarrassed going on my cycle to school. In fact, earlier I had even stolen money from my house and given the same on interest to other boys, but that was not enough to buy that latest mobile."

The boy's fate remains uncertain, with police simply stating that he faces a period of contemplation in a juvenile facility - presumably without phone privileges. ®

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