New York state police found 60-year-old Robert Brandel on Wednesday afternoon with a rope tied around his neck, and duct tape around his hands and ankles while in the backseat of his Ford F-150 truck parked on a Niagara County road.
Brandel told the cops that he had picked up two guys who were in the same Super Bowl squares group as he was a couple days earlier. When the men entered the truck, they flashed a pistol and stole Brandel’s $16,000 payout he had just collected from the squares game. The robbers supposedly then drove him around for two days and then left him tied up in his vehicle.
The troopers who talked to Brandel found the whole situation to be as unbelievable as you, the reader, probably did and, after some brief investigating, discovered that it was the alleged victim of this story who was the real thief. Brandel had apparently made up quite a few names for himself in the aforementioned squares pool—the fact that there was a squares game involved at all was probably the only true part of his story—and had not paid his fair share of the $50,000 payout. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t able to come up with the money he needed to and decided that this plan was a better option.
Brandel is being charged with a felony first-degree scheme to defraud and a misdemeanor of falsely reporting an incident.