Last year this happened at a Circle K (here's the story I posted on RHU) and I wouldn't be surprised if it has occurred at other stores. Oddly, the Burger King and Wendy's are in different states. Could this be the work of the same prankster?
Burger King in Morro Bay, Calif., was left windowless over the weekend after a prank phone call that was a bit over the line. A practical joker called the fast food restaurant, posing as an official with the local fire department, and told employees the building had gas leak. The caller advised employees to break the restaurant's windows for ventilation, reports the San Luis Obispo Tribune, and that's exactly what they did. Every window at the Burger King was immediately smashed.
Obviously, local officials weren't happy with the prank. Morro Bay fire and police officials showed up to investigate the leak, only to find nothing but broken glass. After the hoax was discovered, the city issued a press release advising businesses not to trust supposed officials making emergency calls.
"The City wants to make clear the fire department would generally not call a business directly to warn of such an issue," the statement reads. "Recorded calls through a 'Reverse 911' system may be sent area-wide to notify residents and businesses of major emergencies. If you receive a call you believe is official from a public safety agency that seems out of the ordinary or causes you to fear for your safety, please call 911 to verify the information is valid."
Predictably, the comments section on the Tribune's story leaves much to be desired. A few commenters using the incident as a flimsy argument against the idea of a $15 minimum wage.
For some reason, Burger King seems to inspire the worst in people. Last month, a drive-thru customer in Florida assaulted an employee over how long it was taking to place an order. In November, an unhappy patron in Iowa expressed frustration by pelting a restaurant manager with chicken nuggets.
From ABC Action News:
PHOENIX - A restaurant manager was tricked into breaking all the windows of his business as the result of a malicious prank phone call, according to police.
Investigators said the incident happened at a Wendy's restaurant in Phoenix on Jan. 30. The unknown caller masqueraded as a member of the local fire department, telling the manager they needed to conduct a diagnostic test on the restaurant's fire system.
The manager followed the caller's instructions and activated the building’s fire suppression system. After activating the system, the manager was informed the action caused a gas leak and that all occupants needed to leave the restaurant.
Once everyone was outside, the manager was instructed to break all of the windows to prevent an explosion.
According to police, the Wendy’s employees broke all of the windows and waited for the fire department to respond.
Fire department and gas company officials later arrived at the restaurant and determined the call had been a hoax. A police report was taken on the scene.