SALT LAKE CITY — A man who apparently thought he could extort another man for $10,000 was arrested after it turned out his potential victim really didn't have any secrets to hide, police say.
The 64-year-old victim received a letter in his mailbox on March 4 saying that unless he delivered $10,000, information that could be harmful to him would be released, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Robin Heiden. The information claimed to involve the man's "business dealings" and would be given to his clients, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
But the man knew it was a scam.
"He said, 'I don't have anything to hide,' and called police," Heiden said.
Police set up a sting operation and used the man's phone to arrange a money dropoff. On Aug. 5, the man was instructed to place the money inside a backpack waiting for him inside a locker at the South Jordan Recreation Center, 10866 S. Redwood Road, according to the report. Detectives arranged to have the cash delivered.
About four hours later, Kenny Don McClellan, 24, showed up, opened the locker and began taking out the backpack when he was approached by officers and taken into custody.
Investigators believe McClellan followed his potential victim home at random and placed the letter in his mailbox. He told detectives he "was trying to blackmail the victim for money due to his own financial hardships," the report states.
In April he received a court-ordered eviction from his residence, according to Utah state court records. He was convicted of criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor, in 2012.
Heiden said detectives had not received any other reports of extortion attempts, but they encourage the public to call police at 801-799-3000 if they received any other letters demanding money.