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GRPD searching for man using other people's phone to steal money

GRPD said the individual would ask to borrow someone's phone and then use an app, like PayPal or Cashapp, to send himself money.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Authorities in Grand Rapids are hoping the public can help them locate a man with a felony warrant for fraud.

According to GRPD's #WantedWednesday Facebook post, Samuel Isaiah Randal, 26, has victimized a number of people in his fraud scheme in the last few months. 

GRPD said Randal will ask someone to borrow their phone, saying he needs to call a friend or relative for a ride. He pretends that he can't get ahold of the person and that he's sending them a text message. 

GRPD said that Randal is actually using the victim's phone to open banking apps, like Cashapp or Paypal, and sending money to himself without the phone owner's knowledge. 

Randal is known to hang out in the Eastown neighborhood, the Michigan Street NE corridor, the Kalamazoo Avenue SE corridor, 44th Street & Kalamazoo Avenue SE area and the Lake Michigan Drive & Covell Avenue NW area, according to authorities. He is also known to travel outside the city. 

Randal may also be using aliases including "James Randal" or "Gabriel Smith." 

Anyone with tips or information should call the GRPD Detective Unit at 616-456-3380. If you see Randal, call the GRPD non-emergency line at 616-456-3400.

Tips or information can also be provided anonymously to Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or www.silentobserver.org.

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