KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff's Office arrested a 27-year-old man from New York accused of targeting and stealing from grandparents in Kent County. Police estimate he's taken thousands.
The Sheriff's Office received multiple tips about a 'grandparent bail scam' over the past week.
Robert Augustin is accused of calling grandparents, telling them their grandchild is in need of bail money and pressuring them to send cash via a courier who picks up the money.
This type of scam isn't anything new, but what's unique is Augustin is accused of driving to victims' homes to pick up the cash. Typically scammers ask for personal information over the phone or they direct victims to buy gift cards.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Augustin arrived at an address in Ada to collect cash from a victim, but he was stopped and arrested. A debit card with someone else's name on it was found inside his vehicle.
Augustin was arrested in Kent County and is being held on a $250,000 bond with charges of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise & Stealing a Financial Transaction Device. He was arraigned Monday morning.
"These scams are far too prevalent, and we are glad to apprehend the suspect and help bring closure to Kent County's victims.", said Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young.
"We remind the public to be vigilant when confronted with an unexpected prize or problem. Take time to pause and contact someone else you trust for advice before sending anyone money," she said.
Detectives are still investigating the case and are attempting to identify any other victims who may have been affected.
If you have information that could help to move the investigation forward, please call the KCSO at 616-632-6125, or call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 to report information safely and anonymously.
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