Beatrice police arrested a man accused of faking his own kidnapping in hope of collecting a ransom.

Police were called by 30-year-old Andrew Lichtenberg’s parents, who said their son had been kidnapped and was being held ransom for $5,000 to be wired to Lichtenberg's account.

They allowed officers to listen to phone calls, where a masked voice threatened to kill Lichtenberg if they didn't meet the demands within five minutes.

The calls came from Lichtenberg’s girlfriend’s phone number, and police were able to detect its location.

The general location of the calls turned out to be Lichtenberg's Beatrice home, where police observed him through a window.

Court documents state he was seen holding two cell phones and a silver handgun, which was pointed at one of the phones.

When officers approached the door Lichtenberg blocked it and refused to allow police inside.

Officers forced entry inside, and Lichtenberg continued to refuse to comply with orders to take his hands out of his pockets. He was placed under arrest with minor resistance.

The reporting party called the number the demands were being made from, and a phone in the house with Lichtenberg rang. Police found a microphone on the floor of the residence and marijuana, as well as a pipe, on a coffee table.

The handgun police saw through the window turned out to be a CO2 powered BB gun.

Lichtenberg was arrested before 7 a.m. Tuesday for attempted extortion, obstructing government operations, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond was set at $5,000 with a 10 percent deposit. His next hearing is set for Nov. 14.

Reach Scott Koperski at Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.


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