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Man found tied up, gagged in trunk accused of faking kidnapping

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Austin police officers are investigating what they say was a fake kidnapping where a man was found bound and gagged in the trunk of a car Thursday morning.

Mac Newton says he and a landscaper met around 7 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Toys “R” Us at the Tech Ridge shopping center in north Austin along Interstate 35.

Newton says they were meeting so he could do an irrigation equipment inspection, but before he arrived, his client noticed a white car with the driver’s side door open, so he reported it to 311. The two thought the car had been stolen and dumped.

“The door was wide open, the center consoles were open, the glove compartment was open,” explains Newton.

About 10 minutes later, things got even weirder. “Once we heard the screams and the muffling going on, we instantly kind of freaked out, needed to do something about it, so we popped the trunk.”

That’s when they saw a man, bound with duct tape.

Newton says he took pictures to preserve evidence, while his client called 911. They then cut the man, who said he didn’t know how he got in the trunk, loose.

“It’s like something out of a movie,” said Newton.

It might as well have been. After Austin police interviewed the man, detectives say he admitted the whole thing was staged. APD is investigating why the man faked his own kidnapping and is looking into possible charges.